FWA Supports Amendment to Defund Implementation of Trump Executive Order

FWA Supports Amendment to Defund Implementation of Trump Executive Order

On July 16 the Federal Workers Alliance (FWA), of which the Metal Trades Department is a member, sent a letter in support of Representative Scott’s amendment to defund the implementation of President Trump’s latest Executive Order that moves federal agency ALJs from the competitive service to the excepted service.

The FWA thanked Rep. Scott for his amendment and urged the Rules Committee to make it in order, and all House members to support it.

See the text of the full letter below:

July 16, 2018
Hon. Robert Scott, Ranking Member
Education & Workforce Committee
U.S. House of Representatives
2101 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Ranking Member Scott:

On behalf of the Federal Workers Alliance (FWA), representing upwards of 300,000 workers from across the federal government, we are writing in support of your amendment to defund the implementation of President Trump’s latest Executive Order that moves federal agency ALJs from the competitive service to the excepted service. This latest Executive Order is intended to pack the courts with political friends who will move forward the partisan agenda of whoever may be occupying the White House.

The Trump Administration is inaccurately claiming that this Executive Order is needed to address the recent Supreme Court decision, Lucia v SEC. However, the decision in that case was very narrowly tailored to apply only to the SEC, not other government agencies such as SSA, where over 80% of our federal ALJs are working. Yet, the Administration took the opportunity of the Lucia ruling to all but do away with Administrative Procedures Act (APA) protections that guarantee ALJ independent decisions, and thereby due process protections for the American public.
The Administration has also said that this Executive Order is necessary to protect ALJs, which is also incorrect. Instead it will allow for political appointees at government agencies to award ALJ jobs to ideologically aligned friends and supporters who will do their bidding for them. What exactly will this mean? The rebirth of the Spoils System where disability benefit determinations, Medicaid determinations, and worker safety and pay complaints, among others, will be decided based on ideology, and not the law. As the independent, impartial adjudicator goes away, so will the due process protections for the American public.

The Administration is contending that even though ALJs are being moved from the competitive service to the excepted service, they will nonetheless continue to enjoy Title V civil service protections. While this may be true on paper, the reality tells a difference story, as ‘excepted’ employees can be put on probation/trial work periods for up to two years, or more. During this time an ALJ has no worker protections, including through the Merit Systems Protection Board
(MSPB), and can be fired for no reason at all. Furthermore, if ALJs can be hired based on politics, all it takes is another stroke of a pen to ensure they can be fired the exact same way.

By providing a path around Title V protections, political hires will take precedent over competitive hires and consequently, when caseload declines, subject the “competitive” ALJs to a Reduction in Force (RIF). The Administration made clear in its May 25th anti-labor EO’s that the concept of seniority will no longer apply in any collective bargaining agreement, so a RIF can be used to pick and choose the ALJs the agency wants to remove. Who will be first: Union Officials? Judges who award benefits too often? Judges who do their jobs with integrity and won’t be cowed by abusive and unethical management directives?

Lastly, the Administration is contending that the EO will only apply to newly hired ALJs. Here again, that is misleading and inaccurate, as James Sherk, special assistant to the president for domestic policy, was quoted in a July 10th Government Executive article saying that, “agency heads can ratify existing judges under the new rules…”.

Make no mistake about it, this Executive Order opens the doors wide for a total politicization of the adjudicatory process. Regardless of political party or ideology, lawmakers across the political spectrum should be alarmed at the impact that this Executive Order will have on the due process protections for the American public.

FWA thanks you for your amendment and urges the Rules Committee to make it in order, and all House members to support it. If you or your staff have any questions, please contact FWA Legislative Chair Matt Biggs at (202) 239-4880.

Sincerely,
American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)
American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO (AFT)
Federal Education Association/National Education Association (FEA/NEA)
International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF)
International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW)
International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT)
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW)
International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE)
International Organization of Masters, Mates and Pilots (MM&P)
Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA)
Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO (MTD)
National Association of Government Employees, SEIU (NAGE)
National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE)
National Weather Service Employees Organization (NWSEO)
Overseas Federation of Teachers, AFT, AFL-CIO
Professional Aviation Safety Specialists (PASS)
Patent Office Professional Association (POPA)
Seafarers International Union of North America (SIU)
Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART)
SPORT Air Traffic Controllers Organization (SATCO)
United Power Trades Organization (UPTO)

Senators Tester, Heitkamp, McCaskill Pen Letter Condemning Trump Executive Orders on Federal Employees

Senators Tester, Heitkamp, McCaskill Pen Letter Condemning Trump Executive Orders on Federal Employees

In a two page letter addressed to President Trump, ranking members of the Senate, John Tester, Claire McCaskill, and Heidi Heitkamp blasted the May 25 Executive Orders as undermining “federal employees’ legal right to fair representation in the workplace.”

