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Slashing the Federal Workforce Isn’t Cool, Mick Mulvaney

The Trump administration relishes the prospect of slashing the federal workforce. They’re wrong. Here’s why.
By Raju Chebium ·

Since when did firing someone become “cool,” Mick Mulvaney?

Mulvaney, director of the federal Office of Management and Budget, gloats that his latest plan to decimate the federal workforce is “the coolest thing nobody’s talking about.”

But letting someone go is not a decision anyone should make lightly. It will unleash chaos, anxiety, pain and uncertainty on the employees and their families – definitely not “cool.”

Yet this isn’t just a comment made off-the-cuff. He made similar comments while briefing the White House press corps about his grand plan to reorganize government, calling it “the biggest story nobody is talking about.”

AFSCME Pres. Lee Saunders, responding to the OMB’s latest federal workforce directive, said: “There’s nothing cool about firing hard-working people who’ve devoted themselves to government service, or about hurting communities that depend on the services they provide. … Federal employees and all public service workers didn’t choose their careers expecting to get rich. But they deserve basic respect. They deserve better than this attack on their livelihoods from the Trump administration.”

Before he takes such draconian measures, Mulvaney should consider the deep pain that will be felt by tens of millions of Americans who work hard to provide public services every day. He should also consider how firing these workers will disrupt our economy. They process Social Security checks for retirees, help families of modest means pay their heating bills in the winter, feed low-income children at school, do cutting-edge medical research, defend our borders, keep our skies and water clean, and provide a staggering array of other services that keep our economy afloat.

Our Sisters and Brothers at the American Federation of Government Employees, the largest federal-employee union in the country and a fellow member of the AFL-CIO, want the Trump administration to “invest in America, not dismantle it.” AFGE says Trump’s picks for his Cabinet, OMB and other top federal executive jobs are the just the people to hire if “your objective is to tear apart a government for the people.”

Congress is of little help since the majority of House and Senate members are hostile to the federal workforce. That’s why this fight must be waged by the employees themselves.

Almost all of AFSCME’s 1.6 million members work in state or local government, but we do represent more than 3,000 federal employees in 17 agencies. To them, this latest OMB directive is not an abstract threat. It’s very real.

We can work together to stand up to Mick Mulvaney and others who want to decimate the ranks of public employees at the local, state and federal levels. Get involved in AFSCME Strong today to strengthen our voice everywhere, from city hall to the state legislature to the halls of Congress.

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