NEWS

Huge Win for Our Union! Court Strikes Down Anti-Worker Executive Order

In a landmark decision, a federal judge has ruled that President Trump violated the U.S. Constitution and laws providing checks and balances in the federal government by attempting to deny more than 2 million federal workers their legal right to representation.

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled late Friday that the Trump administration’s May 25 executive order on official time violated the U.S. Constitution and the separation of powers as established in law.

AFGE, which was the first union to challenge President Trump’s executive orders in court, applauded the judge’s ruling.

“President Trump’s illegal action was a direct assault on the legal rights and protections that Congress specifically guaranteed to the public-sector employees across this country who keep our federal government running every single day,” AFGE President J. David Cox Sr. said.

“We are heartened by the judge’s ruling and by the huge outpouring of support shown to federal workers by lawmakers from both parties, fellow union workers, and compassionate citizens across the country,” Cox added. “Our members go to work every single day to serve the American people, and they deserve all the rights and protections afforded to them by our founding fathers.”

The lawsuits

AFGE, the largest union representing federal government employees, filed two lawsuits challenging President Trump’s executive orders.

The first lawsuit challenged the executive order on official time as a violation of the right to freedom of association guaranteed by the First Amendment, and as exceeding the president’s authority. The second lawsuit charged that the remaining two orders exceed the president’s authority under the U.S. Constitution by violating the separation of powers and exceeding current law.

The impact of these executive orders began being felt months before they were even issued, as the Department of Education in March threw out the contract covering 3,900 federal employees represented by AFGE and implemented its own illegal management edict that strips workers of their union rights, a precursor to what was to come weeks later when President Trump issued the three union-busting, anti-federal worker executive orders.

Since the executive orders were signed May 25, other agencies including the Social Security Administration and Department of Veterans Affairs have issued similar edicts in an attempt to eradicate unions from the federal workplace and deny workers their legal right to representation.

“Now that the judge has issued her decision, I urge all agencies that have attempted to enforce this illegal executive order to restore all previously negotiated contracts and to bargain in good faith with employee representatives on any future changes as required under the law,” Cox said.

Democracy Wins as Court Strikes Down Trump’s Anti-Worker Executive Order

jDavidAFGE applauds ruling that administration illegally gutted workers’ rights, violated labor contracts

WASHINGTON – In a landmark decision, a federal judge has ruled that President Trump violated the U.S. Constitution and laws providing checks and balances in the federal government by attempting to deny more than 2 million federal workers their legal right to representation.

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled late friday that the Trump administration’s May 25 executive order on official time violated the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the separation of powers as established in law.

The American Federation of Government Employees, which was the first union to challenge President Trump’s executive orders in court, applauded the judge’s ruling.

“President Trump’s illegal action was a direct assault on the legal rights and protections that Congress specifically guaranteed to the public-sector employees across this country who keep our federal government running every single day,” AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. said.

“We are heartened by the judge’s ruling and by the huge outpouring of support shown to federal workers by lawmakers from both parties, fellow union workers, and compassionate citizens across the country,” Cox said. “Our members go to work every single day to serve the American people, and they deserve all the rights and protections afforded to them by our founding fathers.”

AFGE, the largest union representing federal government employees, filed two lawsuits challenging President Trump’s executive orders. The first lawsuit challenged the executive order on official time as a violation of the right to freedom of association guaranteed by the First Amendment, and as exceeding the president’s authority. The second lawsuit charged that the remaining two orders exceed the president’s authority under the U.S. Constitution by violating the separation of powers and exceeding current law.

The impact of these executive orders began being felt months before they were even issued, as the Department of Education in March threw out the contract covering 3,900 federal employees represented by AFGE and implemented its own illegal management edict that strips workers of their union rights, a precursor to what was to come weeks later when President Trump issued the three union-busting, anti-federal worker executive orders. Since the executive orders were signed May 25, other agencies including the Social Security Administration and Department of Veterans Affairs have issued similar edicts in an attempt to eradicate unions from the federal workplace and deny workers their legal right to representation.

“Now that the judge has issued her decision, I urge all agencies that have attempted to enforce this illegal executive order to restore all previously negotiated contracts and to bargain in good faith with employee representatives on any future changes as required under the law,” Cox said.

