(CBS) – Federal workers returned to work Thursday, 15 days after being furloughed.READ MORE: Oak Park And River Forest High School Ban On Activities Due To COVID Outbreak Sparks Outrage
The deal in Congress keeps them on the job until at least Jan. 15, when the new budget expires.
CBS 2’s Derrick Blakley talks with Chicago workers.
As soon as Chicago’s federal workers got back on the job they were protesting about being tossed out in the first place.
“It was very frustrating. We wanted to work, we have a lot of work to do and we wanted to get back here and do our job,” says Michael Berman, a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency employee.
Now, there’s worry that the truce is only temporary.READ MORE: Parents Of Michigan School Shooter Arrested And Charged After Manhunt
“Congress can’t agree on lunch, much less a budget,” says John Peterson, another EPA employee.
Speaking of lunch, if federal workers don’t get paid, they don’t eat. The shutdown created a financial bath for owners of the Plymouth Restaurant.
“Our location is close to the Dirksen Federal Building, and it really made a huge effect on us,” Cyndee Aiello says.
Business plunged by 50 percent. Cooks’ hours got cut; so did those of bus boys and servers.
Standard & Poor’s says the shutdown cost the overall economy $24 billion.MORE NEWS: 12 Family Members Diagnosed With COVID-19 After Attending Milwaukee Wedding, 5 With Omicron Variant
Furloughed federal employees will receive their backpay in their next paychecks. But the economic harm caused by the shutdown — those hours lost by servers and cooks at the restaurant, for example –- can’t be wiped away.