It’s Not a Shutdown, It’s a Lockout and a Shakedown of Federal Workers

Most media outlets continue to portray the federal “shutdown” as a political fight between a president who once said he would be proud to provoke a standoff and congressional leaders who have called the bully’s bluff. And it is that. But the story of President Trump facing off against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi just scrapes the surface of what is really going on.

The real story is one that most media outlets have a hard time telling, because they have, for so long, neglected the labor beats that were once a mainstay of every newsroom.

This is a story of workers being abused, and of their unions struggling to resist that abuse. It ought to be understood as such. And from that understanding should extend a more accurate and illustrative language. The government is not shut down, at least not entirely. But hundreds of thousands of federal workers are locked out.

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