Press Releases

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Mark Warner (D-VA) sent a letter to President Donald Trump urging him to reverse his decision that would negatively impact the collective bargaining rights of Department of Defense (DOD) employees.  The letter was also signed by Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), and Gary Peters (D-MI).

“More than 700,000 Americans work civilian jobs for the Department of Defense.  They are dedicated to the Department’s mission and a part of the Department’s successes,” the Senators wrote.  “This new memorandum provides the Secretary of Defense and other department officials with the blanket authority to waive the collective bargaining rights of all of these employees when, in fact, labor organizations and collective bargaining in the civil service are in the public interest.”

“A fair collective bargaining process is a cornerstone of American labor law and a right afforded to employees within the federal government.  Any exemptions permitted by the process are not meant to be given widely to an entire Department as a sweeping declaration, but to be carefully considered,” the Senator continued.  “The Department of Defense has a history of working with labor unions that represent the interests of employees…We urge you to reconsider this new memorandum and work to protect the collective bargaining rights of federal employees, including those at the Department of Defense.” 

On January 29, 2020, President Trump issued a memorandum granting the Secretary of Defense the authority to exempt DOD agency employees from collective bargaining. 

Since enactment of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, no president has found it necessary to issue a blanket exemption of all DOD employees from collective bargaining.

Click HERE to read the letter.