AFGE delegates re-elect Cox as ‘challenges have never been higher’

LAS VEGAS—Agreeing with incumbent President J. David Cox that “challenges have never been higher” to federal workers, delegates to the Government Employees (AFGE) convention in Las Vegas elected him to a third 3-year term running the 317,000-member – and growing – union. Delegates also elected Everett Kelly, a district VP, as Secretary-Treasurer.

 

Cox defeated former Secretary-Treasurer Eugene Hudson Jr., whom the union board ousted from the post late last year. Hudson ran on a platform of even more-outspoken challenging of the anti-worker GOP Trump administration and its congressional allies.

 

Voting aside, AFGE and other federal workers still must contend with Congress and Trump. That conflict includes the GOP majority’s hate of federal workers and Trump’s executive orders, which took effect July 1, emasculating federal worker union rights on the job, such as stewards’ ability to represent workers. AFGE and other federal worker unions sued Trump in federal court to overturn them. There has been no decision as of August 15.

 

“Our union has faced life-threatening challenges before, but these threats are different,” Cox said. “We have politicians in the White House, the House, and the Senate who are hell bent on wiping us out. We have never had our union contracts unilaterally annulled, our union volunteers kicked out of offices, our work fighting injustice severely restricted or denied…The stakes have never been higher.”

 

“I’m ready to put it all on the line and lead our members to victory in every fight and against every challenge. This is about being the biggest, strongest, most organized, and engaged union there is, and I’m not going to stop until we reach that goal. We see the fight ahead. We will take those challenges head on, and as one union we will prevail!” Cox said.

 

Cox ran on the union’s growth since he, a retired Veterans Affairs Department psychiatric nurse, took office, wins in Congress and challenges to Trump in court. Wins included recent pay raises after years of freezes – under Democratic President Barack Obama – and cuts, by Congress, in federal workers’ future pension payouts. Those cuts accompanied congressional mandates to workers that vastly increased their pension contributions. But lawmakers also ended sequestration and curbed outsourcing, Cox said. AFGE also gained better protections for its corrections officers and picked up union and community allies, he declared.

Source: PAI