FWA Calls on President Biden to Immediately Nominate Replacement for FLRA Member Abbott; Appoint Members to FSIP

FWA Calls on President Biden to Immediately Nominate Replacement for FLRA Member Abbott; Appoint Members to FSIP

In a letter addressed to President Biden, the Federal Workers Alliance is urging the President to “send immediately to the Senate a nomination for FLRA Member to accompany the nomination of Ernest W. DeBester as FLRA Chairman.”

See the full text of the letter below, or download the pdf.

FWA POTUS Letter re FLRA FSIP w attachment PR


Dear President Biden:

We, the undersigned, write as members of the Federal Workers Alliance (FWA), an alliance of more than 30 national unions that collectively represent more than 300,000 federal workers across the country, to request that the Biden-Harris Administration take urgent action to restore order and functionality to the Federal Labor Relations Board (FLRA). It is our request that the Biden Harris Administration send immediately to the Senate a nomination for FLRA Member to accompany the nomination of Ernest W. DuBester as FLRA Chairman.

In passing the Civil Service Reform Act, Congress made the specific finding that “labor organizations and collective bargaining in the civil service are in the public interest.” In that vein, the Federal Labor Relations Authority is tasked with “carrying out the purpose of [Federal Service Labor Management Relations Statute.]” While Kiko and Abbott remain on the FLRA, the Authority continues to act in a manner that undermines the law promoting collective bargaining. Their judgment on FLRA cases continues to produce decisions that are inherently biased against labor and the collective bargaining process. Their decisions are clearly aimed at diminishing the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute meant to protect the proper balance of workplace labor rights.

The failure of Abbot and Kiko to adhere to sound legal reasoning has become even more apparent as cases have been reviewed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. A good example is the case National Treasury Employees Union v. FLRA, where the Court found that the FLRA’s finding that NTEU’s proposal was not negotiable did not constitute “reasoned decision-making.” This was a unanimous decision that included a panel existing of two republican appointed judges, including a Trump nominee. Telework discussions and negotiations will be vitally important as the government seeks to reopen safely in the midst of the Delta variant of COVID-19. The current makeup of the FLRA will be a detriment to that process.

Furthermore, U.S. Representative Gerald E. Connolly, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Government Operations, directed a stern letter of reprimand to then-Chairman Kiko, criticizing three “radical policy decisions” that “discarded decades of labor-management relations precedent and violated their own rules to achieve the goal of limiting collective bargaining” for nearly 1.2 million federal employees. See Attachment, November 30, 2020 Letter.

If the goal is to protect collective bargaining rights to federal employees, and to promote the collective bargaining process, the lack of respect that Kiko and Abbot have shown for precedent and the rule of law makes them wholly unqualified to serve on the FLRA. The manufactured legal reasoning cited in decisions by Kiko and Abbott have resulted in thousands of employees being stripped of legitimate workplace rights and union protections. These decisions have severely restricted employees’ free exercise of rights guaranteed by the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute — even on the most fundamental of things — such as bargaining over working conditions.

The current majority provided by Kiko and Abbott have vacated decades of workable precedent. It will take years, if not decades, to rebuild these frameworks, and some of the damage may be permanent. In 2021 alone, poor decisions and concurrences have done considerable harm, such as radically expanding the applicability of 7116(d) bar on grievances. Any delay in changing the current makeup of the FLRA indulges the risk of further damage.

On a separate but related note, we appreciate the Biden-Harris Administration’s decision to remove all members of the Federal Service Impasse Panel (FSIP) upon taking office in January. We believe it is time to appoint new members. Given that the appointments to FSIP do not require Senate confirmation, it is our hope that the Administration can move quickly to staff those positions with qualified, experienced personnel to begin again its important work to resolve impasses during collective bargaining. A growing FSIP backlog halts progress on critical workplace issues and leaves both employees and agencies in limbo as they await adjudication, potentially for years on end. This delay will likely negatively impact the ability of unions to eradicate the harmful effects of the executive orders issued by the Trump Administration.

