Let's Make 2/16 National Stayaway Day
Join Jobs With Justice and unions of working people as we pledge to "Stay Away" on February 16.
Having just endured the longest shutdown of the federal government in history, we are now threatened with another when the current stopgap spending measure expires at midnight on February 15. President Trump says that the chances Congress will give him a funding bill that he is prepared to sign are “less than 50/50.”
Those working for the federal government have not yet even recovered from the effects of the last shutdown. Another shutdown would be catastrophic for the federal service, 800,000 of whose members were held hostage during the Trump shutdown.
The shutdown doesn’t impact just those working for the federal government. We’re all in harm's way. Low-income families face evictions when funding for the Department of Housing and Urban Development expires. Nutrition benefits stop, leaving people without the assistance they need to feed their families. Even the health and safety of our food supply and skies are at risk, as the FDA struggles to inspect our food and unpaid TSA agents are managing our airport security while worrying about paying their bills.
We categorically reject any deal to prevent or end future shutdowns that includes money for Trump's border wall or his mass deportation machine. The federal government already spends almost $20 billion taxpayer dollars every year to militarize the southern border and to send immigration police into our neighborhoods. We should be investing that money in schools, healthcare, infrastructure, workforce development and other programs that will actually help our people thrive. This attempt by the President to pit our communities against each other is just further proof of what we already know: our lives don’t matter to him, our suffering isn’t real to him, our families are just pawns in his political game and he will trade our survival for his.
It is time for us to say clearly: Never Again! We cannot stand idly by while the lives and well-being of federal employees and contractors, the health of the nation’s government, and its ability to provide necessary services are again turned into a bargaining chip in a negotiation. That is unacceptable!
We propose to make February 16 National Stayaway Day. We urge federal employees and contractors to consider staying away from work that day; we urge all of their allies to stay away from flying or other activities relying on federal service and to mobilize in protests at airports and other sites to urge others to also stay away.
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