Dozens of unions, representing hundreds of thousands of federal employees, rallied outside the courthouse in Washington, D.C., July 25 where a judge was hearing arguments that the three anti-federal employee executive orders issued in May are illegal. PASS National President Mike Perrone joined other labor leaders on the stage. Organized by AFGE, the #RedForFeds rally also drew speakers from both the House and Senate who are supportive of federal employees, their unions and the work they do on behalf of the American public.
In addition to the legal arguments being presented in front of a federal judge just yards away, the lawmakers called on their colleagues to respect and protect the government workforce. “I was glad PASS was at the rally to support our brothers and sisters at AFGE,” said President Perrone. “They, along with other unions there yesterday, including AFSCME, the Association of Flight Attendants, NFFE and others, joined our fight against privatization at the FAA, and we need to continue to stand in solidarity as federal workers.”
The hearing, attended by the PASS legal team, went on for several hours, with both the government and union attorneys making their cases about the executive orders. The lawyers, representing the various plaintiff unions, argued that the orders improperly limit the full range of bargaining allowed under the 1978 Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute. They further argued that Congress enacted the law to remove it from the politics associated with different presidential administrations. These recent executive orders are designed to limit the ability of unions to fully negotiate over topics such as discipline, performance and official time. A decision in the hearing is expected by August 24.