Don't miss




France 24 meets George Weah ahead of inauguration

Read more


Gymnast's fierce courtroom address

Read more


A whole new world: Trump anniversary special

Read more

#TECH 24

Will artificial intelligence ever surpass the human brain?

Read more


Aiding migrants in France: What are the legal implications?

Read more


The challenge of clearing Colombia of landmines

Read more


Video: Gambians reflect on first year of democracy

Read more


Pitti Uomo in Florence, the world's largest men's fashion showcase

Read more


Award-winning Filipino filmmaker Brillante Mendoza on keeping it real

Read more


US firms offer freebies to workers hit by shutdown

© Photo courtesy of @banz110

Text by Joseph BAMAT

Latest update : 2013-10-02

In the wake of a congressional impasse that shut down the US government and temporarily forced hundreds of thousands out of state jobs, Washington, D.C., businesses have responded with generous offers to feed and entertain the furloughed workers.

From free cups of coffee and booze, to complementary museum and movie tickets, Washington, D.C.-area federal employees who have been ordered to stay at home without pay have several reasons to keep getting up in the morning.

In the wake of a government shutdown that has left around 800,000 federal workers temporarily jobless, many businesses have began offering the workers “furlough freebies”.

While some of the promos appear to mask blatant opportunism – such as the myriad bars offering people who can flash government IDs discounted happy-hour prices throughout the day – there was also real generosity on display.

Washington, D.C.-based, celebrity chef José Andrés, announced via Twitter that three of his metro-area restaurants (Jaleo, Zaytinya and Oyamel) would be giving affected state employees one free sandwich per day for the duration of the shutdown.

“FEDS! Looks like you need a drink folks,” joked Mockingbird Hill, a downtown wine bar specializing in sherry and cured ham, on its Twitter account. It was offering a free glass of the bar's spirit of predilection to cheer them up.

Some eateries were offering workers free food, and also taking the opportunity to rage against lawmakers that failed to agree on a budget deal that could ultimately have serious economic consequences for the US capital and the country.

The Pork Barrel BBQ restaurant in the D.C. suburb of Alexandria was giving away one free pulled pork sandwich per day to anyone with a government ID –except members of Congress.

But there were more than food and drink on the freebies menu. The Beltway Plaza Mall in northwest Washington upped the anti by providing a free lunch, as a well as complimentary movie pass, as part of a “Beat the Furlough” promotion until October 31.

While the staff of the federally-funded Smithsonian museums was shut out of working, the nearby National Geographic Museum was offering them and all other furloughed workers a free pass to enjoy their exhibitions until the shutdown ended.

The National Museum of Women in the Arts was also providing no-cost admission to federal employees, as well as 10% off in their museum shop.

For federal workers looking for a new hobby, the yarn store Fibre Space in Alexandria was offering free “intro to knitting” classes – a $75 value – on every workday that the federal government remains closed.

Date created : 2013-10-02

  • USA

    Obama slams Republican 'crusade' amid shutdown

    Read more

  • USA

    US government shuts down as budget deadline passes

    Read more

  • USA

    Senate rejects House budget bill as shutdown looms

    Read more