Correctional officers at West Virginia's federal penitentiaries are not getting paid because of the federal shutdown, including employees at Gilmer's federal corrections facility which houses about 1,800 prisoners.

There are five other federal prison facilities in West Virginia, located in Alderson, Beckley, Hazelton, Morgantown and Welch.

"We are considered essential employees ... so we have to go to work. But we're not getting paid at this time to go to work," said Jill Carver, local president of the American Federation of Government Employees in Beckley.

"You can't come to work on fumes. And if you have the option of putting $50 in your vehicle or $50 to feed your family another week, you're not going to make the choice to not feed your family," Carver said.

Carver said eventually, working for no pay would wear on employees. And other problems could arise if employees stop showing up for work.

"We're tired of being the pawns," she concluded.

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