In the interest of the welcomed and admirable commitment of the Biden-Harris Administration to bring respect and dignity into the workplace, we urge you to nominate new members to the FLRA and FSIP as quickly as possible. Doing so will provide relief from a disturbing precedent installed by the previous administration to diminish the systematic protections that administer fairness and effectiveness within the federal workforce.

Air Engineering Metal Trades Council Settles Two Week Unfair Labor Practice Strike; Wins Best Primary Base Contract in 70 year history

Air Engineering Metal Trades Council Settles Two Week Unfair Labor Practice Strike; Wins Best Primary Base Contract in 70 year history

METAL TRADES

IN THE NEWS


MTD IN THE NEWS | JULY 26, 2021

Air Engineering Metal Trades Council Settles Two Week Unfair Labor Practice Strike; Wins Best Primary Base Contract in 70 year history

 Photo:AEMTC Member Randy Brannon shows his union pride on the picket line at Arnold Air Force Base in Tullahoma, Tenn.

In early July, members of the Air Engineering Metal Trades Council (AEMTC) went on an unfair labor practice strike against Bechtel majority owned company, National Aeronautic Solutions/ Chugash LLC, resulting in a two-week work stoppage at the Arnold Air Force Base in Tullahoma, Tennessee.

AEMTC representatives cited bad faith bargaining practices and contempt by the company for the council in its pursuit during negotiations for fair wages, maintenance and control over health care premiums, benefits and dignity in the workplace for this highly skilled workforce as the motivation for the strike.

The company NAS/Chugash had sought to cut employee coverage from 18 months to 12 months, which metal trades workers deemed to be a non-starter for them. Metal Trades Department President Jimmy Hart said, “Strikers specifically took issue with proposed management cuts to employer/employee cost sharing plans and benefits to long term disability insurance plans that workers and their families depend upon.  These are some of the most dangerous jobs in the country and after two-weeks, I am pleased to report that the work stoppage at Arnold Air Force Base has been settled.”

“The new contract, ratified by a three-to-one majority of the council members on Friday, July 16 represents the best ever collective bargaining agreement on a prime base contract at Arnold Air Force Base,” said Hart.

The contract provides the following:

 

1.     A three-year deal with yearly general wage increases of 3.25%, 3% and 3%.

2.     Removal of a 5% cap on Company/ Union 80/20 shared health care premiums.

3.     Maintenance of existing contract language on important Individual Disability Policy.

4.     Substantially reduced a 40-year wage progression practice by the company which demeaned and exploited the skills of new hires with contract language that provided for a starting pay of 80% of the top tier wage and three years to top out regardless of training and experience.

5.     Provided for sick pay to new employees starting on day one of employment.

6.     Increase caps on employee vacation banks.

7.     Eight language changes in contract that benefit workforce.

8.     No concessions.

 

The more than 700 workers covered under the agreement will returned to work on Wednesday, July 21.


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Scenes from the picket line. Members lined up daily for two weeks outside the Arnold Air Force Base.


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Members of the Air Engineering Metal Trades Council toast to the new collective bargaining agreement reached between them and negotiators with National Aerospace Solutions, LLC. The Council membership ratified a new three-year contract with NAS after a two-week strike over unfair labor practices.


REMINDER: Registration is Open for the MTD 71st Convention

71st Convention to Be Held Oct. 13 — Virtual

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Registration is now open for delegates and guests for the 71st Convention of the Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO. The Convention will be conducted virtually on line and held on October 13, 2021.

Register Now!

The department is working with an outside vendor to plan and execute the Convention, which was forced to move to an online platform due to uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 restrictions.

The MTD Executive Council voted unanimously to conduct the Convention virtually. While it appears as though the country is beginning to open up, the planning time needed to put together an event of this scope, the international travel restrictions for our Canadian delegates, and the uncertainty surrounding state and local restrictions come October, required that the Executive Council make the difficult decision to conduct the Convention virtually and online.