The letter says that the EOs will have “a detrimental impact on the morale of the workforce, do not promote efficiency of service, and are not in the public interest.”

MTD President Hart Letter to Federal Sector Union Members Re: President Trump’s Executive Order Implementation (IMPORTANT)

MTD President Hart Letter to Federal Sector Union Members Re: President Trump’s Executive Order Implementation (IMPORTANT)

Dear Brothers and Sisters:

As you know, President Trump issued three Executive Orders back in May 2018, that pertain to the representation of Federal sector employees by labor organizations.  Those executive orders set today, Monday, July 9, 2018, as the date for implementation of much of the orders’ provisions. The Metal Trades Department joined a coalition of twelve other labor organizations to file suit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. In that suit, the MTD and the other unions challenge the executive orders as being issued without authority under the U.S. Constitution or federal law, as well as the fact that certain provisions of the executive orders contradict established federal law. The lawsuit is ongoing, with metal trades unions having filed a motion for summary judgment at the end of June 2018 and the government set to file its response on July 16, 2018.  There will be additional filings after that, along with an oral argument scheduled for Wednesday, June 25, 2018.  The court will then issue a verbal decision on the unions’ challenge to the executive order on the following day, Thursday, June 26, 2018.

In the meantime, if you are approached by any agency representatives seeking to meet with the council to discuss the implementation of the executive orders and/or negotiations over matters such as ground rules, official time, performance, discipline, grievance procedures and arbitration, please contact me immediately.

Fraternally yours,

Jimmy Hart
President

Trump’s fight with federal employee unions gets real on Monday

Trump’s fight with federal employee unions gets real on Monday

In an article posted on July 9, The Washington Post reports that federal agencies on Monday will begin implementing executive orders from President Trump on how to confront employee unions.

Thirteen unions, including the Metal Trades Department, have signed on to a legal challenge of the orders, charging that he exceeded his authority and broke the law guaranteeing federal workers union representation. A judge is expected to consider all of the lawsuits later this month.

See the article here >

The MTD Strongly Opposes Fast Tracking the Rubio Amendment

The MTD Strongly Opposes Fast Tracking the Rubio Amendment

The Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO and its industry partners strongly opposes fast tracking the Rubio Amendment.

See the attached letter for more information.

Text of the letter:

On behalf of our industries, we write in opposition to S. 279, the Sand Acquisition, Nourishment, and Development (SAND) Act, and any derivation thereof that may be attached to S. 2800, America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018. We stand united against any amendment to WRDA that would remove the current environmental and economic standards that accompany the importation of beach fill from foreign sources.
Our industries have long been opposed to this proposal because it will unfairly provide a marketplace advantage to foreign sources of this product. As you are aware, the United States has much higher labor and environmental standards than some of our country’s global market competitors. We compromise our environment, health and quality standards and impact American jobs by tilting the playing field towards foreign sources. There is enough sand in Florida to supply nourishment and fill for the state’s beaches for decades.
The aggregates industry provides more than 13,000 metric tons of sand and gravel from almost 150 Floridian quarries, directly employing thousands of people. The U.S. dredging industry builds its ships in the United States including in Panama City, Fla., and is America’s leading builder of dredges. The ships are U.S.-built, crewed with U.S. citizens and owned by U.S. companies. If the SAND Act or a similar amendment were to become law, then sand would be sourced from overseas on foreign-flagged and foreign-built ships that are not staffed by the U.S. Merchant Marines. It is counterintuitive to invest in the nation’s infrastructure while burdening American products and jobs.
Our industries strongly support WRDA. This is an essential bipartisan bill that will maintain and strengthen America’s vital water infrastructure. As such, we urge a “no vote” on any amendment that would strike key economic, environmental and national security standards for beach fill importation.
Sincerely,
National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association
Michael W. Johnson, President & CEO
Dredging Contractors of America
William P. Doyle, CEO & Executive Director
Associated General Contractors of America
James Christianson, Vice President of Government Relations
Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO
James V. Hart, President
International Union of Operating Engineers
James T. Callahan, General President
Maritime Trades Department AFL-CIO
Michael Sacco, President

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