WASHINGTON, D.C. - In the event of an election between the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) and the National Treasury Employees Union that would determine which union will fully represent Customs and Border Protection (CBP) members, the National Association of Agriculture Employees (NAAE)-- assuming NAAE is not on that ballot--is urging its members to support AFGE.
“The NAAE Executive Committee and its CBP advisory committee unanimously concluded that AFGE affords Legacy Agriculture [inspectors] the best opportunity to stay together, have [their] voices heard, and to work as a union and with management to accomplish the Agriculture mission,” NAAE National President Michael Randall recently wrote.
Both AFGE and NTEU represent CBP members, but earlier this year the Department of Homeland Security said it wanted to reduce the number of unions at CBP. AFGE and NTEU had been in discussions on a joint representation agreement, but NTEU walked away from the table in August.
“We tried to make the deal, but couldn’t come to an agreement on a number of issues,” AFGE National President John Gage said. “I don’t believe that an election is in the best interest of either union, but it looks like that is the direction we are heading in.”
In addition to its representation of Homeland Security employees, AFGE currently represents several bargaining units in the U.S. Department of Agriculture. “Agriculture employees are a big part of who we are,” Gage added.
###AFGE is the Homeland Security Union representing the largest constituency of DHS employees, comprising Border Patrol, Customs & Border Protection, Immigration & Customs Enforcement officers; FEMA workers; and civilian Coast Guard employees