Involuntary servitude and the Angry Orange Chimp’s shutdown

People who travel a lot know that TSA agents in the States, while sometimes irritating, are underpaid workers with a terrible job. Many live paycheck-to-paycheck.

The president’s ridiculous, cruel shutdown of our government means TSA workers are now compelled to work without pay or lose their jobs. They don’t make this choice freely; they do so only under severe duress. Maybe they’ll be paid someday — or maybe the threatened “permanent shutdown” means they will never see a dime.

Sounds like involuntary servitude to me.

For a century and a half, the law of the land in the US has forbidden such abuse:

“Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” (13th Amendment to the Constitution).

I’m not conflating TSA workers’ plight with the horrors of slavery. But the 13th Amendment makes a distinction by using the disjunctive “nor”. TSA workers’ servitude is arguably involuntary — their economic status and powerlessness give them no reasonable choices.

How can unionized workers be so powerless? Why hasn’t the TSA’s union yet stood up for their own people by filing a lawsuit challenging the Angry Orange Chimp?

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