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'What's disgusting? Union busting.' The AFGE on Wednesday filed suit against the Trump administration over its attack on the right of public sector unions to organize. (Photo: @AFGENational)

'This Is a Democracy, Not a Dictatorship': Federal Workers Union Sues Donald Trump

"This president seems to think he is above the law, and we are not going to stand by while he tries to shred workers' rights."

Jon Queally

The nation's largest union of federal workers filed suit against the Trump administration on Wednesday over an executive order signed by President Donald Trump that seeks to deny workers the right to job site representation—an established guarantee in existing labor law.

"This is more than union busting – it's democracy busting." —J. David Cox Sr., AFGE president

The lawsuit (pdf) by the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), a member of the AFL-CIO which represents approximately 700,000 federal employees, argues that among a slate of anti-worker orders signed by the president last Friday, one of them specifically exceeds the president's constitutional authority and violates the First Amendment right of workers to freely associate.

"This president seems to think he is above the law, and we are not going to stand by while he tries to shred workers' rights," said  AFGE national president J. David Cox Sr., in a statement announcing the lawsuit. "This is a democracy, not a dictatorship. No president should be able to undo a law he doesn't like through administrative fiat."

As the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported on Friday, the executive orders signed by Trump last week are "intended to crack down on unions that represent federal employees and to make it easier to fire federal workers."

Taken together, the orders signed by Trump are designed to limit the amount of on-duty time federal workers can spend on union business, make it easier to fire employees, and compel federal agencies throughout the government to forge less-friendly contracts with unions.

"This is more than union busting – it's democracy busting," Cox said on Friday after the president's signing of the orders was announced. "These 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."

In his statement on Wednesday regarding the AFGE's lawsuit, Cox said that Congress has laid out clear workplace labor laws to protect organized federal employees in order "to guarantee workers a collective voice in resolving workplace issues and improving the services they deliver to the public every day – whether it's caring for veterans, ensuring our air and water are safe, preventing illegal weapons and drugs from crossing our borders, or helping communities recover from hurricanes and other disasters."

The lawsuit, he added, shows that federal employees "will not stand by and let this administration willfully violate the Constitution to score political points."


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'We Need Action': Biden, Democrats Urged to Protect Abortion Access in Post-Roe US

"The Supreme Court doesn't get the final say on abortion," Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Tina Smith wrote in a new op-ed.

Kenny Stancil ·


Motorist 'Tried to Murder' Abortion Rights Advocates at Iowa Protest, Witnesses Say

Although one witness said the driver went "out of his way" to hit pro-choice protestors in the street, Cedar Rapids police declined to make an arrest.

Kenny Stancil ·


'A Hate Crime': Oslo Pride Parade Canceled After Deadly Shooting at Gay Bar

A 42-year-old gunman has been charged with terrorism following what Norway's prime minister called a "terrible and deeply shocking attack on innocent people."

Kenny Stancil ·


'We WILL Fight Back': Outrage, Resolve as Protests Erupt Against SCOTUS Abortion Ruling

Demonstrators took to the streets Friday to defiantly denounce the Supreme Court's right-wing supermajority after it rescinded a constitutional right for the first time in U.S. history.

Brett Wilkins ·


80+ US Prosecutors Vow Not to Be Part of Criminalizing Abortion Care

"Criminalizing and prosecuting individuals who seek or provide abortion care makes a mockery of justice," says a joint statement signed by 84 elected attorneys. "Prosecutors should not be part of that."

Kenny Stancil ·

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