VA union fight

Published as a letter to the editor in today’s Daily Press.

It is often said that those who do not know their history, are doomed to repeat it. 

This is a dangerous time in our country for many groups of people. One group that should not be overlooked is labor unions. 

Unions help level the playing field. Labor unions are the reason we have child labor laws, health benefits, livable wages, weekends off, eight-hour work days, and safe working conditions. Unions are the reason that when we go to work, the doors are not locked from the outside to keep us from leaving during a shift – which happened during the Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire.

Currently, Veteran Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie is plotting to cripple the union for VA workers by attacking workers’ collective bargaining agreement – the document that safeguards whistleblowers and protects them from retaliation, that guarantees employees are adequately trained, and that protects workplace safety. 

A third of VA workers are veterans. An attack on VA workers is an attack on veterans. An attack on AFGE (American Federation of Government Employees) is an attack on VA workers. If you believe that all workers deserve to be treated with dignity, fairness, and respect, please join us in this fight. 

Contact your lawmakers, wear Red every Wednesday in a show of solidarity (#RedforFeds), and stand up to #SaveOurVA before it is too late. 

Stacy Shorter 

Vice President, AFGE Local 2328

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