The Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) on Aug. 17 issued a consolidated complaint against the director of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)’s Tampa Field Office for violating federal labor law by ordering the local shop steward and bargaining unit staff to pack up their offices and move to others without first negotiating with the union.
AFGE Local 3599, the largest AFGE EEOC local representing approximately 300 bargaining unit employees in 14 offices, successfully fought to prevent the moves from being required while the office was closed. The local then filed two Unfair Labor Practices (ULPs) in August last year: one addressing the Tampa director forcing the steward to vacate the long-standing union office and the other regarding the order making bargaining unit staff move from the offices they occupied while the office was closed due to COVID-19.
The FLRA investigated the charges and issued a complaint alleging several violations of the labor management statute, including that the actions by the EEOC Tampa director bypassed the union and that despite the substantial impact of the changes, she refused to negotiate in good faith with the union.
“It is shocking that an EEOC field director would embrace carrying out Trump-era union busting policies, in particular evicting a union official from a union office,” said AFGE Local 3599 First Vice President Max Feige, who filed the ULPs. “We are pleased that FLRA has issued this complaint in response to EEOC’s obviously flagrant violations. This administration has proclaimed its support for unions and collective bargaining and EEOC needs to get with the program. When the actions of EEOC managers violate the statute, we will seek recourse.”
The FLRA complaint requires EEOC to answer by Sept. 12, 2022. A “calendar call” – which could be a scheduled hearing or an opportunity for the parties to provide updates – will be on November 17, 2022 before an administrative law judge of the FLRA.