“While ideally, we would like to hold the Convention in person, we just felt that it was in the best interest of our members and guests that we adapt our meeting to an online platform,” explained President Hart. “We look forward to returning to in-person Conferences and meetings with our affiliates and their members in 2022.”

Details and registration information for the Convention can be found here.

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In late May, America hit a milestone: More than half of the country’s population had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. But we still have a ways to go. Getting vaccinated is an important tool to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and put an end to the pandemic. We have lost too many co-workers, friends and family members from COVID-19. We must do everything we can to get as many vaccines into the arms of Americans as possible. Before we rush back into enjoying all of the things we used to before the pandemic—the sporting events, the nights out, the dinners at our favorite restaurants—let’s keep building vaccine confidence to make sure we never have to endure a year like 2020 again.

Here are the reasons why it’s important we all get the vaccine:

  • Getting vaccinated helps keep you from getting sick or seriously ill even if you get COVID-19.
  • Getting vaccinated protects your family, friends and co-workers, particularly the most vulnerable people who are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
  • Getting vaccinated is the safest way to build protection for you, your loved ones and your entire community.
  • Getting vaccinated produces immunity in your body against the virus.
  • COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. The results from clinical trials have shown this to be true. Vaccine use would not be authorized if they weren’t deemed safe.
  • Getting vaccinated does not cause you to get sick with COVID-19. After getting vaccinated, you might have some side effects, which are normal signs that your body is building protection.
  • Getting vaccinated is an important tool to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and put an end to the pandemic. Continue to wear a mask when you’re inside public places, stay 6 feet apart from people who don’t live with you and who may not be vaccinated, avoid crowds and wash your hands frequently.
  • Vaccines are effective and important, and are another layer of protection that also includes strong health and safety protections in the workplace that prevent you from being exposed to COVID-19. Workplaces are high-risk settings for COVID-19 exposures because many people breathe in the same air, for long periods of time, and do not know if others are infected with COVID-19.
  • Getting the COVID-19 vaccine is how we make sure we put an end to the pandemic.

OK, now you know why it’s important. Do your part so we can finally leave the pandemic behind.


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FWA Pens Letter in Support of ALJ Competitive Service Restoration Act

FWA Pens Letter in Support of ALJ Competitive Service Restoration Act

The Federal Workers Alliance, of which the Metal Trades Department is a member, sent a letter to Representatives Maloney and Connoly in support of the bipartisan ALJ Competitive Service Restoration Act. This much-needed legislation is in response to former President Trump’s 2018 Executive Order 13843, that removed federal Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) from the competitive service to the excepted service. EO 13843, which remains in effect today, also removed the non-partisan and sound ALJ hiring and vetting process from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and handed it over to political appointees at agencies throughout the federal government to pick and choose who can serve as ALJs. This has created a hiring process that is ripe for political patronage and should be reversed, which is exactly what the ALJ Competitive Service Restoration Act achieves.
The Metal Trades stands firmly with the FWA in its efforts to pass the ALJ Competitive Service Restoration Act.

ALJcompetitiverestorationact_2021_FWAsignon_FINAL

Air Engineering Metal Trades Council on Strike at Arnold Air Force Base

Air Engineering Metal Trades Council on Strike at Arnold Air Force Base

 

On Friday, members of the Air Engineering Metal Trades Council (AEMTC) officially went on an Unfair Labor Practice Strike citing bad faith bargaining practices by the Tullahoma, Tennessee company. Calling for fair wages and reasonable health care costs, as well as maintenance of the current long term disability agreement between NAS, subcontractor Chugach, and the AEMTC, workers walked out at 1 pm on July 2.

“The AEMTC is prepared to stay out for as long as it takes to achieve a fair and equitable settlement,” said James Hart, President of the Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO, the umbrella organization that oversees more than 30 Metal Trades Councils in the United States and Canada.

