AFGE Wins Huge Contract Battle Against Trump
EPA workers get a fair contract after Trump tried to force a one-sided anti-union contract on them
For more than a year, the Trump administration has been attempting to impose one-sided, anti-union contracts on different federal agencies including the VA and the Department of Education. In July 2019, one of these contracts was imposed on the 7,500 AFGE members at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Instead of sitting back and allowing Trump to impose these anti-worker clauses into their contract, AFGE filed an unfair labor practice complaint with the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA). After a hearing, the FLRA ruled that Trump had indeed violated labor law and threw out the one-sided contract. Now a year later, AFGE and the EPA have finally agreed on a new contract that provides major wins for the union.
During negotiations, the union identified 13 articles that they needed to hold firm on. By caving in on these demands, the union would have been making major concessions to Trump. With their new contract, the union announced that they had won on all 13 articles, including offering more rights for employees, requiring the EPA to promote and provide an alcohol and drug-free workplace, and setting new health and safety requirements for EPA. The agreement also includes more flexible work schedules and allows for up to two days of telework for employees.
“We are very happy to have this contract completed,” said AFGE National President Everett Kelley. “I am extremely thankful for the hard work of AFGE members and our allies in Congress who helped put pressure on the EPA to do the right thing. This success was a group effort, and all involved should be proud.”
With Trump attempting to force bad contracts onto a number of different departments, the win at the EPA will hopefully set a precedent that will slow or stop his union-busting tactics for the rest of his term.