Deceptively named Federal Employee Rights Act is ‘venomous attack’ on federal workers, AFGE says

WASHINGTON, Feb. 4, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Legislation introduced in the House would strip federal employees of their basic workplace rights and disempower the people who care for our veterans, inspect our food, and deliver our social security checks, American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. today.

“This is yet another in a long line of systematic attacks on working-class and middle-class Americans at the local, state and federal levels,” Cox said. “The sole objective of these anti-labor actions is to make it as difficult as possible for working people to join unions and to diminish basic rights and protections that all employees deserve.”

H.R. 4461, the Federal Employee Rights Act, introduced by House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price of Georgia, would substantially eliminate the federal worker voice and make it much harder for federal employees to join a union.

“This legislation has a very misleading title and is being introduced under the false premise that federal employees are forced to pay union dues. Only federal employees who choose to join the union pay union membership dues,” Cox said.

“This is just the latest in a string of venomous attacks targeting the federal workforce: stripping VA employees of their due process rights, removing civil service protections for DoD workers, doubling the period in which new employees can be fired without cause.

“When you take away an employee’s basic rights to representation and due process, you end up with a system in which employees are fearful of coming forward to expose waste, fraud and abuse at their worksites. These types of poisonous proposals will result in higher rates of employee turnover and make it that much harder for agencies to recruit the best and brightest employees to deliver critical programs and services that Americans rely on.”

The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union, representing 670,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia.

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