January 23, 2019


Hundreds of IRS employees are skipping work. That could delay tax refunds. (Danielle Paquette, Lisa Rein, Jeff Stein and Kimberly Kindy January 22, 2019, Washington Post)

[I]RS employees across the country -- some in coordinated protest, others out of financial necessity -- won't be clocking in, according to Tony Reardon, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, and several local union officials. The work action is widespread and includes employees from a processing center in Ogden, Utah, to the Brookhaven campus on New York's Long Island.

The move is the leading edge of pushback from within the IRS, and it signals the potential for civil servants to take actions that could slow or cripple government functions as the shutdown's political stalemate continues in Washington. U.S. Department of Agriculture meat inspectors have begun to call in sick, Transportation Security Administration sickouts at airports have been rising, and federal law enforcement agencies say the shutdown is increasing stress among agents and affecting investigations.

"They are definitely angry that they're not getting paid, and maybe some of them are angry enough to express their anger this way," said Reardon, whose union represents 150,000 employees at 33 federal agencies and departments. "But these employees live paycheck to paycheck, and they can't scrape up the dollars to get to work or pay for child care." [...]

Scott, who has worked at the IRS for four years, says she typically helps as many as 50 people a day with their returns during tax season, including U.S. troops stationed overseas. She said the shutdown could delay refunds for months, and without employees like her on the job, "it's going to be a disaster all around."

Many of the IRS employees who are choosing not to come to work despite getting called back are taking advantage of a provision in the union contract that allows them to miss work if they suffer a "hardship" during a shutdown, according to the labor groups.

Hating Mexicans ain't free.

Posted by at January 23, 2019 4:00 AM