AFGE Council 169 representing employees at the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) has filed a grievance against the agency for illegally implementing President Trump’s anti-worker executive orders.
In an effort to restrict employees’ access to their union, DLA late last year informed the council that it would no longer allow the union to use on-site office space, equipment, and other resources specified in the contract free of charge. It would allow the union to occupy space while negotiating a new contract, but the union would have to pay for use of those resources.
The agency also forced union reps to abandon their representational duties, including grievance handling, as union reps were prohibited from using official time hours to prepare or pursue grievances. Instead, the agency wants the employees to pursue grievances themselves. This hostile move is clearly an effort to chip away at workers’ rights to union guidance and representation. They’re hoping employees will feel intimidated to file a grievance without any guidance or expertise in the process, and as a result, won’t. This will hurt whistleblowers, prevent employees from holding rogue managers accountable, and silence victims of discrimination and retaliation in the workplace.
The union and the agency have been in contract negotiations, and the council has proposals on the table that deal with official time, grievances, and space and equipment. But the agency refuses to negotiate.
By failing to negotiate with the union before implementing the EOs, the agency violated the labor law, the current contract, and the EOs themselves, which require negotiation before implementation.