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Not all workers affected by the shutdown will get back pay

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Lake Mead Cruises would normally have people waiting to go on the cruise, but with the shutdown workers have been temporarily laid off. (Ashley Conroy/FOX5) Lake Mead Cruises would normally have people waiting to go on the cruise, but with the shutdown workers have been temporarily laid off. (Ashley Conroy/FOX5)
BOULDER CITY, NV (FOX5) -

For many people, it's been two weeks too long since the government shutdown put hundreds of thousands of workers all across the country out of commission.

Workers at the Desert Princess, a popular Lake Mead cruise, are ready to start making money again, but they likely won't get back pay for the lost time.

Shelli Noyes has been working on the Desert Princess for five years, and never would she have imagined something like this would put her and the crew out of work.

"It's been huge because overnight, you lost the income. I thought it would just be maybe a day or two. I had no idea I'd be going on this long," said Shelli Noyes, a server on the Desert Princess.

Since the Desert Princess cruise has been closed, 30 people have been laid off. Management said it was a big money loss because they see 100 to 200 customers a day.

"They just said that we might not be working. It was all up in the air and in the hands of the government," Noyes said.

While there's talk of some 800,000 federal workers nationwide getting back pay for the lost time, the crew won't see that benefit because they are contracted out through a private company, and the government can't pay them back.

"Some people have had to go out and look for other employment, whether it's temporary or permanent," Noyes said.

Noyes said customers from all over the world go on the Desert Princess tour. She personally feels bad that plans changed.

"There's many, many hundreds of reservations that people book in advance, and it's a big part of their trip to Las Vegas to go out to Lake Mead to go out the Desert Princess. They love the history of Hoover Dam."

Meantime, Congress has reached a deal until Jan. 15, 2014. At this time lawmakers will have to agree on a new deal.

If another shutdown were to happen again in January, Lake Mead Cruise management says there isn't a lot they can do other than lay people off temporarily and then hire them back.

In the meantime, Lake Mead Cruises are working on refunds to all customers who purchased a ticket during the shutdown at this time.

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