“It is imperative that our members at AEMTC are paid wages and healthcare benefits that provide for their families economic wellbeing and retain dependable and affordable long term disability coverage that is commensurate with the risk and dangerous work they perform. The AEMTC cannot in good conscience bargain away any of the hard-earned, long-term disability benefits,” said Hart.

Metal Trades Council President Alvin Cleek added, “workers deserve a living wage, one that keeps up with inflation. If NAS and Chugach want to increase the members’ share of health care costs, then they need to pay us a wage that allows us to absorb that increase. Management has indicated, without any justification, that the company will not provide our members with the wage and benefit package they deserve.”

AEMTC Negotiations Committee Chairman and Council Vice President Allen Gardner further noted that “newly hired skilled tradespeople must be paid an appropriate wage based upon their skills and experience. It’s unfortunate that NAS/Chugach refuses to recognize that stark fact by refusing to negotiate a fair and equitable settlement to a practice that its workforce finds disdainful and degrading.”

AEMTC is the sole bargaining agent for union affiliates and represents approximately 690 skilled workers at the Arnold Engineering Development Complex (AEDC).

# # #

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.

Convention Call

Convention Call

71st Convention – Virtual

Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO

October 13, 2021

To: All Affiliated International Unions

Local and District Metal Trades Councils

Greetings:

Pursuant to Article III, Section 2, of the Constitution of the Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO, you are hereby notified that the 71st Convention of the Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO, will be held virtually beginning at 9 a.m. EST Wednesday, October 13, 2021 and will continue in session from day to day until the business of the convention has been completed.

We call your attention to the applicable provisions of Article III of the Department’s Constitution:

Section 1. The Convention shall be the supreme governing body of the Department and its powers while in Convention session shall be legislative, executive, and judicial.

Section 2. Regular Conventions of this Department shall be held every five years with the election of officers of the Department taking place every regular convention. Special Conventions may be called by the President should a majority of the affiliated National or International Organizations so request.

Section 3. The time and place for holding regular or special Conventions shall be designated by the Executive Council. The President shall give at least ninety (90) days’ notice of a regular Convention and at least thirty (30) days’ notice of a Special Convention.

Representation

Section 4. The basis of representation at the Convention shall be based upon working metal trades members in affiliated councils: From National or International Organizations of less than 2,000 members, 4 delegates; 2,000 or more, 5 delegates; 3,000 or more, 6 delegates; 4,000 or more, 8 delegates; 5,000 or more, 10 delegates, and so on, who shall be entitled to one vote for each 100 members or majority fraction thereof, and one delegate from each local, state and District Metal Trades Council, who shall be entitled to one vote.

Section 5. Delegates to the Convention shall be properly selected at least thirty (30) days previous to a regular Convention in accordance with the Constitution and By-Laws of the affiliated National or International Unions and local and district Metal Trades Councils. The names of such delegates shall be forwarded to the President of the Department after their selection.

Section 6. No organization that has seceded, or been expelled or suspended by this Department, the American Federation of Labor and Congress

of Industrial Organizations or by a National or International Organization connected therewith shall, while under such penalty, be allowed representation or recognition in this organization, or in any local Metal Trades Council under penalty of suspension of the body violating this section.

Section 7. No organization shall be entitled to representation unless such organization is in good standing in the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, or this Department, or shall have applied for and received a certificate of affiliation with this Department; and no person shall be recognized as a delegate whose National or International Organization is not affiliated with this Department.

Section 8. Delegates shall not be entitled to a seat in the Conventions of this Department unless the tax of their organizations has been paid in full thirty (30) days preceding the Convention.

Section 9. The following committees at Convention shall be appointed by the President:

1. Rules, Credentials and Audit

2. Reports of Officers

3. Legislation

4. Resolutions

5. Constitution

6. Organization

7. Maritime Affairs

8. Health and Safety

And such additional committees as may be deemed advisable by the President.

