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Government Shutdown

Far Right Imposed Shutdown Represents Deeper Crises

For the fourth time in ten years, the government is about to shut down ( prior to the 2013 shutdown, the last shutdown was in 1996). This shutdown, if it isn’t averted through last-minute maneuvering, would mean that roughly four million government employees — including police officers and the military —  would have their paychecks delayed, be furloughed, or otherwise impacted. The chaotic process of trying to keep the government open reveals, again, the deeply undemocratic nature of the U.S. regime. That a small sector of the far-right, elected by a tiny segment of the U.S. population, can hold necessary social programs hostage and demand new cuts in order to prevent an incredibly disruptive government shutdown is a sign that the U.S. government doesn’t represent the masses.

With Another Shutdown Looming, Flight Attendants Plan Demonstrations On February 16

Congressional negotiators told Politico on Friday that they’re working on a deal that will prevent a second government shutdown on February 15. If they fail — or if President Trump again refuses to accept whatever compromise they reach — hundreds of thousands of federal workers and subcontractors will find themselves without income once more. The last shutdown ended, in part, because workers revolted: After missing two paychecks, ten air traffic controllers called in sick, an absence significant enough to severely delay air traffic in New York City and Washington. Now, as another shutdown looms, workers are preparing for the worst. Sara Nelson, the president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA...

What The Government Shutdown Told Us About Worker Power

“Do we have your attention now, Leader McConnell?” Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants, posed this question after shutdown-related staffing shortages at the Federal Aviation Administration all but halted air traffic in the Northeast. The longest-running federal government shutdown came to an end just hours later, fittingly brought to an end by government workers, the people most impacted by the ordeal. Nelson made waves among the labor community at an AFL-CIO awards ceremony earlier in January when she called for a general strike in support of furloughed workers.

In Praise Of Direct Action (And More)

As the partial federal shutdown moved into its third week, I found myself thinking about the late left economist and sociologist Giovanni Arrighi’s concept of “workplace bargaining power” (WBP).  By WBP, Arrighi meant the ability some strategically placed workers possess to idle capital and harm profits by bottle-necking the interdependent, integrated, and continuous flow of production.  This, Arrighi argued, was different from the special “marketplace bargaining power” (MBP) some workers derive from the possession of scarce skills.

Shutdown Exposes How Many Americans Live Paycheck To Paycheck

Today marks the two-year anniversary of Donald Trump’s inauguration, and we have learned some hard lessons in the interval. The ongoing, historically unprecedented shutdown of the federal government has exposed Trump as one of the worst deal-makers ever to stand up in two shoes. It has further exposed the Republican Party’s bottomless disdain for marginalized people through its craven refusal to contain the man who has unleashed all this misery. It has exposed deep fissures in Trump’s once-unbreakable base as more and more of his supporters — battered by tariffs and now the shutdown — come to correctly believe they’ve been played for chumps.

Federal Workers: Shutdown And Out

What would you do if management could force you to work without pay, lock you out with no consequences, and fire you for going on strike? That’s the situation facing 800,000 federal workers—and their unions—during the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. Forty percent of the government’s civilian workforce besides postal workers are being deprived of money to pay for rent, gas, groceries, and car and student loan payments. They include 420,000 workers who are being forced to work without pay and 380,000 who are locked out. The shutdown is the result of President Trump’s demand that Congress fund an anti-immigrant wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Democrats in Congress are refusing to go along with the idea.
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