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'Nothing Short of Inhumane': Federal Workers Sue Trump for Forcing Them To Work Dangerous Jobs Without Pay During Shutdown


'Nothing Short of Inhumane': Federal Workers Sue Trump for Forcing Them To Work Dangerous Jobs Without Pay During Shutdown

Jon Queally, staff writer

Amid the ongoing shutdown brought on by President Donald Trump's refusal to passing funding measures without funding, the nation's largest union of federal workers sued the Trump administration on Monday for forcing them to work without pay doing some of the most essential—and in many cases the most dangerous—jobs performed by government employees.


You have to wonder how many of these Federal workers voted for Trump?


They get retroactive pay after the shutdown ends even the furloughed ones. That’s what happens every time after a shutdown. I can tho some people having a cash flow problem.


At one level, I empathize with these workers. At another level, not so much, at least in the case of the Bureau of Prisons. These workers have consistently supported mandatory minimum sentences and harsher versions of those because more prisoners means more jobs. They’ve been quite successful and the US now imprisons a quarter of the prisoners on the planet. If our prisons weren’t so over populated, perhaps they wouldn’t be so understaffed.

That said, they shouldn’t be made to work without pay. That’s just wrong.

A better solution would be elimination of the prison concept, replacing it with a comprehensive behavior modification approach that integrates people into society, rather than isolating and ostracizing them.


This lawsuit is a long time in coming. And while it is based on Federal labor law, it says nothing about involuntary servitude, i.e. the Constitutional provision against slavery. Also, Trump’s action violates multiple requirements of the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights – INTERNATIONAL LAW. The U.S. ratified the UNDHR (hell, Eleanor Roosevelt wrote much of it), so it is the Law of the Land in the U.S.

Also AFGE could strike. Though such a strike would be illegal, tens of thousands of teachers around the U.S. walked last year.

Of course, the rest of the Labor (Non)Movement has been silent on all of this as has the Dem Party, except for those nasty Tweets.Working w/o pay, what-the-hell. Poor people not receiving rightful benefits…well they’re all lazy.

Besides, this is the holidays.


Good point- but anywoo- nobody deserves an uncertain present provided by a dangerous sociopath.


How about no pay- no work- a huge general strike. That’ll fix em.


So- they are lazy to work without pay?


forcing a person to labor is enslavement.

we seem to have a jones for that sort of thing.


I work for Dept of Labor - MSHA in western Pennsylvania. How my co-workers in the western PA/WV/eastern KY voted depended highly on profession. The mining engineers, the civil engineers, and probably the mine inspectors voted heavily for Trump. Out of the 15 civil engineers in my group, all but 6 voted for Trump - three of those six were young millennials - two being immigrants the other not voting at all.

Also, only two of us are dues-paying AFGE members and I have heard a few of my co-workers express open contempt for unions. (The Fed government is “open shop” - paying union dues is entirely optional)

However, I suspect that the way my co-workers voted does not reflect the civil engineering profession as a whole - only those employment is related to mining and live in rust-belt Trump country.

But in the other divisions which employ chemists, physicists, and lower-wage GS-5 to 9 laboratory technicians who are mostly women and black women - they overwhelmingly voted for Hillary - yeah, most commenters on this site probably don’t like that either.

The main takeaway of this is that, yes, inexplicably enough, many, maybe a majority of civilian federal employees - even those outside of the thuggish agencies like the DOD, FBI, ICE and CBP voted for Trump.


I wondered if the shut-down violated the FLSA rules, so according to the law firm, it does. This could get interesting.


Don’t forget, the back pay only applies to Federal employees, contract labor, the lowest payed, gets nothing but a unpaid vacation.


Right now, with some problematic weather moving across the eastern half of the US (heavy rain, heavy snow, high winds), I really want to send an e-mail to all the meteorologists in NOAA-NWS and air traffic controllers in the FAA working without pay and over the holidays. Thank-you for your service!


Donald(do nothing lazy asshole)Trump tries everyday to see how big of an asshole he can be and get away with it. Trumps whole purpose in life is to be a greedy ignorant asshole. How is he doing:?


Yeah, they’re lazy—in just the same way that most modern people are lazy.

Spiritually lazy, that is.

Everyone’s happy to “work for the man” as long as they “get theirs”. They don’t give a crap for what their “making a living” costs all our relations; they see it as their “human right” to make a living at the expense of all our relations.

They think they can “make a living” working for monstrous collective ego entities—corporations, the State—entities without bodies, hearts, or souls—without destroying their own bodies, hearts and souls.

They think they can thrive while the collective entities with whom they have wholly identified themselves, to whom they have given the majority of their attention and energy, destroy “other” people’s children, lands, and lifeways.

They think they can thrive while the collective entities with whom they have identified themselves rape, torture and murder our non-human relations in droves daily.

Yeah, they’re lazy.

Also selfish, short-sighted, and, as a result, stupid.

The Law of Life is reciprocity. No human is so high they can get over that law, so low they can get under it, so wide they can get around it.

Yeah, they’re lazy. Because they drank the Kool-Aid; because they lived on the lie that modern humans had somehow transcended the Law of Life, while their own bodies, hearts and souls ceaselessly broadcast the Truth. Because it seemed so much easier! Because everyone else was doing it! Because I was just following orders!

The Law of Life says: all actions have consequences. There is no such thing as a free lunch. All bills will be paid in full, and with interest.

So now, when the bill comes due, these lazy people want to act simultaneously like martyred heroes and aggrieved victims?

Cry me a river, folks!

Where were you, all these decades, while the Water was crying for your attention?


The irony here is, of course, that prison officials are the taskmasters for the only legal slave population in the US, given that prisoners are exempted from the Constitutional prohibition against slavery. Pot, meet kettle!


Why don’t rump find volunteers to freely build his wall? Since he expects federal employees to do their jobs freely…


Put that Law Suit on the pile with all of the others… good luck… If you want your pay checks, Go Get Them!


I think you need a reality check. Federal employees also includes the Dept of Health and Human Services. Obviously, you are completely ignorant of what all humane activities they do that benefits the standard of living that is available to you. Please go educate yourself. If you want Single Payer health care, it would be wise to NOT throw the baby out with the bath water.


Exceeding all expectations!