Reprinted from UComm by Brian Young on January 29, 2021.
On Thursday, Biden signed an order to direct OSHA to establish a temporary safety standard for COVID-19, a top priority of the AFL-CIO. On Friday, he followed that up by taking action on a top priority for federal unions; repealing Trump’s anti-union Executive Orders.
As UCOMM previously reported, in 2018 Trump issued a number of orders that severely limited federal unions’ ability to protect their workers, subverted collective bargaining agreements, and even kicked some locals out of their offices in federal buildings. Then in October, Trump signed an order that created a new job classification within the government’s career civil service called Schedule F for “employees in confidential, policy-determining, policy-making or policy-advocating positions,” and called on agencies to identify and convert eligible employees to the new classification. Employees whose positions were converted to Schedule F lost nearly all of their civil service protections and could be fired without cause. It would also have allowed Trump to place his supporters in positions within the government, although it is unclear if anyone was appointed before he left office.
Biden’s Executive Orders would rescind both the Schedule F order and the orders from 2018. “[Biden] is taking critical steps to protect and empower federal employees, who dedicate their careers to serving the American people,” the White House wrote. “They keep us healthy, safe and informed, and their work transcends partisan politics . . . They are talented, hard-working, and inspiring Americans, worthy of the utmost dignity and respect. But over the last four years, they’ve been undermined and demoralized. The president will sign an executive order taking steps to protect and empower federal employees who are so essential to this country.” …