In a stunning show of support for federal employees and their access to rights in the workplace, 21 House Republicans and 23 Democrats delivered their letters to President Trump, asking him to rescind his recent executive orders as they are undermining the laws.
Trump on May 25 issued three executive orders that aim to make it easier for agencies to fire employees, strip federal employees of their right to representation at the worksite and undermine a system of checks and balances. AFGE sued him in response.
“The recent Executive Orders embark upon a path that will undo many of the longstanding principles protected by law, which establish checks and balances not only in the federal workplace, but for the American public. We believe that the three executive orders undermine the existing labor laws and we ask that you rescind them,” the 21 Republicans said in the strongly worded letter.
The lawmakers reminded the president of the important work federal employees do – securing our borders, keeping our airways safe, supporting our military, maintaining order in our communities, and so on.
“Management and labor must work collaboratively to ensure that the workplace is safe, fair, and productive,” they wrote. “Taxpayers deserve a government they can trust to provide important public services, and they also expect a just and fair government.”
The Democrats’ letter is equally strongly worded.
“The goal of your executive orders appears to be to completely eradicate unions from the federal workplace. This approach contradicts decades of federal law based on hard lessons learned after a history of abuses, and moving ahead in this way would have severe, negative consequences for the American people and the effective and efficient functioning of our government,” they wrote.
AFGE is heartened by this showing of support for our members and all federal employees.
“Everyone benefits when management and bargaining unit employees can work together effectively and efficiently, something President Trump’s executive orders undermine,” said AFGE President J. David Cox Sr. “This administration’s attempt to silence the voice of veterans, law enforcement officers, and all hardworking federal employees is not just deplorable, it is illegal. The EOs are a direct rebuke to the checks and balances in our Constitution and come dangerously close to encroaching on the rights of Congress to legislate.”
Cox added that federal employees live in every zip code throughout the U.S. They are our neighbors, our little league coaches, and our community and congregational leaders. About 1 in 3 federal employees are veterans. An attack on these hard-working employees is not just an attack on our communities, it’s an attack on our democracy.
AFGE thanks members of Congress who signed the letters. We thank Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick for leading the charge on the Republican letter and Congressman Elijah Cummings for spearheading the Democratic letter. We thank all of the lawmakers from both sides of the aisle who are speaking out not just for federal employees but for our democracy.