Trump: I’m Canceling Raises for Federal Workers

Members of the military will still get their raises

By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 30, 2018 1:38 PM CDT
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In this Aug. 28 photo, President Trump speaks during a meeting in the Oval Office.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

(Newser) – President Trump has told Congress he is canceling a pay raise that most civilian federal employees were due to receive in January, citing budgetary constraints, per the AP. Trump informed House and Senate leaders in a letter, saying that locality pay increases would cost $25 billion, on top of a 2.1% across-the-board increase for most civilian government employees. “We must maintain efforts to put our Nation on a fiscally sustainable course, and Federal agency budgets cannot sustain such increases,” reads the letter. Congress could effectively overturn the decision, notes the Hill. Trump’s action doesn’t affect the military, whose members are still due to receive a 2.6% raise.

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AFL-CIO – Unanimous Resolution Against USPS Privatization

July 27, 2018  AFL-CIO

The U.S. Postal Service, which was created as the Post Office Department in 1792, has its founding principles in the U.S. Constitution. To this day, it remains a national treasure belonging to the people of this country.

The Postal Service has remained a self-sustaining, independent establishment of the federal government that does not receive taxpayer funding and relies solely on revenue derived from the sale of postal services and products.

The Postal Service employs more than 500,000 people who are at the center of a $1.4 trillion, 7.5 million employee mailing industry. The agency serves the needs of more than 157 million business and residential customers through its affordable universal network, providing service six and sometimes seven days a week.

This universal network connects the country’s rural, suburban and urban communities at fair and reasonable rates, providing equal access no matter who we are and where we are located. This unmatched infrastructure coupled with a dedicated workforce is the reason that the Postal Service is consistently the highest-rated agency of the federal government. In fact, a Pew Research Center poll, released in February 2018, showed that the Postal Service has an 88% favorability rating.

The Postal Service remains the nation’s second-largest employer of military veterans and is a source of decent and dignified union jobs and equal pay for workers from all backgrounds, including women and people of color. These employees are dedicated public servants who do more than process and deliver the nation’s mail. They serve as the eyes and ears of the nation’s communities and often respond first in situations involving health, safety and crime.

While there are many unknowns when it comes to privatization of the Postal Service, we know that if it is privatized in whole or in part, the decision to provide services will be based on whether a company can make a profit rather than what’s good for working people. Inevitably, privatization will lead to increased rates and diminished services for customers, especially in rural communities and potentially low-income urban areas.

Privatization of the Postal Service would jeopardize the booming e-commerce sector and cripple a major part of the nation’s critical infrastructure during a time where methods of communication are constantly changing, while mail, including letters, cards, periodicals, medicines, catalogs and packages, continues to be invaluable to individuals and businesses.

Recently, the White House Office of Management and Budget unveiled a plan for privatization of the Postal Service promoted by billionaire- and corporate-funded “think tanks” with powerful influence in the Trump administration and Congress. These corporate interests are not looking out for workers, communities or businesses who are currently well-served by the Postal Service as an independent establishment of the federal government.

As a member of “A Grand Alliance to Save Our Public Postal Service,” the AFL-CIO will actively engage in the fight to save the Postal Service by mounting a serious defense to this threat and encouraging central labor councils and state federations to join with labor and community allies in concrete actions against privatization.

The AFL-CIO also will go on record unequivocally opposing the privatization of the Postal Service so it remains an independent establishment of the federal government.

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Valley lawmakers work to convince GM to keep Lordstown running

Some say General Motors has a responsibility to maintain its U.S. plants

“Of course, what I’m trying to get her to do is to bring a new line in there,” Sen. Rob Portman said. “To give the workers in our region an opportunity to prove themselves yet again.”

Those following the auto industry claim in addition to Lordstown, there are also four other GM plants around the country facing the same problems — slow-selling cars and excess capacity.

They think, eventually, the company has to make choices — either close some of them and move what’s being built there or bring production in from outside the U.S.

“If they’re not going to keep making the Cruze — they’ve not said they’re not — but if they’re not, then they need to reinvest and retool in a small SUV, perhaps the Chevy Blazer that was going to be built in Mexico,” Sen. Sherrod Brown said.

While analysts claim GM is losing money with plants like Lordstown operating on only one shift, executives may actually fear becoming a target of President Donald Trump. He has been critical of corporations moving their business out of the country.

Congressman Tim Ryan has been asking the Trump administration to get involved.

“It would be nice to elevate the conversation to that level. To say, ‘You know, there are workers here and we need help,’ and he made a lot of promises to a lot of workers in this community,” Ryan said.

While Ryan and others hesitate at getting into a presidential Twitter war with GM, they think executives can be convinced it’s better for them to stay here.

“It’s good for GM, it’s good for the workforce, it’s good for the community,” Portman said. “She said she agrees, the workforce is impressive. They did a good job and there’s some discussion about retooling what’s there, other discussion about bringing new tooling.”

Some lawmakers argue GM has a responsibility to its workers and the nation to maintain its U.S. plants since the company needed American tax dollars to recover from bankruptcy and, more recently, was able to save billions through tax reform.

“There’s gotta be some product somewhere that we could sit down with the state, the locals and put a package together to make Lordstown look, to you, like a profitable place,” Ryan said.

For now, lawmakers all say they will continue having these discussions.

Almost 20 years ago, Valley residents and businesses came together to show their support for the Lordstown complex. Some think another unifying campaign is long overdue.

The effort by leaders with the United Auto Workers and the Regional Chamber was known as “Bring It Home” at the time. It was widely credited for helping convince GM executives in Detroit to award production of the Chevy Cobalt to Lordstown, which was eventually followed by the Cruze.

Former union President Jim Graham said a new campaign would help motivate the current Lordstown workforce.

“It’s more or less showing the people in the plant, backing them up, having their back and telling them, ‘Look, we know how important this plant is, how important these jobs are.'”

Graham said he’s been encouraging current union leaders to bring back the campaign as a way of once again rallying around the local complex and its workers.

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