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 Legislative Action
 
Support the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA)!!!  
 
The IAMAW, NFFE, and Local 1998 encourage you to endorse the EFCA, which will make it easier for workers to organize into labor unions free of intimidation.  

According to the AFL-CIO: 

Joining together in a union to bargain for health care, pensions, fair wages and better working conditions is the best opportunity working people have to get ahead.

Today, good jobs are vanishing and health care coverage and retirement security are slipping out of reach. Only 38 percent of the public says their families are getting ahead financially and less than a quarter believes the next generation will be better off.

But workers who belong to unions earn 28 percent more than nonunion workers. They are 52 percent more likely to have employer-provided health coverage and nearly three times more likely to have guaranteed pensions.

All workers should have the freedom to decide for themselves whether to form unions to bargain for a better life.
 

 

The AFL-CIO explains that the system for forming unions is broken, which is why we need EFCA: 

Today, CEOs get contracts that protect their wages and benefits. But some deny their employees the same opportunity. Although U.S. and international laws are supposed to protect workers' freedom to belong to unions, employers routinely harass, intimidate, coerce and even fire workers struggling to gain a union so they can bargain for better lives. And U.S. labor law is powerless to stop them. Employees are on an uneven playing field from the first moment they begin exploring whether they want to form a union, and the will of the majority often is crushed by brutal management tactics.

Cornell University scholar Kate Bronfenbrenner studied hundreds of organizing campaigns and found that:

  • Ninety-two percent of private-sector employers, when faced with employees who want to join together in a union, force employees to attend closed-door meetings to hear anti-union propaganda; 80 percent require supervisors to attend training sessions on attacking unions; and 78 percent require that supervisors deliver anti-union messages to workers they oversee.
  • Seventy-five percent hire outside consultants to run anti-union campaigns, often based on mass psychology and distorting the law.
  • Half of employers threaten to shut down partially or totally if employees join together in a union.
  • In 25 percent of organizing campaigns, private-sector employers illegally fire workers because they want to form a union.
  • Even after workers successfully form a union, in one-third of the instances, employers do not negotiate a contract.

Click on this link for more information about the Employee Free Choice Act: EFCA INFO

 


Actions by Congress and the President directly affect Local 1998 members and their families.  News about legislation, laws, and regulations that impact the federal worker will be posted on this page.  Here are some important links: 

NFFE endorses H.R. 5752 - The U.S. passport should be "made in the U.S.A."  

Passport Integrity Page - Help Maintain & Enhance the Integrity of the U.S. Passport Issuance Process. 

IAM's Political & Legislative Activity Page

NFFE's Legislative Update Page

So-called "National Security Personnel System" (NSPS) - Information on this issue facing DoD workers.  


U.S. Office of Special Counsel: employees may contact Congress regarding concerns about passport issuance process

On January 24, 2007 the United States Office of Special Counsel (OSC) issued an advisory legal opinion regarding whether employees of Passport Services are allowed under the Hatch Act to write letters to Congress expressing concerns about the integrity of the passport issuance process.  The OSC is "an independent federal investigative and prosecutorial agency" which has, among other responsibilities, the authority to issue advisory opinions that enable "individuals to determine whether contemplated political activities are permitted under the [Hatch] Act" (quoting from the OSC website).  The advisory opinion was requested by NFFE Local 1998.  The OSC summed up the request as follows: "Department of State employees would like to consider writing letters or personally visiting members of Congress to express your concerns about the passport issuance process".  In the opinion, the OSC stated that the "Hatch Act does not prohibit you or other Department of State employees from contacting members of Congress".   The OSC also noted that "the Hatch Act does not prohibit you from using official time to contact members of Congress about your concerns with the passport issuance process". 

Click here for the OSC's letter posted on the official OSC website (with the word "passport" and all names redacted): advisory legal opinion 

Click here for the OSC's letter posted on the NFFE Local 1998 website (this is the complete letter, nothing is redacted): complete advisory legal opinion  

 

Contact a member of Congress about an issue important to you:


Legislative vs. Political Action

Many federal employees mistakenly believe that the law (especially the Hatch Act) prohibits them from engaging in any legislative or political activity.  That belief is not true.

First of all, legislative and political activity are not synonymous.  For example, contacting Congress about pay raises for all federal employees, or expressing concerns about the integrity of the passport issuance process, is - if done in a nonpartisan manner - not political (partisan) activity but rather legislative activity. 

Regarding political activity, bargaining unit employees of Passport Services are considered "employees who may engage in partisan activity".  Click on this link for a one-page explanation of what activities are permitted and what are prohibited for employees titled, "The Hatch Act and Federal Employees". 

Click on this link to read a 14-page publication issued by the OSC titled, "Political Activity and the Federal Employee".