Fed Up Feds Flood Capitol Grounds to Protest Union Busting

Categories: The Insider

Hundreds of federal employees who are fed up with the Trump administration’s relentless attacks on America’s workforce flooded the Capitol grounds Sept. 24 to demand an end to the administrations’ anti-worker policies.

“Hey, hey, ho, ho, union busting has got to go! Hey, hey, ho, ho, union busting has got to go!” chanted members of AFGE and over a dozen other unions and allied groups who stood united against the attacks on government workers and their unions.

“We are rising up today for dignity, for fairness, for respect, and for a real voice on the job,” AFGE President J. David Cox Sr. addressed the crowd. “An injury to one is an injury to all!”

AFGE members took buses, drove, and flew in from across the country to join the rally and meet with members of Congress to seek support in the fight against the administration’s union-busting executive orders and the EO-inspired management edicts forced on workers in lieu of mutually agreed upon labor-management contracts. AFGE is working with members of Congress to roll back these union busting tactics.

“Union busting is at the highest level with the Trump administration,” said AFGE 556 Local President Deborah Hanna, who works at the Transportation Security Administration in Orlando.

“I’m here to support our union as we’re being targeted by the administration,” said Purple Heart recipient and Iraq War veteran Lester Orellana, who is also a member of AFGE Local 940 and VA employee in Philadelphia. “It is our freedom to stand up and fight.”

“I’m here to render support for our union movement when they’re trying to take away our right to assemble,” said AFGE Local 2241 member and VA employee Nate Hicks, who flew in from Denver.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined federal workers at the rally. She thanked federal employees for their work and urged them to continue to fight back.

“This administration does not believe in governance. They don’t believe in governance. We don’t want any more government than we need, but we want the government that we do need to meet the needs of the American people,” she told the crowd.

Also speaking at the rally were Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Reps. Gerry Connolly, Don Beyer, Jamie Raskin, Jan Schakowsky, Mark Takano, Susan Wild, Sens. Chris Van Hollen, Sherrod Brown, and Mazie Hirono.

Union leaders who spoke were AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Tefere Gebre, AFGE National Secretary Treasurer Everett Kelley, AFGE National Veterans Affairs Council President Alma Lee, and AFGE Local 3331 President Nate James.

AFGE thanks members of Congress and union members from other unions who attended the rally to show solidarity with federal workers: National Federation of Federal Employees; National Treasury Employees Union; International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers; National Association of Letter Carriers; American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees; Professional Aviation Safety Specialists; Association of Flight Attendants-CWA; Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers' International Union; National Air Traffic Controllers Association; International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers; United Food and Commercial Workers International Union Local 400; Sheet Metal Workers International Association; United Mine Workers of America; American Federation of Teachers; Union Veterans Council; International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees; International Union of Painters and Allied Trades; International Brotherhood of Teamsters; Nonprofit Professional Employees Union; and the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers. Members of the Alliance for Retired Americans were also present.

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