Honoring Our Veterans

Honoring Our Veterans

A Message from Metal Trades Department President James Hart

Our country isn’t just made up of land and buildings, but it’s also made up of our history, our people and, our remembrances.

Our history books are packed with names of men and women who’ve served bravely and tirelessly in our military, and whether they came home last week, last year, years ago or they never returned, Veteran’s Day is a time to remember and honor them.

Join me this day in honoring their selflessness and sacrifice.

We thank you for your service, and we promise that the Metal Trades community stands at the ready to support our veterans through strong advocacy, training, fair wages and benefits, and family sustaining jobs.

With respect, honor and gratitude, thank you Veterans.

NEW! Metal Trades to Offer Free College Benefit

NEW! Metal Trades to Offer Free College Benefit

The Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO has partnered with the Free College Benefit to offer members and their families the opportunity to earn an Associate Degree with NO out-of-pocket cost.

FREE COLLEGE BENEFIT FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY

EASTERN GATEWAY CREDITS ARE TRANSFERABLE

ZERO OUT-OF-POCKET COST

The METAL TRADES Free College Benefit offers working families debt-free and convenient higher education opportunity. You, your spouse, children, financial dependents and grandchildren, can all take advantage of this exciting opportunity.

Eastern Gateway Community College is a public, non-profit school in the University System of Ohio and is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.Credits you earn can transfer to other schools, potentially saving you thousands of dollars.

Members and their families can earn an ASSOCIATE Degree online, with no out-of-pocket cost. A last dollar scholarship covers the difference between any Federal Grants and your tuition, fees and e-books at Eastern Gateway Community College (EGCC).

Labor Day Message from Metal Trades President James Hart

Labor Day Message from Metal Trades President James Hart

On behalf of the officers and staff of the Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO, I extend Labor Day greetings to all American workers.
Over the years, few holidays have more importance to me than that of Labor Day, for this is that special day to rejoice and celebrate our nation’s workers.

Labor Day is a day where it is natural to reflect and take account of where we stand with respect to the issues which profoundly affect our lives and the destiny of American workers.

We are making progress as workers and unions. However, we must continue to move forward.

Young people and workers of all ages are recognizing that the union is by far still the best vehicle workers have to fight for better wages, benefits and conditions. In fact, recent polls indicate that America is beginning to again recognize that it is organized labor, which is responsible for promoting a vision in our country that extends far beyond the workplace to serve the needs of all Americans by advocating for progressive taxation, affordable healthcare, childcare benefits, extended sick time and leave, workplace safety, the reduction of student loan debt and so much more.

Employment has risen consistently over the past 9 years to record levels, yet our weekly pay envelopes are not keeping pace, succumbing to inflation that is outpacing our gains. The only solution to this sad situation is for workers and their unions to steadfastly commit and support political candidates who pledge to fight for, achieve and maintain an American economy in which workers are insured of job opportunities that guarantee them a living wage. Wage earners should not ask for more, nor be satisfied with less!

So while we contemplate the future and the demands of meeting our collective goals as workers, let’s be sure to enjoy the fruits of our labor by enjoying the end of summer with family and friends. Pop open a union made beer or beverage, barbecue a union made burger or hot dog and never stop supporting the union label.

On this special weekend and day, let’s join together to thank and pray for the well-being and safety of the brave men and women who make up the ranks of our nation’s armed forces and first responders. Just as important, please take time to notice and thank the workers who are not fortunate to be enjoying a day off with family, in order that we may enjoy our time off. On this special day, please do not lose sight of the fact that the greatness of America is due to its working families.

America works best when it works union!

I wish you all a healthy, happy and safe Labor Day 2018!

God Bless America and its working families!

Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO Applauds Court Ruling on Executive Orders

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

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)