Arbitrary and Capricious: Obama Gov't Lets Big Labor Reps Work During Shutdown

The Washington Examiner reports the latest outrage in Shutdown Theatre:

The Obama administration quietly changed its furlough guidance Friday to allow government employees who are also union representatives to return to work and receive a regular paycheck during the government shutdown.

On the fifth day of the government shutdown the House unanimously passed a a bill approving back pay for 800,000 furloughed federal workers, a rare moment of bipartisan unity, even as House Republicans and Democrats continued their bitter budget standoff.

The vast majority of those workers do not serve as union representatives and will not receive a pay check as long as the government remains shuttered. But the Office of Personnel Management Friday opened the door for some of their co-workers, those who serve as union representatives, to return to work and get their regular paycheck.

On Friday OPM issued updated guidance that provides several carefully crafted carve-outs for furloughed government workers to perform union work on official, paid time.

The new guidance says furloughed government workers can perform union work on official time if federal law allows it. For instance, the document says, if an “agency has determined that a management action taken during a shutdown is permissible because it is an excepted activity, and such action triggers union representational rights under the collective bargaining agreement.”

The guidance instructs workers to consult with the general counsel at their individual government department or agency to determine if union activity is allowed under federal law.

Neither OPM, the Office of Management and Budget nor the American Federation of Government Employees, the top federal government worker union, immediately returned requests for comment.


Big Labor nearly always wins with the Obama government. Even if senior citizens and kids camping in parks have to lose.

The directives to close some things, open other things, turn some things off and then turn them back on, send non-union rep workers home while keeping union rep workers paid throughout the shutdown, have to be coming from the one entity to which all of these various executive branch agencies answer. That’s the White House. Who in the Obama White House is orchestrating these arbitrary and capricious government actions? There has to be some office coordinating all of this, and some staff on the job of coordinating it all, and someone managing the staff who are seeing to it that it all gets done.

Who are they?


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