President Hart to Congress: Pursue Legislative Remedies to Block & Reverse Destructive Executive Orders

On July 16, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit overturned, on jurisdictional grounds, a lower court ruling blocking the implementation of three controversial Trump Workforce Executive Orders taking aim at federal employee unions.

In a letter to Congress, Metal Trades Department President James Hart asked Senators and Representatives to take legislative action to block and reverse these destructive Executive Orders.

See the text of the full letter below:

Dear House / Senate Member


The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit overturned, on jurisdictional grounds, a lower court ruling blocking the implementation of three controversial Trump Workforce Executive Orders taking aim at federal employee unions.


In its ruling issued on July 16, 2019, the three-judge panel stated in overruling the lower court decision that the suit lacked judicial jurisdiction and that federal employees and their representatives can only seek relief from the court after going through the administrative process, namely the Federal Labor Relations Authority. This decision condemns the federal workforce to a fate dictating that workers must sit back and watch their rights being trampled upon by overzealous agency management personnel, as unions are now forced to address contract and statute violations by filing Unfair Labor Practice charges with the FLRA, an agency filled with partisan appointees, devoid of a general counsel, and plagued with huge case backlogs.


The appeals court overturned an August 2018-decision from the District of Columbia federal district court, which invalidated nine key provisions of the President’s three Federal Workforce Executive Orders, 13836, 13837 and 13838, that conflicted with the original intent of Congress when passing the Civil Service Reform Act and Federal Labor-Management Relations Statute in 1978.


Those provisions include:


  • The imposition of a 25% cap on the use of official time,
  • The prohibition against employees’ right to petition and communicate with Congress,
  • The ban on the use of official time by union representatives to prepare and present grievances,
  • The one hour per bargaining unit employee formula to be applied to set an aggregate cap on the use of official time,
  • The limitations placed on unions’ use of agency facilities, such as office space and computers,
  • The exclusion of challenges to performance ratings and incentive pay from the scope of the negotiated grievance procedure,
  • The limitation of performance improvement periods to 30 days, with agencies alone having the discretion to apply longer periods,
  • The direction to agencies to press for the exclusion of removals from the scope of the negotiated grievance procedure, and
  • The prohibition against bargaining over “permissive” subjects.

The Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO, and its 17 International Union Affiliates seeks your support in pursuing legislative remedies to block and reverse these destructive executive orders. The days of disrespecting the federal workforce by this Administration must come to an end.



Jimmy Hart


FWA Calls on Congress to Support ALJ Competitive Service Act

In a letter to Representatives Cummings, Neal, Davis and Fitzpatrick, the Federal Workers Alliance — of which the Metal Trades Department is a member — expressed its support for the ALJ Competitive Service Restoration Act. The legislation was introduced in response to President Trump’s Executive Order 13843 that removes federal Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) from the competitive service to excepted service.

The FWA, which collectively represents 300,000 federal workers, explains that the EO “allows political appointees at agencies throughout the federal government to pick and choose inexperienced political friends to serve as ALJs who could move forward the partisan agenda of whoever may be occupying the White House.”

Outlining the dangers of not addressing the EO, the FWA went on to ask all House members to support the legislation.

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Members of the Metal Trades Union Rally in DC & Meet with Members of Congress on Issues Impacting Their Membership

Members of the Metal Trades Union Rally in DC & Meet with Members of Congress on Issues Impacting Their Membership

News from the Metal Trades Department
Tuesday, April 9, 2019
Contact: Tom Musich, 201.315.2295 /


Key focus areas include protecting the Jones Act, awarding federal contracts to the Philly Shipyard amid layoffs, and securing back pay for those impacted by the government shutdown


Washington, D.C. – President Jimmy Hart and members of the Metal Trades Union, AFL-CIO from across the country rallied at the United States Capitol to urge Congress to stand in support of the Metal Trades Union membership across a range of key issues, including the Jones Act, the Philly Shipyard layoffs, and back pay for the government shutdown. Following the rally, members met individually with Members of Congress to discuss the issues and how they affect their work.

“The Jones Act has always been one of our most important issues because it keeps our ports secure and Americans at work. With the US shipbuilding industry constantly under attack from foreign manufacturers, Members of Congress need to know just how important the Jones act is to our economy. We’re also here to ensure that the Philly Shipyard remains a priority following last year’s layoffs and to ensure that our members who missed payments because of the January shutdown are paid,” said Jimmy Hart, President, Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO.

