Union Reacts to Federal Hiring Freeze

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PLAINS TOWNSHIP -- One of the executive orders President Donald Trump signed earlier is already facing some backlash.

The federal hiring freeze may affect thousands of government workers across the country, including folks in Luzerne County.

One of those places that would be affected by the hiring freeze is the Social Security Administration in Plains Township. Union leaders say a freeze may delay benefits to seniors and folks with disabilities.

The call center takes questions and does wage and benefit reporting for people on Social Security across the country.

"A hiring freeze would mean longer lines at the security office, longer waits on disability claims which many veterans--particularly ones that have been hurt in the line of duty--and civilians in general," said union president John Walton.

The hiring freeze would mean workers who retire or leave would not be replaced. That could give people working with Social Security more responsibilities. Walton tells Newswatch 16 it could also affect those who are on disability and Social Security.

"Our main concern is the general public that we serve, the heartbeat of our existence here is to take care of the general public," said Walton.

People like Bob Kachurak of Edwardsville depend on receiving Social Security benefits.

"My Social Security check's  for my healthcare, so if I had to wait longer for my check, my bills wouldn't get paid. I would be a little worried," Kachurak said.

Still others are fine with the federal hiring freeze, saying change is not always a bad thing.

"Maybe there is a few more that have to go. Life is simple. You can't put all these people on the public dollar and expect the government to balance the budget," said Tom O'Leary of Kingston.

The American Federation of Government Employees union is looking to work with Congressmen Matt Cartwright and Lou Barletta to make sure folks still receive the best service when it comes to their benefits.


  • Steve

    Be careful what you wish for during this sweeping reform.

    The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum quotes the following text:

    First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Socialist.
    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Jew.
    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

  • TJ

    The union president is right. All the federal and state employees I know work their butts off all day long. What basis does Trump have to do this anyway, I mean SPECIFICALLY? He can’t have much. If he did, he would be more specific in his demands for freezes and cuts and provide a NUMERICAL basis for it. As to the people who have no heart for the government workers, they aren’t any different than you are – they get up, work hard, pay their bills. They aren’t millionaire’s for crying out loud, they take nothing from you. They are just people lucky enough to get a steady job. For those of you who already voted against your own class, at least you can do is stop rallying against your own, the shoe could EASILY be on the other foot. All I’m saying is KNOW YOUR ENEMY – it is NOT the people in your own class. It’s not the poor, not the minority, not the middle class, not the Muslim, not the Mexican… ITS THE WEALTHY WHO GET RICH OFF OF OUR LABOR AND CARE ONLY ABOUT THEIR OWN. GET A CLUE and RAIL AGAINST THEM!!!

    • E

      “All state and federal employees you know work their butt off”. Ha ha! Have you ever heard of the Tobyhanna army depot for one? People who do nothing but sleep right at their desk in plain view of everyone and when someone cries foul do you know what the rehearsed bulls*it response is? Oh they served in the military, they earned the right to sleep at work and still get paid. Not to mention even when they do work stretching ONE single days work out into an entire month. Ha! The only people who work there are the non-military, because they have to or they’ll be fired.

  • tom

    To all you Federal Union workers where were you all when our wonderful Democrat Gov Ed Rendell was cutting the state work force and the state workers had to do more with less and are still doing more with less, and now this wonderful Demo Gov Tom Wolf is planning on not filing any vacant positions for the near future. Never heard any of you feds worried about the state workers so here’s a little bit of advice suck it up and do your job.

  • Hugh mungus

    Good! Now you people are going to have to work a little bit harder. Have you ever tried to get anything done a federal office? Where is the customer service!?

    • So Quit

      This will be a good thing. This will stop quite a bit of fraud and abuse within places like Social Security. dont worry, It wont affect delay of your SS checks. if so, trump will make sure there is a delay in the federal workers paychecks.

      Quit taking 10 coffee breaks a day, smoke breaks, hr long lunch breaks. Start doing more with less like americans who are not so lucky to be able to work in the Federal Government.

      • Chuck

        How do you know what these people do during the day? Do you sit there and watch them………probably not however it won’t matter ……because ….you and or …..your elderly relatives will receive the following “benefits from your pal Trump and the GOP…..just go look ……

        1. A 13.5% reduction in their SS monthly payment (See Pat Toomey)

        2. A $6000 voucher to purchase their own healthcare in place of Medicare (see Paul Ryan)

        3. The privitazation of SS AND rise in retirement age that is for your benefit (See Toomey and Ryan)

        4. The repeal of the ACA will HARM many people including Republicans

        So you are in for a rude awakening…..

      • JessicaInWilliamsport

        Instead of being resentful at what unionized employees have, organize and get it for yourselves! Also, bad customer service is usually the hallmark of already doing more with less.

  • WarningFakeNews

    EVERYTHING Trump did and is doing is getting “some backlash”.

    For years and years and years what Washington was doing was getting “some backlash” from the American public, but the media has no interest in reporting on that. Everything was ‘fine’ as long as the democrats ran things.

    Drain The Swamp

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