Despite President Donald Trump’s public posturing as a champion of the working man, his administration’s anti-union bent is showing through yet again with the Social Security Administration (SSA) proposing a number of “anti-labor” changes in its contract negotiations with the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE).
A group of 150 lawmakers in the House have cited the similarities between the proposed changes and the provisions of three controversial executive orders ruled unlawful last year by a federal judge. They include:
- Eviction of AFGE from its offices within Social Security Administration buildings.
- Confiscation of all computers and printers used by employees during representational work.
- Requiring union employees to request permission in advance to use official time.
In a letter to the Social Security Administration, the House lawmakers described the provisions as “extreme and similar in anti-union tone to certain provisions” of a series of workforce executive orders that were struck down last August by U.S. District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. The Trump administration has appealed that decision.
“SSA should immediately return to the bargaining table with AFGE and negotiate in good faith, abandoning its insistence on anti-union policies such as those in the overturned Executive Orders,” the lawmakers wrote.
“SSA is hellbent on implementing President Trump’s illegal executive orders through whatever means necessary – including holding our contract negotiations hostage,” AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. said. “But we will never be bullied into giving up workers’ legal rights and protections. Thank you to all the members of Congress who are speaking up for all federal workers and holding President Trump and his executive team accountable for following the law.”