Unions reacted swiftly Thursday to moves by the new Congress targeting federal workers. “The labor movement is under serious and immediate attack,” AFSCME Council 26 Executive Director Carl Goldman (right) told Union City inresponse to the news that House Republicans had reinstated an arcane procedural rule that enables lawmakers to reach deep into the budget and slash the pay of an individual federal worker — down to as little as $1 — a move that threatens to upend the 130-year-old civil service. “In addition to all the attacks on the rights, pay and benefits of federal workers, we are expecting legislative proposals that would make it impossible for our unions to function,” Goldman added. Later on ThursdayAFGE president J. David Cox Sr. issued a warning that “Congress is going to introduce the Promote Accountability and Government Efficiency (PAGE) Act,” which, among other things, would make all new federal workers “at will,” completely change the federal pay system and eliminate official time, so that union representatives can no longer work to protect federal worker’s pay, benefits and jobs during the work day. AFGE has launched a campaign urging members of Congress not to support the PAGE Act. “For us to have a chance of survival,” warned Goldman, “thousands and thousands of federal workers have to get involved. If you don’t belong to the union, join today. If you already belong, ask your local leaders how you can help. Do it before it is too late.”
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photo: Goldman at recent AFSCME Council 26 strategy session; photo by Chris Garlock