MTD President Hart Pens Letter to Trump Regarding Memorandum Regarding Collective Bargaining at the DOD

Metal Trades Department President James Hart sent the following letter to President Trump regarding his recent memo to the Secretary of Defense regarding collective bargaining at the DOD.

In the letter, President Hart specifically highlights that a fair collective bargaining process is the “cornerstone of American labor law and a right afforded to employees within the federal government. Any exemptions permitted need to be carefully considered. In fact, not a single president has found it necessary or even considered issuing a blanket exemption of all Department of Defense employees from collective bargaining since the enactment of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978.”

See the full text of the letter or download the pdf by clicking the link below.

MTD President Hart Urges Sec. Esper to Reject Trump Memorandum Eliminating Union Rights

On February 13 Metal Trades Department President James Hart sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Mark Esper urging him to reject any implementation of the President’s January 29 memorandum regarding Department of Defense’s discretion in eliminating workers’ unions and their right to collectively bargain.

In the letter, President Hart states, “[A]n adverse decision by your office in implementing this shortsighted and politically motivated directive, will not only subject federal employees and our armed forces to harms way, but will jeopardize the national security of all Americans.”
See the text of the full letter.

New Hampshire Democratic Primary Rally Saturday, Feb. 8

The Portsmouth Federal Employee Metal Trades Council representing federal wage grade employees affected by President Trump’s ILLEGAL Executive Order(s) 13836, 13837 and 13838 at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in New Hampshire will rally on behalf of all federal employees.

Saturday, February 8, 2020
11:00 a.m.
Prescott Park
(weather permitting)

105 Marcy Street
Portsmouth, New Hampshire
LIUNA Local Union 976
(alt site)
155 West Road

Portsmouth, New Hampshire

All candidates seeking the Democratic Presidential nomination have been invited. Only candidates who agree to sign the following pledge will be allowed to participate.

“Upon election and taking the oath of office as President of the United States, I shall immediately overturn Trump Executive Orders 13836, 13837 and 13838 and reopen all employee contracts negotiated under or effected by the terms of the court decreed illegal Executive Orders”
The department very much welcomes your attendance and support of this important event. Your assistance in encouraging the involvement of your local affiliates and representatives is vital to the events success and determining the ultimate fate of the federal workforce.

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.


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