Buckle up brother and sisters. Republicans in the U.S. House are trying to pass legislation to steal away your right to due process. By eliminating due process, workers lose their collectively bargained protections against wrongful termination.
This week The Hill reported:
“Rep. Todd Rokita, R- Ind., introduced the Promote Accountability and Government Efficiency Act to turn all federal employees into at-will workers shortly before the House recessed so members could campaign in their home districts.”
That’s right. He wants to turn all federal workers into at-will employees giving them the right to fire workers “at will.”
“The at-will portion of the measure would only apply to new employees hired one year after its enactment, and allow agency heads to fire workers ‘without notice or right to appeal.’”
This would eviscerate federal workers current, collectively bargained, due process procedures that require evidence and third-party review, prior to termination. Due process is just a form of checks and balance to ensure that workers are not being arbitrarily fired because the manager has an axe to grind. It requires that management show documentation of poor performance or of unacceptable behavior.
The bill would also completely eliminate “official time” that allows both sides to work collaboratively to resolve issues.
“By passing a law to cut official time for government workers, Congress would eliminate the ability of federal employees to represent all of their coworkers (those who pay dues and those who don’t) while in an official duty status,” said AFGE in opposition to previous attacks on official time.
“Official time gives workers the ability to resolve disputes efficiently so employees can get back to work. It protects whistleblowers from retaliation, and helps implement new technology and other innovations to solve workplace problems.”
This is exactly what Republicans want. They want to bust federal unions who have been organizing and growing over the last few years. If they can bust unions at the federal level, it will only be a matter of time before identical legislation is passed in our State House’s taking away the rights of all public employees.
Republicans will use this bill in their campaign speeches and rallies, while raking in donations from their anti-union, corporate campaign funders.
Remember it was President Reagan’s mass firing of 13,000 air traffic controllers that empowered the private industry to oppose unions and fire workers, instead of resolving contract disputes.
We do not need another federal lead assault on working people that will end with the destruction of all unions, public and private.