J. David Cox Sr., Everett Kelley, Jeremy Lannan Elected National Officers

AFGE leaders 2018

Our members came together at the union’s 41st National Convention to elect our top three national officers.

National President J. David Cox Sr. returns to office for another three-year term. District 5 National Vice President Everett Kelley has been elected National Secretary-Treasurer, and Jeremy Lannan has been elected National Vice President for Women and Fair Practices – both for three-year terms as well.

Cox was first elected National President in 2012, while Kelley and Lannan have been elected to national office for the first time.

“I’m honored to be chosen as our leader – and I’m excited for us to prevail,” said Cox. “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!”

13 Reasons Your Co-workers Should Join Our Union

If you are a federal employee, join with your coworkers and join America’s union today!

If you are a member of our union, ask your co-workers to join today!

Here’s why:

  1. Union workers earn more than nonunion members

Unionized workers earn 13.2% more than non-unionized workers. Years of studies have shown similar results. In 2017, for example, union members had median weekly earnings of $1,041, compared to $829 for non-union members, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

  1. Unions bring living wages to low-wage jobs

After unionizing, 5,300 janitors in Houston got a 47% pay raise as a result of their first-ever union contract in 2006. Unionized dishwashers in Las Vegas made $4 more than the national average with excellent benefits.

  1. Unions help raise the minimum wage

The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has been instrumental in the Fight for $15 campaign to raise the federal minimum wage. The current federal minimum wage is merely $7.25 an hour, too low to keep working families out of poverty. As a result of the Fight for $15 campaign, New York, Chicago, California, the District of Columbia, and 21 cities and counties have passed laws establishing $15 minimum wages.

  1. Union members are less likely to be victims of wage theft

Because union members are more knowledgeable about their rights, they are half as likely to be the victims of minimum wage violations, according to the Economic Policy Institute. This kind of wage theft costs workers $15 billion a year.

  1. Unions raise wages for both union members and non-union members

When the Services Trade Council Union and Disney World reached an agreement to increase wages for union members to at least $10 an hour, for example, Disney extended the raises to all its 70,000 Orlando employees including nonunion members. That prompted other employers in Orlando’s hospitality and retail sector including Westgate Resorts to raise wages.

  1. Unions help raise wages for women

Unionized women earn about 9.2% more than nonunionized women.

  1. Unions help close racial wage gaps

Black workers are more likely to join a union than their white counterparts. This helps lift wages for black union workers closer to those of their white counterparts. Black workers who are union members also earn more than nonunionized black workers. In New York City, unionized black construction workers make 36.1% more than nonunionized black construction workers.

  1. Union members are more likely to have retirement security

A secure retirement is one of the main reasons people join a union. Workers want to be able to retire without financial worries after decades of hard work. A secure retirement is a prized benefit for union members.

  1. Unions make the workplace safer

Unions are champions of safe workplaces. We work with employers to improve safety measures and educate employees on how to avoid injuries on the job. As a result, unionized workplaces are safer than nonunionized ones.

In 2014, for example, OSHA inspected construction sites in New York and found twice as many health and safety violations at nonunion construction sites as at union construction sites. Union mines are safer – mine workers there are less likely to be injured or die on the job. Unions ensure employers are held accountable when deaths or injuries happen.

  1. Unions make our democracy stronger

Unions allow working people who are not executives or company owners to have a voice in workplace policies that affect their lives and families.

  1. Union members have better protections against abuses in the workplace While non-union members are subject to the whims of their managers, union members are protected by a union contract that ensures fair treatment for everyone. There are also procedures and protections in place for filing complaints against bad managers.
  2. Unionized workers are more likely to have health insurance

More than 9 in 10 – 94% – of unionized workers have access to employer-sponsored health benefits, compared with 67% nonunionized workers. Union employers also pay 77.4% more per hour toward their employees’ coverage.

  1. Unionized workers are more likely to have retirement security

Nearly half of American families have no retirement account savings. One of the main reasons is that employers have shifted from a guaranteed defined-benefit pensions to 401(k) or similar plans, which force workers to bear investment risks. The shift has widened income inequality and benefited only the rich. Union members are more likely to have retirement benefits. Their benefits are also likely to be better because they are more likely to have pensions and employer contributions to the plan.