WASHINGTON, D.C. —The American Federation of Government Employees, the largest union of federal workers, filed a lawsuit May 31 asking a federal district court to void President Donald Trump’s May 25 executive order sharply limiting the amount of “official time” shop stewards can spend on union duties. The suit argues that federal civil-service law requires the government to pay for time spent handling workers’ grievances and complaints, and that the order also violates workers’ First Amendment right to freedom of association, because it “singles out labor organizations and their representatives for disparate, negative treatment, as opposed to individuals.” The Trump order, the suit explains, allows individual workers—but not the unions representing them—to use official time to prepare and file grievances. “This president seems to think he is above the law, and we are not going to stand by while he tries to shred workers’ rights,” AFGE President J. David Cox said. “This is a democracy, not a dictatorship. No president should be able to undo a law he doesn’t like through administrative fiat.” The AFL-CIO supports the suit, and the National Treasury Employees Union is considering joining it, union spokesperson Sheila McCormick told Press Associates Union News Service. Read more


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