Any chance of a "essential government employee" strike?

Actually looking for a factual answer, but figure it will get GDey anyway…

Given Trump has said he’s happy to shut down the government indefinitely. Is it remotely possible that some of the “essential government employees” that are currently working for free could decide, en masse, that they aren’t doing so anymore (I am not sure strike is the right word, as they deciding to not to work for free is hardly a strike IMO).

Is this something thats been discussed during this, or other shutdowns? Is there a union that represents a large enough portion of them to make a difference? (TSA agents have apparently been calling in sick duringthe shutdown). A mass walk out by them alone would shutdown the airline network, and definitely force an end to the shutdown IMO.

The AFGE represents federal employees, to answer your question about that, including TSA employees.

By what mechanism? Even if the every airline is grounded, probably costing billions in GDP every hour, Trump still doesn’t have to sign the bill. The Republicans in the Senate still don’t have to agree to vote for the bill if the democrats wanted to go for a 2/3 supermajority. If the house holds impeachment proceedings, agrees with a 60% vote that this is basically treason, this doesn’t mean sufficient Republican senators will vote to have Trump removed from office.

If the airline network is shutdown (or even if there is a realistic chance of it shutting down) SOMEONE will fold. Either Trump himself, enough republicans for a supermajority, or the democrats.

I’m pretty certain that federal employees are not allowed to go out on strike.

So that’s a no, from a legal perspective. They could go out on strike but would not be protected from all being fired by the government for doing so.

I’m pretty certain that what griffin is getting at is would such an action place enough pressure on either the President or both houses of congress to incentivize either to end the impasse. That’s an unknown. But moving the stories from ‘the National Parks are closed’ to ‘You can’t fly to see grandma’ is a whole different level of pressure. It’d be interesting to see.

Had I recently flew away from home on business or pleasure and not returned yet, I’d be concerned at the moment.

Likewise there are laws prohibiting involuntary servitude. Every time this situation arises, I mention that if I were not being paid per previous agreement, I’d stay home.

In any sane legal system, an employer would be required to pay employees for work performed. However, any sane system would also not allow leaders to shut down the entire national government because of a fit of pique, so…

Federal employees may not be allowed to strike, but there’s no law against a sick-out, as the TSA members are doing. Union officials have been careful to point out that the union isn’t encouraging members to call in sick, which might be construed as a strike. Instead, word spread among TSA employees at some airports. Now that it’s been in the news, it’ll be interesting to see if more federal workers call in sick.

I’m really torn on this issue. I have a family member who’s been furloughed and one who has to work without pay, and it’s a serious hardship. OTOH, the wall would be an extremely expensive and ineffective waste of money. Even if Congress compromised and voted to fund the wall at a later date and only under X circumstances, I can’t see Trump acquiescing. What other compromises might there be? Build a very short wall?

Yeah I’m surprised it’s not being discussed. It seems like the public would be overwhelmingly in support of the strikers. And whatever the law says the govenrm

Yeah I’m surprised it’s not being discussed. It seems like the public would be overwhelmingly in support of the strikers. And whatever the law says the government is not going to lay off the majority of the TSA(or whatever other vital arm of the government), as that would be just as catostophic.

And it would almost certainly work, even the threat would be good enough IMO. For all the tough words, faced with something genuinely catostophic for their constituents, someone will fold.

It’s times like these that I actually applaud the “gig economy” as a lifesaver–in general, it’s just a way for corporations to abdicate their responsibility to pay their employees an adequate living wage and to offer benefits, but having a simple means for a furloughed federal employee to sign up to deliver food or packages or do Uber/Lyft without having to go through an extensive hiring process is pretty damned nice. They can keep the lights on and food on the table while the overpaid assholes in Congress have their fucking pissing contests and send the exact same message as a strike without falling afoul of those disgusting laws that force them into indentured servitude. I really hope the lot of those critically important federal employees get themselves a fantastic case of the “fuck you flu” and actually show the nation what a REAL shutdown looks like. It’s way past time we stop it with this constant brinksmanship and take shutdown threats off the table as a bargaining chip. I also think no one in Congress should be either paid for the time the government is shut down over funding fights nor should they be allowed to leave DC. Stay there unpaid until you get the fucking job done, you worthless shits, and no, you do not get retroactive pay when you finally get your shit together. Congress works for free when they play games with everyone else’s paycheck.

How is it that the federal government can require some federal workers to work without paying them?

Isn’t that a breach of the 13th Amendment?

Also, as of today, the striking government employees can just say “Hey, its what the POTUS said he f*cking wanted”


It’s not a 13th Amendment breach because the workers have another option, they can quit. They choose to stay Federal employees in the expectation that they will eventually be paid, and also for the other benefits. (and for the fact that if they quit, getting reinstated would be really difficult)

However there do seem to be laws on this, Federal workers illegally forced to work without pay during shutdown, per lawsuit – ThinkProgress , and it appears that the ones who were forced to work without pay may eventually collect double the wages they were owed.

I wouldn’t bank on it. This case is from 2013 and…

Also as far as I can work out that was just the handful who brought the court case not all the employees

They could quit. If they did that en masse then it might be a problem, I suppose, though seems a low probability. They aren’t allowed to strike, afaik. I think this was resolved during the Carter or Reagan administration, though I might be mis-remembering as I don’t know that much about federal labor law to be honest.

That’s the other thought I had. They could also just threaten to resign en masse. It would have the same effect. If every TSA agent (or border patrol agent, or corrections officer) said the are going to resign with immediate effect in 72 hours, unless they start getting paid, then the shutdown would be sorted in no time.

AIUI, they’re not working for free, their pay is simply delayed but will eventually be paid in full.

Can Congress just find some way to pay them against the President’s wishes?