Government union bosses have been seething ever since Trump issued executive orders limiting their power in the federal workplace. Now, they’re madder than ever.
On Tuesday, more than a year after President Trump issued three executive orders to curb government union power and save taxpayer money, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit reversed a lower court’s ruling last year striking the executive orders down.
One of the main goals of the executive orders has been to curtail the use of tax dollars to conduct union business, which the Office of Personnel Management estimated, cost taxpayers $174 million in 2016.
Additionally, as the Washington Post summarized last year:
“They require agencies to negotiate union contracts in less than a year. And they direct managers to move more aggressively to fire poor performers or employees involved in misconduct, limiting to one month a last-chance grace period for improvement that now can last up to 120 days. Agencies must also disclose details about an employee’s record to other federal offices considering hiring someone who has been fired or disciplined.”
Not surprisingly, more than a dozen unions filed a lawsuit in district court challenging the orders.
Ironically, when polled on whether they support the administration’s efforts to make it easier to fire people, a slight majority of federal civilian employees polled last year supported the executive orders,
In Tuesday’s ruling, a three-judge panel ruled unanimously that the lower court lacked jurisdiction over the matter, reported the Washington Post, as “unions must first pursue such claims through an administrative process before seeking review by the appeals court.”
Now, the issue should go before the Federal Labor Relations Authority, which is, as the Post reports, “a small agency governed by a three-member board of Trump appointees charged with adjudicating federal labor disputes.”
However, the unions may appeal the Tuesday’s ruling on jurisdiction to the Supreme Court first.
Needless to say, union bosses are apoplectic.
“Today’s terrible decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia is a tremendous blow to federal employees and their voice in the workplace,” stated American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr.
“The decision is mistaken about the jurisdictional question, wrong on the law, and jeopardizes the rights of federal employees across the government,” Cox continued, “We will fight this decision using every legal tool available to us.”
On Tuesday afternoon, AFL-CIO boss Richard Trumka joined the chorus of condemnation on social media.
The entire labor movement stands with our dedicated federal workers and will put our full strength behind fighting for the workplace protections all working people deserve. Our voices will not be silenced by concerted union busting. #EOHellNo #1u https://t.co/yMkBHnAGzu
— Richard Trumka (@RichardTrumka) July 16, 2019
Federal workers protect our national security and ensure that our communities run smoothly. For their service they deserve respect, not a constant barrage of attacks on their freedom to join together in strong unions and speak up to deliver better services. #EOHellNo #1u https://t.co/nVhLJVKMIR
— AFSCME (@AFSCME) July 16, 2019
Sara Nelson, President of the Association of Flight Attendants—who does not represent any federal workers, but is reportedly planning a run for the AFL-CIO presidency—also tweeted her support for the federal unions.
Make no mistake–this is an effort to intimidate and threaten every federal worker. It's designed to chill dissent, silence whistleblowers, and puts all of us in danger. We stand with our fed sisters and brothers in this fight 💪 #EOhellNO #1u https://t.co/0NRNu4J8vT
— Sara Nelson (@FlyingWithSara) July 16, 2019
Right now, the unions are evaluating their options and could appeal the U.S. Supreme Court.
The unions say the will gather with their attorneys to figure out next steps. They could ask the full court to rehear the case (just a 3-judge panel issued the decision) or go to the Supremes https://t.co/Q39fadFVGv
— Lisa Rein (@Reinlwapo) July 16, 2019
If the unions do appeal the DC Court’s ruling to the Supreme Court, though, it is highly possible they will not fare any better than going through the Federal Labor Relations Authority.
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