Anti-Government Sentiments Drove Federal Employees to Join Labor Union

As politicians and powerful special interests are doubling down on their attacks against federal employees, civil servants are fighting back by joining AFGE.

Since 2013, at least 61 new federal government units of nearly 6,000 employees have voted to have AFGE as their representative in union elections. These 61 units include 15 agencies in 28 states across the country.

A wave of Department of Veterans Affairs physicians banded together and joined AFGE to fight attacks on their pay, retirement, and voice at work. They're also demanding that the VA and Congress fill 49,000 vacancies immediately.

“They are concerned about what’s going on at the VA and the negative impact on veterans and those who serve them,” said AFGE National VA Council President Alma Lee.

Also, the Army Corps of Engineers in Huntsville, Ala., recently joined an AFGE Local that has more than 11,000 bargaining unit employees, 32 bargaining units, and 18 different contracts. Employees of the Engineering and Support Center wanted AFGE’s representation because of issues such as nepotism, pre-selections, and lack of integrity.

“This is just a snapshot of many problems they were facing that gave them a reason to be a part of the AFGE family,” said Abner Merriweather, president of AFGE Local 1858.

Merriweather said more people are joining AFGE as the local has two more units pending for an election.

AFGE’s membership has increased every year for 25 years. Recently, the surge was due to a combination of the antigovernment sentiments and the union’s Big Enough to Win campaign that works to expand and strengthen the union against attacks by special interests and their allies in Congress.

The union reached 300,000 members in 2015 amid legislative threats to retirement and workplace rights.

AFGE Director of Membership and Organizing Bill Lyons said organizing existing and new units will continue to be a top priority for the union.

“Federal employees understand we need to band together. They know that joining AFGE is the only way that their voice will get heard,” he said.

Are you an AFGE member?

Click here to join. When you become an AFGE member, you join more than 310,000 other government employees who are united to build a government that works for all Americans and not just the rich and powerful. By standing together, AFGE members have a stronger voice when defending your pay, health care, and retirement.

If you are already a member, ask your coworkers to join . We are stronger together!


Recent AFGE News:

Most Vacancies Are for Doctors and Nurses, Say VA Employees

November 17, 2017

Doctors, nurses, physician assistants, and other healthcare professionals continue to take to the streets to shine a spotlight on the 49,000 vacancies at Department of Affairs hospitals nationwide. Understaffing deprives veterans of the critical care they deserve and were promised when they signed up to serve the country.

Read More


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