House Speaker John Boehner's surprise retirement announcement last Friday "has muddled an already confusing situation," regarding the possibility of another government shutdown, reports AFSCME Council 26's Carl Goldman. "Some experts and many in the media are saying that Boehner's action makes it less likely that a shutdown will occur, while others are saying the opposite. Even many of the more optimistic commentators acknowledge that a shutdown could still happen in the coming weeks and months. The truth is that no one knows for sure." What is clear is that the unions representing federal workers are actively preparing for a shutdown as early as October 1. "We are engaging in legislative action, preparing leaflets, expanding our communications network, preparing public actions and getting ready to engage the media," Goldman told members over the weekend. "Anyone who was around during the last shutdown knows what we are capable of doing."