FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 05, 2019

Contact: 
Cheston McGuire
(202) 639-6453
Cheston.mcguire@afge.org

Federal Workers Attending State of the Union ‘Hoping to Hear Good News’ Says Largest Federal Employee Union

In Congressional show of support, AFGE members receive unprecedented number of SOTU invitations

WASHINGTON – A mere 11 days after the conclusion of the longest ever government shutdown, and just 10 days before the potential beginning of another, more than seven American Federation of Government Employees leaders, members, and federal workers will be attending the State of the Union Address as invited guests of Senators and Representatives from across party lines and the country.

The address, delayed by the 35-day shutdown that cost the country $3 billion and led to 800,000 federal workers going without pay, is an opportunity for public servants to be heard says the union. In a tremendous show of support for federal workers and the union that represents them, AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. has also been invited to attend as the guest of Rep. Anthony Brown of Maryland.

“It’s disgraceful that the 800,000 women and men who serve the American public have been used as pawns in a political fight here in Washington,” said Cox. “Our sisters and brothers joined the federal workforce because they believe in public service, and they should be allowed to work – and paid for their work – not leveraged by politicians seeking to further their own agenda.”

AFGE, which represents 700,000 federal and D.C. government workers, has been working diligently with members of Congress to re-open the federal government, guarantee back pay for workers impacted by the shutdown, and fighting for a 2.6 percent pay adjustment for the 2.1 million federal workers who keep the country running.

“We hope tonight that President Trump sets aside his extremely political agenda and lets the American people know that working people will not be held hostage again in less than two weeks,” said Cox. “Public servants’ work is too important to the American people, and their livelihoods are still teetering on the precipice of financial ruin from the last shutdown. Nobody, not the workers, or the American public they serve, can afford another one,” he added.

At tonight’s State of the Union Address, the AFGE members who work at four different agencies will be in attendance to hear President Trump’s first national address since the conclusion of the shutdown. Those include:

  • Sajid Shahriar, AFGE Local 3258, with Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts
  • Monica Hughes, AFGE Local 332, with Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania
  • J. David Cox Sr., AFGE National President, with Rep. Anthony Brown of Maryland
  • Dr. Everett Kelley, AFGE National-Secretary Treasurer, with Rep. Don Beyer of Virginia
  • Ken Krebs, AFGE Local 3347, with Rep. David Price of North Carolina
  • Dave Sherman, AFGE Local 1260, with Rep. Raul Ruiz of California
  • Ralph Velez, AFGE Local 556, with Rep. Val Demings of Florida

“Thank you to all the members of Congress who invited these dedicated public servants to attend the State of the Union Address with them,” said Cox, adding, “this is such a tremendous opportunity to attend this historic address and have a chance to be heard by the American people.”

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