NASA space center asking employees to volunteer to clean bathrooms during shutdown

At NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston employees who are already working without pay are being asked to help clean the bathrooms as the center’s custodial staff will no longer be funded after Friday.

A NASA manager posted on Twitter on Thursday a sign hanging outside the bathroom asking staff to volunteer to clean the bathrooms once per week amid the ongoing partial government shutdown, as reported by The Houston Chronicle.

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"This is our reality at the Johnson Space Center," Elizabeth Blome wrote. "We now have no custodial services while we work without pay to keep the International Space Station operating." 

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The sign asking for volunteers to clean the bathrooms also urged staff to bring their personal trash cans to a large bin because desk-side trash pickup had been suspended.

Roughly 94 percent of the 3,055 federal employees at the Johnson Space Center have been furloughed since the government shutdown began last month. There are about 200 employees still working to ensure the safety of astronauts aboard the International Space Station. The remaining working employees are not getting paid and are slated to miss their second paycheck Friday.

The Chronicle noted that a representative from Native Resource Development, the custodial service that the center contracts, said there are still custodians working on site, though there are much less than normal.

"The task has been reduced because there's buildings that are not occupied," the representative told the Chronicle, adding that the company started asking for voluntary layoffs Friday.

Furloughed employees protested the shutdown outside the center earlier this month.