The New Labor Forum has a bi-weekly newsletter on current topics in labor, curated by the some of the most insightful scholars and activists in the labor world today. Check out some highlights from the latest edition below.
- How Federal Workers Could Fight the Shutdown/ Ben Beckett and Ryan Haney, Jacobin
- Airport Security Lines Grow Across the Nation As TSA Sickout Continues/ Grant Martin, Forbes
- Union leader discusses lawsuit against President Trump over shutdown/ The Hill
- All 20 previous government shutdowns, explained/ Dylan Matthews, Vox
How Federal Workers Could Fight the Shutdown
By Ben Beckett and Ryan Haney/ Jacobin
The federal government shut down on December 22, locking out almost 400,000 workers and forcing another 400,000 deemed “essential” to show up to work without pay. Many of these workers are union members, affiliated with the American Federal Government Employees (AFGE). The union is rightfully suing the federal government, claiming that it is illegal to require workers to work without paying them. But a more militant labor movement could respond to the shutdown very differently, seizing the “choke points” within the US economy and society that federal workers are strategically positioned to take advantage of…
Read the full report here.
By Grant Martin/ Forbes
Security lines at airports across the country are starting grow long as nationwide action from Transportation Security Agency (TSA) workers starts to take its toll. On Friday, CNN reported that the agency, which is responsible for operating security checkpoints at airports across the country, was suffering from staffing shortages as a function of the government shutdown. According to the report, TSA agents have been calling in sick in record numbers during the shutdown in protest of withheld pay. Frontline staff at the agency have worked without pay since the shutdown began, though they expect to be paid in full after the government resumes operations…Read the full article here.
By The Hill
The underlying principle is the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act which requires an employer to pay workers when they perform work. It’s pretty simple…That’s the law that includes the minimum wage and the minimum wage isn’t zero which is the way the government is currently acting. It’s requiring more than half of the people who are affected by the shutdown to come to work, often work overtime and without any guarantee of pay, so it’s a violation of even a minimum wage…Watch the full video here.
All 20 previous government shutdowns, explained
By Dylan Matthews/ Vox
We are currently in the middle of the third longest-running government shutdown in American history. With 16 full days down, and no clear end in sight, the odds are good that the 2018-’19 shutdown will outlast 2013’s (also 16 days) or even 1995’s (21 days) by the time it’s done. The partial shutdown began on December 22, 2018, with President Donald Trump’s demand for $5 billion to pay for his much-promised full-length border wall with Mexico, and while both parties in Congress had floated $1.6 billion as a compromise, Trump rejected it. His $5 billion isn’t enough for a full wall, but would block off 215 additional miles that are currently unfenced (in addition to the 120 miles the administration is currently building with existing funds). Most recently Democrats offered a spending package that would maintain current funding levels for border security, which Trump rejected out of hand…
Read the full article here.
Photo by Jessie via flickr (CC-BY-NC-ND)