Trump Issues a Memo that Would Abolish Union Rights for 750,000 Federal Workers

Labor News

President Donald Trump delivers remarks during a ceremony in the South Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building December 20, 2018 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Reprinted from Common Dreams by Jake Johnson on February 22, 2020.

President Donald Trump on Thursday quietly issued a memo granting Defense Secretary Mark Esper the power to abolish collective bargaining rights for the Defense Department’s 750,000 civilian workers, a move unions decried as part of the administration’s far-reaching assault on organized labor.

The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) condemned the memo, which was published in the Federal Register (pdf) Thursday, as “a travesty and a disgrace.”

The memo argues that a unionized Defense Department workforce could pose a threat to “national security” and that, if necessary, collective bargaining rights at the department should be scrapped in the interest of “protecting the American people.”

“When new missions emerge or existing ones evolve, the Department of Defense requires maximum flexibility to respond to threats,” the memo states. “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 memo continues, “the Department of Defense should not be forced to sacrifice its national security mission and, instead, seek relief through third parties and administrative fora.” …

Common Dreams 2/22

 

Trump Gives Defense Department Power to Abolish Bargaining for Civilian Unions

Reprinted from Huffington Post by on February 21, 2020.

It’s not yet clear what Defense Secretary Mark Esper will do.

Labor leaders, workers and politicians have railed against the declaration. …

Huffington Post 2/21

About Jeffrey Burman 5245 Articles
Jeff Burman served on the Guild’s Board of Directors from 1992 to 2019. He is now retired. He can be reached at jeffrey.s.burman.57@gmail.com.

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