President Trump’s recent executive orders are a serious assault on federal labor organizations, but it is taxpayers who could become collateral damage.
Consider the Social Security Administration (SSA), which deals more directly with clients than most. It is on the front lines of the Trump-union clash, because officials there are enforcing his commands more aggressively than management at many agencies. Three orders issued in May sharply cut the time available for union officials to represent the workforce, restricted their ability to bargain collectively and sped the firing of federal employees. Another order, issued last week, would diminish administrative law judges, most of whom decide Social Security disputes involving recipients.
While the federal workforce and its representatives are the target of the orders, Social Security beneficiaries could be the victims, warned Max Richtman, president and chief executive of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare. He said the impact on them is “pretty direct and dramatic.”