Employees at Thomson Prison face a government shutdown and a pay cut, according to a news release.

American Federation of Government Employees AFGE Local 4070 President Jon Zumkehr on Sunday issued a statement:

“We are facing a government shutdown and a 25% pay cut at USP Thomson. Congress needs to do its job to keep the 25% retention in place and do everything it can to avoid a shutdown,” says Jon Zumkehr, president of AFGE 4070 at the prison.

“All federal law enforcement officers are considered essential. Essential employees, even though they continue to work, are not paid while the government is shut down,” Zumkehr said. If a government shutdown happens it could have a dire impact amid an already challenging time for staffing and pay among Thomson Prison staff, he said in the release.

“Staff should not have to choose between coming to work and not being able to pay for child care due to the government shutdown,” he says in the release. “We’re told that our 25% retention that Sen. Durbin, Sen. Duckworth, and former Representative Bustos secured to retain staff at USP Thomson will be removed.”

“We need the 25% retention to compete with the factories in the local area and lack of child care due to USP Thomson being in a remote location.”

According to Zumkehr, 147 staff have said they will leave USP Thomson if the 25% retention bonus is removed.

USP Thomson has announced more than 50 jobs because of its new mission change, he said. It has faced “a retention crisis” since being converted to a federal prison.