WASHINGTON – Employees at the Kaiserslautern Military Community Center Exchange in Germany have voted to join the American Federation of Government Employees – the first election held since AFGE announced efforts earlier this year to expand representation to federal employees in Europe and established a presence in Germany.
The new unit will cover 389 non-appropriated fund (NAF) employees who work for the Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) at about 11 separate facilities in the Kaiserslautern Military Community in Germany. Covered employees work at retail stores, gas stations, food operations, and military civilian schools for children of service members and DoD civilian workers. Employees eligible to vote in the election voted unanimously to join AFGE in an election conducted by the Federal Labor Relations Authority and finalized Dec. 15.
The newly formed unit will be affiliated with at-large Local 14, which was established under AFGE District 14 to serve overseas federal employees in Europe and help organize their workplaces. Employees will automatically be covered under the master labor agreement between AAFES and AFGE Council 235.
“We are excited to welcome this new group of employees to the AFGE family,” AFGE District 14 National Vice President Ottis Johnson Jr. said. “By voting to join AFGE, these workers will be in a better position to fight for improvements at the worksite by leveraging the bargaining power of 750,000 federal and D.C. government employees.”
This is the first of several elections AFGE will be holding to represent employees at various locations in Germany and elsewhere in Europe who do not currently have union representation, including at the Defense Health Agency and Defense Logistics Agency. The new unit at KMCC Exchange joins AFGE’s other formalized unit in Europe, AFGE Local 3712, established more than 40 years ago to represent employees at the Naval Support Activity and Naval Exchange at Naples and Sigonella, Italy.
“Federal employees have every right to join a union and bargain collectively for better working conditions, whether they work stateside or overseas,” AFGE National President Everett Kelley said. “Expanding our representation to these workers allows AFGE to advocate directly on their behalf with their employer over issues affecting their jobs.”
Federal employees stationed in Europe who are not already represented by an AFGE local are encouraged to contact District 14 to get an election going at their worksite. Employees can learn more and join today by visiting www.afge.org/Europe.