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Thu Jan 24, 2019, 06:15 PM

The widening impact of the shutdown, from agencies to contractors.

The Houston Chronicle has reported that now unpaid workers at the Johnson Space Center are being asked to take on custodial duties, even as they are not being paid for their regular jobs.


The 200 employees at NASA's Johnson Space Center being asked to work without pay as shutdown surpasses the one month mark now are being asked to do something else for free: clean the bathrooms.
A NASA manager tweeted Thursday a photo of a sign asking for volunteers to clean up the bathrooms once a week until the shutdown ends. Funding for the custodial contract was scheduled to lapse after Friday, but a labor representative said reduced hours were being negotiated with the space agency.
"This is our reality at the Johnson Space Center," the manager tweeted. "We now have no custodial services while we work without pay to keep the International Space Station operating."

This means that both the workers at NASA and the custodial workers and their company are being negatively impacted by the shutdown.

It’s notable that those custodial workers have provided even more support than keeping common spaces clean in the past and that theirs is but one of that many ripple effects taking place now.

From 2017:
Custodial team is in Orion’s corner during prototype testing

A custodial team for mission support under the Native Resource Development Co., Inc. helped advance human spaceflight science by troubleshooting a challenge Kirstyn Johnson with NASA Johnson Space Center’s Engineering Directorate was facing to prove out new waste-management hardware for Orion missions.

With no room at the on-site clinic for this type of testing, Johnson sought out old space shuttle crew dressing rooms in Building 5, where crews used to dress for suited simulations. With the support of Building 5 Facility Manager Jerry Swain, Johnson was able to move forward with the hardware assessment.

The experiment provided a functionality evaluation of the Urine Collection Device, which must meet vigorous standards since Orion crews will remain in their spacesuits—and rely on the device—for a maximum duration of six days.

Flight Ops set aside the testing area and made the rooms available for the out-of-the-ordinary request. Because the experiment would require using the bathroom a little outside of its normal use profile, investigators needed help from the custodial staff to support the test and make sure the workplace was kept clean and sanitary. A Test Readiness Review was conducted for safety and acceptability of the rooms, where it was recognized that due to the nature of the testing, custodial support would be a heavily involved with the task.

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