Opposition to Trump anti-worker exec orders mounts: 13 more

WASHINGTON —Opposition to Republican President Donald Trump’s executive orders trashing the nation’s two million federal workers is mounting. Thirteen more unions went to court on June 13 to sue to overturn them, and 21 House Republicans wrote to Trump to ask him to dump his own edicts.

 

And the largest federal workers union, the Government Employees (AFGE) went to court late on June 14 for an immediate injunction – a court order – against one Trump order. It’s targeting Trump’s ban on federal union representation of workers who are sexually harassed or who suffer discrimination or retaliation.

 

“AFGE has been leading the charge against this illegal and unconstitutional executive order and we are only getting started,” General Counsel David Borer said. “We will not allow this or any other administration to trample on the constitutional rights of federal workers.”

 

But in an indication of how much most of the GOP now kowtows to its White House occupant, leaders of the House GOP’s right-wing majority derided the 21 as captives of the feds and their unions.

 

Trump’s three orders would let bosses judge workers unsatisfactory and give them only 30 days to shape up or be fired, would order federal worker union reps to meet with bosses and solve grievances or bargain contracts on their own time and their own dime, and would “streamline” those contracts by constricting what the unions can bargain about.

 

One order carries out a favorite House GOP cause: Repeal of the civil service law that orders government pay to federal union shop stewards for “official time” spent handling bargaining and grievances.

 

 

The two largest federal worker unions, AFGE and the Treasury Employees (NTEU), previously challenged two Trump orders in U.S. District Court in D.C. The 13 others, including the Teamsters, the Seafarers, the Machinists and the National Education Association, represent 322,000 workers combined. They want the judges to declare all three orders illegal.

 

“Defendant Trump has no authority to issue these executive orders either from the

Constitution or from Congress,” the unions’ latest lawsuit says. “To the extent the president

has such authority, portions of the orders are plainly unlawful, as they conflict with – or seek to impermissibly rewrite – portions of” federal civil service law, without a congressional OK.

 

“This is a democracy, not a monarchy with a king who can unilaterally eliminate the rights of Congress and federal works,” said Paul Shearon, Secretary-Treasurer of the Professional and Technical Engineers, one of the 13 unions in the Federal Workers Alliance.

 

“Trump seeks nothing more than full authority to fire anyone who disagrees with hi or challenges his ideology,” added Alliance co-chair Randy Erwin, president of the National Federation of Federal Employees/IAM. He added Trump seeks “to install a culture of fear in the executive branch.”

 

Meanwhile the Republicans, including Rep. Barbara Comstock, R-Va., who represents a “purple” district in the D.C. suburbs, asked Trump to dump his orders. And 23 Democrats later authored their own, similar letter to Trump.

 

“Federal workers have taken an oath of service to our great nation, and we take very seriously their duty to provide the American public with quality services,” the GOPers wrote. “We believe that now, more than ever, it is important to uphold and strengthen the working relationships between federal workers and agency leadership.” They added Trump’s orders would leave federal workers open to discrimination, favoritism, unfair treatment and sexual harassment on the job.

 

Source: PAI