WASHINGTON, D.C. – The United State Department of Labor directly violated a federal statue last week by failing to recognize AFGE, Local 12’s right to receive an answer to a Freedom of Information Request. In a continued attempt at accountability and transparency, the union that represents United States Department of Labor employees requested and was denied an answer to their request which is also considered an unfair labor practice.
“This is a reasonable request that we will use to protect our members. This is the United States Department of Labor we are talking about. Their failure to respect and abide by even the simplest laws they themselves created is a serious concern. Their leadership is displaying the worst kind of arrogance,” said AFGE Local 12 president Alex Bastani
After last summer’s release of a Department of Justice audit that showed left-leaning lawyers were denied jobs over their republican counterparts, Local 12 called out its agency to stop the same types of practices. One case involved the Employment and Training Administration’s Bush-appointed former Deputy Assistant Secretary Emily DeRocco and her special assistant. The grievance charged DeRocco’s special assistant did not have the educational or professional requirements routinely required for a Federal government analyst position.
The DOL will not reveal the names of the political appointees who have been placed in career positions over the last three years, at the expense of union employees who do not have partisan political affiliations to move into those positions. That led to Local 12 filing the Freedom of Information Request.
Local 12 is demanding the DOL respond completely to the information request filed on July 31, 2008 and Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao sign the complaint by the union over unfair labor practices. They also call for Chao to answer all information requests and not attempt to hide the names of the political appointees who have moved into career conditional positions over the past three years.