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AFSCME to Trump: Federal Workers Deserve Respect

Photo Credit: Claire Gentile
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By AFSCME Staff Explore the Issues Workers' Rights

AFSCME President Lee Saunders lashed out at the Trump administration after President Donald Trump signed a series of executive orders to make it easier to fire federal workers and weaken their unions.

“It is shameful that this administration continues to undermine the important services and vital contributions our federal workers provide to the American people every day,” Saunders said. “These 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 together to deliver better services.”

J. David Cox Sr., the national president of the American Federation of Government Employees, said the Trump administration’s attack is “more than union busting – it’s democracy busting.” He added that the executive orders are “a direct assault on the legal rights and protections that Congress has specifically guaranteed to the 2 million public-sector employees across the country who work for the federal government.”

The three executive orders issued Friday seek to make it easier to fire and discipline federal workers; renegotiate their union contracts; and reduce the amount of time that they can spend fulfilling union roles.

“These executive orders strip agencies of their right to bargain terms and conditions of employment and replace it with a politically charged scheme to fire employees without due process,” Cox said.

Strong unions are needed now more than ever, not just for the workers who join them but for communities that rely on quality public services. At a time when many Americans continue to struggle to make ends meet and public services are under attack, we need to make it easier, not harder, for workers to join in strong unions.