Section 10. The President shall direct the chief executive officers of three (3) National or International Unions, at least ten (10) days previous to the holding of the regular Convention, to appoint one delegate each from their respective delegations-elect, who shall compose the Auditing Committee, and also the Committee on Credentials. This Committee shall meet at such place and such time as the President of the Department may determine is necessary for the proper performance of its duty; and it shall audit the accounts of the Department for the preceding sixty (60) months, and report upon credentials immediately upon the opening of the Convention. And each member of the committee shall receive the sum of seventy-five dollars ($75) for his services.

Section 11. Resolutions of any character, or propositions for changes in this Constitution cannot be introduced in the Convention after the first day’s session, except by unanimous consent. Resolutions can only be introduced by a regularly accredited delegate from an affiliated National or International Organization, or from a regular chartered Metal Trades Council.

Section 12. The Convention shall have power to order an executive session at any time.

Section 13. None, other than delegates, shall be permitted to address the Convention or read papers therein, except by a two-thirds vote of the Convention; except the authorized invited Convention speakers.

Section 14. The Rules and Order of Business governing the preceding Convention shall be in force from the opening of any Convention of this Department until new rules have been adopted.

Section 15. A quorum for the transaction of business shall consist of not less than, a majority of the delegates attending a Convention

Section 16. No grievance shall be considered, by any Convention that has been decided by a previous Convention, except upon the recommendation of the Executive Council, nor shall any grievance be considered where the parties thereto have not previously held a conference and attempted to adjust the same themselves.

Section 17. Questions may be decided by a division or show of hands; but if a call of the roll is demanded, each delegate shall cast the vote as provided for in Article III, section 4 of the Constitution. When the full number of delegates from any affiliated organization is not present, the number of votes to which such organization is entitled may be cast by its delegate.

Credentials

Please return a formal letter or email with the name(s) of your delegate(s) elect addressed to the Metal Trades Department Operations Director, Lisa Johnson at ljohnson@metaltrades.org by no later than COB, Monday, September 13, 2021.

The Resolutions Committee

The Resolutions Committee shall meet one day before the convening of the Convention for the consideration of resolutions on matters referred to that committee.

The delegates to the convention, or introducers of resolutions, may appear before this committee at any time during the day that the Resolution Committee may be meeting prior to the opening of the convention, or during the period in which the Resolutions Committee may be in session during the time of the Convention.

It would facilitate the appointment of the Resolutions Committee, if you would provide this office with the names and addresses of your delegates as soon as possible so that we can select the members of the Resolutions Committee and notify the individuals of the time and place of meetings.

Registration

You must register for the Convention using the online registration form, which can be found on our website at https://na.eventscloud.com/622149 or by visiting the Metal Trades Department website at metaltrades.org and following the links. Due to the virtual nature of the Convention, the Department has waived the registration fee this year. Upon registering, information, and instructions regarding how to access the Convention virtually will be emailed to attendees.

If you have any questions or need any additional assistance, please contact MTD Operations Director, Lisa Johnson at (202) 508-3705.

Convention Call

Registration Open for 71st Convention of the Metal Trades Department

MTD Moves 71st Convention Online

Virtual Conference to Be Held Oct. 13

Registration is now open for delegates and guests for the 71st Convention of the Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO. The Convention will be held on October 13, 2021, virtually.

Register Now!

The department is working with an outside vendor to plan and execute the Convention, which was forced to move to an online platform due to uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 restrictions.

The MTD Executive Council voted unanimously to hold the Convention virtually. While it appears the country is beginning to open up, the planning time needed to put together an event of this scope, the international travel restrictions for our Canadian delegates, and the uncertainty surrounding state and local restrictions come October, the Executive Council made the difficult decision to hold the Convention online.

“While ideally, we would like to hold the Convention in person, we just felt that it was in the best interest of our members and guests that we adapt our meeting to an online platform,” explained President Hart. “We look forward to returning to an in-person Conference in 2022.”

Details and registration information for the Convention can be found here.