Letters to the Editor

Thoughts on furloughed federal workers’ dilemma

It is against the law for federal employees to strike or slow down at work. When they have an issue, they must negotiate with management to arrive at a solution. They have a mandate not to shut down the government. The president has shut down the government, with a few exceptions.

Federal employees are not permitted to work second jobs without prior permission from management, so it is not perceived as a conflict of interest with their federal position.

I am sure that many furloughed employees are seeking other jobs. However, there is no mechanism for them now to get such permission. If those furloughed employees work at what is later deemed an inappropriate job, they could be subject to disciplinary action.

Loss of income has the potential to hurt all employees, but federal workers earn less on average than private-sector workers. The pay gap is about 32 percent, according to the Federal Salary Council. These are not fat cat earners who can just tighten their belts as the president calls upon them to “make adjustments.”

There is another issue at work here. Slavery was abolished in the 1800s; however, some of our federal employees have been ordered to work without pay. Isn’t that the same as slavery?

There is no guarantee they will be paid for this work.Another interesting look at this shutdown perceives Trump as the de facto president of a labor force which has been ordered to strike against management — the taxpaying citizens of the USA.

The president does not seem to appreciate the vital role federal employees play in citizens’ lives. Has the president initiated a strike against U.S. citizens?

Reta Grant,

former president, Chapter 137,

National Treasury Employees union,