Dave: People Impacted by Trump's Government Lockout
This Friday there will be no paycheck and Dave Boucher tells us how it will hurt
We tend to forget that the 800,000 who are affected by this lockout didn’t ask for this and they are real people. The government shutdown is entering its third week. This Friday will be the first Friday where government employees won’t be receiving a paycheck. UCOMM contacted the American Federation of Government Employees to discuss how this lockout is impacting their lives and the lives of their co-workers.
Dave Boucher is a TSA Agent at New Hampshire’s Manchester Boston Regional Airport which serves about 1,500 to 2,000 passengers a day. Boucher has 2 kids. UCOMM’s Kris LaGrange talked to him about the impact that the shutdown had on him and his fellow TSA agents lives.
Q. How many people at the airport are affected by the shutdown?
We have 140 TSO’s which are the uniformed officers of the TSA. We are represented by AFGE 2617.
Q. How is the shutdown affecting you?
My wife is an accountant (CPA), so we have dual income. This puts us in a better situation then others since we will at least have one paycheck coming in. The real impact will be felt on Friday. Our next paycheck is due on 1/11 and we won’t receive it, even if the shutdown ends this week. Other TSO’s who are single parents or both work for the govt won’t have any income coming in. Even for my family, without my paycheck some bills won’t get paid or will be partially paid.
Q. Are you mad at Trump or other elected officials in DC?
I am disappointed, not mad yet, because I haven’t has to deal with the real world consequences yet. I am hopeful congress will do something in the next few days, but once people start to lose their homes or have creditors knocking on their doors that disappointment will turn to anger.
Q. Are you considered an essential employee?
I am considered an essential employee. That means I and my co-workers are forced to go in no matter what. We will be paid, retroactively, but that could be in two weeks… a month, who knows.
Q. A lot of law enforcement officials voted for Trump, do you have a lot of people who are out of work who supported him.
Out of everybody I know only 5 or 6 voted for Trump. The supermajority voted Democrat.
Q. What do you say to those who are locked out, but voted for him.
Trump is Trump and the facts will come out and he will reap what he sows.
Q. Friday is a big day for TSA agents. What do you think is going to happen?
Some of my co-workers when they don’t get paid on Friday will have bills that they will not be able to pay. Big creditors will probably defer payments, but landlords won’t. Some people will lose their places. They will be forced to make a choice between paying rent and putting food on the table. Between using what little money they have to put gas in the car to go to work or feed their families.
Q. Speaking of that, have you seen a lot of callouts?
I haven’t had many callouts in Manchester but there is a lot of talk and concern about what will happen starting Friday. There are even consequences people don’t think about, like the babysitter. You pay them cash, but there is no cash coming in. If you can’t pay the babysitter, can’t find childcare, you can’t go to work. For a lot of us our start time is 3 AM. Who are you going to find if you lose your regular person. It’s very, very tough.
Q. How is the public responding?
The public has been very supportive of the TSA agents. A lot of them come to us and say if you are working you should get paid.