Eighty-four years ago, on Aug. 14, 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law the Social Security Act as a safeguard "against the hazards and vicissitudes of life." This historic law created what would become the life line for many Americans and one of the most popular social insurance programs in the country.
Social Security, administered by the Social Security Administration, helps ensure our economic security as we age, become disabled, or lose the family breadwinner through payroll taxes paid by us and our employers. The program ensures that after a lifetime of work, we can retire with dignity.
All of us are grateful we have this kind of social insurance program – Social Security keeps 22 million Americans out of poverty. We are better off today because generations before us demanded that our government do something to save us from poverty when we get old or tragedy strikes.
Trump administration is cutting SSA benefits through office closures, staffing cuts
Considering the widening wealth gap and stagnant wages of the past several decades, Social Security is more important now than ever. As Americans, it’s our duty to protect this important program for ourselves, our children, and grandchildren.
Our union is proud to represent SSA employees who play a key role in helping American seniors retire with dignity and face family crises. But the Trump administration has found a back-door way to cut Social Security benefits to free up money for tax cuts that mainly benefit the wealthy.
Besides closing SSA offices and directing seniors and families to go online, the administration is making it more difficult for SSA employees to do their jobs. The latest action involves using a panel of union-busting appointees to impose anti-worker provisions on employees during contract negotiations with our union. They’re hoping that attacking employees would force them to leave, so the government gets smaller and provides fewer Social Security benefits to the American people.
“The move is clearly part of a government-wide effort to attack any rightful dissent from federal workers and our union,” said AFGE President J. David Cox Sr. “It is also a backdoor way to get rid of workers, and thus the services they provide to the American people.”
The Trump administration is now seeking to quickly implement its governmentwide anti-worker executive orders, which are an effort to purge unions and drive out federal employees who provide crucial services like Social Security to the American people.
Our union and allies have been the only thing that stands between the Trump administration and its goal of wiping out workers’ rights.
Learn more about our fight against the dismantling of our union rights and voices at work here.