The Jones Act requires that cargo shipped between two points in U.S. waters be transported on American vessels crewed by American workers. It supports 650,000 American jobs across the United States.

The Philly Shipyards decreased its workforce from 1,200 workers to about 400 in 2018. Dozens of Congress Members have already lobbied the Department of Transportation to grant the shipyard a contract.

With members traveling from across the country to attend, the Metal Trades Department is hoping to connect with lawmakers and ensure that the key issues impacting their membership are a priority to those serving in Washington.

The Metal Trades Department is a trade department of the AFL-CIO. It was chartered in 1908 to coordinate negotiating, organizing and legislative efforts of affiliated metalworking and related crafts and trade unions. Seventeen national and international unions are affiliated with the MTD today. More than 100,000 workers in private industry and federal establishments work under contracts negotiated by MTD Councils. Workers retain membership in their own trade unions.


End the Government Shutdown

Text of letter sent to all U.S. Senators regarding the shutdown from President Hart:
Dear Senator,
On behalf of the Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO, its 17 international affiliated union and its more than 100,000 member, we are deeply concerned that approximately 800,000 Federal Government employees are working without pay or temporarily furloughed because of the current government shutdown. A crisis not of their own making, this jeopardizes the livelihoods of their families and undermines the economic well-being of their communities, which rely on their steady paychecks — as well as members of the broader public who depend upon their services.
The Department respectfully calls upon Senator Mitch McConnell and all members of the Senate to bring the Consolidated Appropriations Bill of 2019 to a vote without partisan delay, and vote in favor of this bill, ending this unconscionable interruption in the nation’s business.
James Hart
President, Metal Trades Department

Twenty One Members of Congress Send Letter to President Trump Objecting to Recent Executive Orders

On June 11, 2018 the following letter was sent to President Trump signed by 21 members of Congress objecting to his recent Executive Orders regarding federal employees.

See the full text of the letter below. Or download a pdf here.

June 11,2018

The Honorable Donald Trump
President of the United States
1600 Pennsylvania A venue, NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Trump:

We are writing to express our objections to the recent Executive Orders issued on May 25, 2018, providing guidance to all federal agencies involving employee representation rights, collective bargaining, and due process.

As Members representing a significant number of hard working federal employees and retirees, we urge you to uphold the current law and long-standing federal labor statutes that protect America’s civil service from discrimination, unfair treatment, and sexual harassment.

Federal employees work to secure our borders, keep our airways safe, support our military, and maintain order by policing our communities. In fact, we are proud that more than 30 percent of the federal workforce is comprised of veterans who have also served our country through military service. 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. That is why we believe that now, more than ever, it is important to uphold and strengthen the working relationships between federal workers and agency leadership.

Management and labor must work collaboratively to ensure that the workplace is safe, fair, and productive. The federal government is most efficient when these two entities can work together to address challenges and improve the delivery of public services. When such a system exists, the result is agency cost savings. Tax payers deserve a government they can trust to provide important public services, and they also expect a just and fair government.

As one of the largest employers in the nation, and as stewards of taxpayer dollars we must ensure that the federal government strives to be a model employer that provides stellar services to the American public. We are concerned that the recent Executive Orders embark upon a path that will undo many of the longstanding principles protected by law, which establish checks and balances not only in the federal workplace, but for the American public.

We believe that the three Executive Orders undermine existing labor laws and we ask that you rescind them.

President Hart’s Letter to Congress Urging Them to Block Trumps Executive Orders on the Federal Workforce

Dear Speaker Ryan, Majority Leader McConnell, Minority Leaders Pelosi and Schumer:

This past Friday, May 25, 2018, President Trump usurped Congressional authority as well as undermined settled policy and law when he issued three executive orders denying the rights of federal workers contained within Title 5 governing civilian personnel matters.

Title 5 is the driving factor that ensures that corruption, patronage, and politics do not influence the federal workforce. However, President Trump disregarded the constraints on his constitutional powers, and unilaterally proclaimed what amounts to be new law — despite the fact that bipartisan majorities of both houses of Congress have consistently supported Title 5.

The Metal Trades Department, and its 17 affiliated International Unions, have one simple request, stand with the federal workforce and take legal action to block the implementation of the President’s unlawful actions.

America’s workers are counting on you to transcend the banality of partisan politics that threaten the core of our democratic institutions. The workers that comprise the Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO, respectfully and forcefully request that you confront, and stop, the President’s illegal actions.


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