On May 25, President Trump issued 3 illegal Executive Orders. Executive Orders with the sole purpose of weakening, and eventually destroying, labor unions in the Federal government. On July 25th, 2018, AFGE Local 2328, in solidarity with hundreds of other locals all over the country, held a rally at the main entrance of the Hampton VAMC to fight back. The rallies took place the same day our case was being heard in court. We rallied together that day to say #EOhellNO!
And we won! The court issued a statement instructing all agencies not to implement key provisions of the Executive Order. More specifically, the Court’s Order enjoined executive branch agencies from implementing or giving effect to sections 5(a), 5(e), and 6 of Executive Order 13,836 (also known as “The Collective Bargaining Procedures Order”); sections 3(a), 4(a), and 4(b) of Executive Order 13,837 (also known as “The Official Time Order”); and sections 3, 4(a), and 4(c) of Executive Order 13,839 (also known as “The Removal Procedures Order”).
Our celebration was short-lived however, as Local President Sheila Elliott reached out to the Director of the Hampton VAMC with the news that carrying out these orders was, in effect, illegal, and he responded “I am aware of the judge’s ruling. However, as was done when the President issued his Executive Orders, local management waited to act until official guidance was distributed by VA. This time will be no different.” In other words, ‘I know that what I am doing is wrong, but I won’t stop doing it until ordered to.’
And so, August 29, 2018, AFGE Local 2328 was again out in force. Spending our lunch break in solidarity, standing up for what is right. Standing up for veterans. Standing up for federal employees. Standing up for unions. Standing up for the working class. Standing up to show that the power of the people truly is greater than the people in power.
To our brothers and sisters who stood with us, THANK YOU. To those who could not make it in person but were with us in spirit, wearing their #RedforFeds, THANK YOU. The fight is not over. We will not stop. When our union rights are under attack, what do we do? Stand up! Fight back!