Government unions will be pushing hard for furloughed federal employees to receive back pay, according to reports from Fox News. While private sector union representation has dropped to record lows in recent years, government employees are largely represented by unions, who bargain against the taxpayers – a major factor in the continued growth in pay and benefits for government workers even as American income has stagnated over the past decade. A full 57 percent of the federal workforce is covered by a union.
“The National Treasury Employees Union will be leading the fight to make that happen,” said the union’s president, Colleen Kelley. The NTEU represents IRS workers. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, an ally of President Obama, stated, “As of today, it is clear that the Republican Party and the Tea Party have become one and the same when it comes to federal fiscal policy.” Matt Biggs, legislative director for the International Federation of Professional Technical Engineers, added, “We are trying to maintain pressure on this White House that in the event of a government shutdown, that any negotiated settlement includes an agreement that all federal employees — essential and non-essential alike — get paid when the government reopens.”