When Ty Owens walked into his local Social Security office in Manassas, Virginia, for help, he had to wait in line for five hours.
If Donald Trump and his Health and Human Services Secretary, former drug company executive Alex Azar, have their way, that wait could get a lot longer.
That’s because Azar’s operatives, after just one 10-minute “bargaining” session in June with the Treasury Employees, who represent 14,000 HHS workers, threw their regressive demands on the table, gave the union two weeks to yield, then got up, walked out and declared an “impasse” in negotiations.
That would let Trump’s government impose their “contract” on the union and would lead to longer lines and lesser quality service as federal workers depart in droves.
It also brought Owens, president of NTEU Local 229 at HHS headquarters and dozens of his colleagues out into the HHS driveway for a noontime protest last Thursday.
They drew dozens of sympathetic honks from passing motorists and enthusiastic support from DC Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton, who promised that the future of the NTEU members, and the rest of the nation’s two million federal workers, would be far different if Democrats recapture Congress on November 6.
On today’s labor calendar,
labor phonebanks continue today to get out the union vote; for complete details, go to dclabor.org and click on Calendar.
In today’s labor history, on this date in 1929, Wall Street crashed on what came to be known as "Black Tuesday," throwing the world's economy into a years-long crisis including an unemployment rate in the U.S. that by 1933 hit nearly 25 percent.
Today’s labor quote is by psychologist Nathan Ackerman, reporting on the impact of long-term unemployment on coal miners during the Depression.
Nathan Ackerman, who said:
“A jobless man was a lazy good-for-nothing.... These men suffered from depression. They felt despised, they were ashamed of themselves.”
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