Does The Federal Hiring Freeze Put The Black Middle Class At Risk?

By | March 1, 2017

Sitting in the lobby of the headquarters of the American Federation of Government Employees, a labor union representing approximately 700,000 federal employees, Local 1410 president Felicia Sharp is clear when asked if she is worried about the federal hiring freeze President Donald Trump put into place in January.

“Oh absolutely!” said Sharp, a federal employee with the Department of Defense. “Most people are afraid of the opportunity for advancement, their pay. They’re afraid of being separated from their jobs with this. There are so many different moving parts.”

Sharp’s local represents 3,800 federal employees in Northern Virginia and parts of Maryland. She is African American, as are the majority of workers in her local. Sharp says a number of her union’s members have told her they are concerned about their future under a Trump administration.

The reasons for concern go beyond the hiring freeze. Trump has spoken repeatedly about the federal workforce being bloated and ineffective and promised to cut it. In addition to the administration’s plans to reduce the federal workforce, there is legislation currently before a House committee that would allow federal workers to be fired “without notice” for “no cause at all.” (WAMU)

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