On February 20th, the White House published a new document that gives Defense Secretary Mark Esper the power to abolish collective bargaining for nearly 750,000 civilian workers at the Pentagon. The document delegates the President’s legal authority to exempt agencies from the law that guarantees federal employees the right to unionize. The entire document can be found on the Federal Register.
In the memo, President Trump wrote the following:
“When new missions emerge or existing ones evolve, the Department of Defense requires maximum flexibility to respond to threats to carry out its mission of protecting the American people. This flexibility requires that military and civilian leadership manage their organizations to cultivate a lethal, agile force adaptive to new technologies and posture changes. Where collective bargaining is incompatible with these organizations’ missions, the Department of Defense should not be forced to sacrifice its national security mission and, instead, seek relief through third parties and administrative fora.”
While Esper hasn’t yet taken steps to eliminate unions, the White House released a memo in 2017 that called for “eliminating employee unions” at the Defense Department. The memo also detailed the Trump administration’s multi-pronged effort to weaken organized labor.
Since the announcement of the memo, federal employee unions have warned how devastating it could be to employee rights. According to a spokesperson for the American Federation of Government Employees, “Denying nearly half a million Defense Department workers the collective bargaining rights guaranteed to them by law since 1962 would be a travesty—and doing it under the guise of ‘national security’ would be a disgrace to the sacred oath and obligation that all federal workers make to their country.”
Comprehensive Legal Services for Federal Unions
Our dedicated team of attorneys proudly provides counsel for federal unions and federal employees. Although this new document from the Trump administration can potentially affect hundreds of thousands of employees, the seasoned lawyers at Pines Federal are here to use our extensive knowledge of the law and legal resources to fight for the rights of workers throughout the nation.
As a former in-house AFGE Local 1923 attorney, our founding attorney, Eric L. Pines, Esq., has more than 20 years of experience representing the largest and smallest federal locals in the largest federal labor union in the United States. Let us advise you and/or your membership of your rights under the law today.
Call (800) 801-0598 to schedule your free case consultation with a lawyer at Pines Federal.