Chicago Federation of Labor – Sign the Petition

Sometimes, lawmakers on Capitol Hill will write open letters to their colleagues to make sure everyone knows their opinion on an issue. They’re called “Dear Colleague” letters.

There’s been enough ink spilled on the possible government shutdown to go to the moon and back, but here’s the short version: Republicans in the House just forced the government to shut down because they can’t win any of the crazy things they want the American way, fair and square.

Now they’ve turned to hostage taking, and working people—the folks who need the government to work—are the hostages. Sometimes the members of the House of Representatives take a while to get a message. So we’ll break it down for them in a way they’ll understand:

Dear House Republicans:

Get a grip.

Stop the hostage taking. Don’t shut down our country.

America’s Working People

Snark aside, this is serious. We all depend on the federal government and the people who work for us there to do critical things—from protecting our rights on the job to food safety inspections to medical research to air traffic control. If the House GOP continues to hold us hostage, they’ll do real damage to us and to our country.

We have urgent problems our nation’s leaders need to address—and the first one is that we need more jobs. A government lockout is the single worst thing politicians can do for jobs. At the very least, we should expect that Congress will stop making our economic problems worse. If you’re as angry about this as we are, we need you to take action right now.

Our country is shut down, and we need you to sign this petition we’ll deliver ASAP to Congress:

In Solidarity,

The Chicago Federation of Labor


Furlough Watch: Potential Agency-by-Agency Impacts of Sequestration

Furlough Watch: Potential Agency-by-Agency Impacts of Sequestration

Air traffic controllers are likely to be among the federal employees furloughed.
Air traffic controllers are likely to be among the federal employees furloughed. David Goldman/AP file photo

The across-the-board budget cuts known as sequestration now scheduled to hit in two days would have serious implications for federal workers, including mandatory unpaid furloughs for hundreds of thousands of employees, beginning in April. We have compiled a list of possible agency-by-agency effects, should Congress and President Obama fail to reach a deficit reduction agreement in time to avoid the cuts. We will update the list as more information becomes available. Please use the comment section below to let us know if you have additional information about your agency.

Agriculture Department:  Food Safety and Inspection Service employees would be furloughed for approximately two weeks, the White House said in a Feb. 8 fact sheet.

Defense Department: Secretary Leon Panetta on Feb. 20 informed lawmakers that sequestration would force the Pentagon to put the “vast majority” of its 800,000 civilian workers on administrative furlough. The furloughs would begin in late April and would occur one day a week for up to 22 discontinuous work days.

Education Department:  Secretary Arne Duncan testified Feb. 14 before the Senate Appropriations Committee that he expected furloughs. “The sequester would … likely require the department to furlough many of its own employees for multiple days,” he wrote in a Feb. 1 letter to the committee.” The letter did not provide an exact number of employees who would be affected.

Environmental Protection Agency: Employees would be furloughed a total of six days between April and September, according to a union official. The furlough days would break down as follows: from April 21 to June 15, each EPA employee would have to take one day of leave without pay per paid period, for four pay periods. From July 5 through Sept. 30, each employee would be required to take two furlough days. Continue reading “Furlough Watch: Potential Agency-by-Agency Impacts of Sequestration”

Sequestration Furloughs Will Severely Delay Air Travel, Transportation Secretary Says

Sequestration Furloughs Will Severely Delay Air Travel, Transportation Secretary Says

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood briefs reporters regarding the sequester.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said furloughs from sequestration would cause severe air travel delays at airports throughout the country.

This story has been updated with additional comment.

Speaking to White House reporters on Friday, LaHood said across-the-board cuts from sequestration could result in 90-minute delays during peak travel times for flights to major cities — such as New York, Chicago and San Francisco – due to fewer air traffic controllers and shuttered control towers.

“This will be very painful for the flying public,” LaHood said. Continue reading “Sequestration Furloughs Will Severely Delay Air Travel, Transportation Secretary Says”

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