Tony Reardon, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, discusses how the workers they represent are faring under the shutdown, and why they are suing the government on behalf of “excepted” personnel.
The National Treasury Employees Union filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration on behalf of the Customs and Border Protection officers they represent. The suit alleges that requiring some workers to perform their jobs without pay violates the Fair Labor Standards Act. Tony Reardon, president of NTEU, says that the shutdown has been incredibly difficult for some union members. “We represent employees in 33 different federal agencies… We have about 25,000 CBP officers, for example, who are required to work throughout this entire shut down, and they are not being paid.” Reardon said. “If you look at the Internal Revenue Service where we represent approximately 70,000 employees, most of those employees, the vast majority have not been working. They are, however, as we understand it, in the process of being called back to work. I will tell you that that is a huge concern. They have not been paid either. They have been furloughed. But it’s a huge concern because now they, in all likelihood, will be required to work without being paid.”