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.
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
105 Marcy Street
Portsmouth, New Hampshire
|LIUNA Local Union 976
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.
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.
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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WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO applauds the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia’s ruling, issued late Friday, on the legality of Trump’s three Executive Orders gutting collective bargaining for federal workers.
Just before Memorial Day, Donald Trump signed three executive orders affecting more than 300,000 federal workers right to union representation in their workplace. The Metal Trades Department, in its alliance with a dozen other labor organizations—the Federal Workers Alliance (FWA)—then filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to block implementation of the orders, challenging their legality.
The court ruling, in part, declared that President Trump’s Executive Orders, to the extent that they conflict with the will of Congress, are invalid.
“All workers deserve the right to union representation. This most recent attack by the Trump Administration is just another example of those in power attempting to usurp workers’ rights. Thankfully, the courts saw the attacks for what they were, an illegal attempt to use Presidential powers to nullify existing laws,” said James Hart, president of the Metal Trades Department.
Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s decision enjoined the President’s subordinates from implementing or enacting the following provisions from the Executive Orders:
EO #13836 (restrictions on collective bargaining order), ordered invalid:
5(a) setting timelines for bargaining
5(c) revoking LM partnerships
6 removing permissive subjects from bargaining
EO #13837 (use of official time), ordered invalid:
3(a) official time limits per bargaining unit
4(a) lobbying on official time
4(b) advance written notice for official time
EO #13389 (removal procedures)
3 negotiating grievance procedures out of CBAs
4(a) removing grievable subjects like performance reviews
4(c) 30 days to get into compliance (like PIPs)
# # #
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.
The Federal Workers Alliance is a coalition of 13 labor unions that represent more than 300,000 federal government workers employed in hundreds of occupations ranging from teachers in Department of Defense Dependent Schools, to Immigration Judges, to NASA rocket scientists, to welders at naval shipyards