SEIU Local 200United members who work for the United States Department of Veterans Affairs took legal action Tuesday, challenging three recent executive orders that seek to dramatically rewrite labor laws enacted by Congress to protect federal employees.
These executive orders would prevent federal employees from being able to spend any time helping their unions collectively bargain, take direct aim at the longstanding system of progressive discipline, and impose unlawful constraints on federal agency's ability to bargain. They would affect approximately 2 million federal workers across the country.
“Those who served our country honorably come to the VA to get the care they deserve,” said Donald Woodworth, an SEIU member who has worked as a Police Officer at the Canandaigua, New York VA for 19 years. “As federal workers, we need to be united in strong unions to help protect working conditions of employees as we serve those veterans who have served us.”
The lawsuit filed on behalf of Local200United members seeks relief for working people like Donald across the country who are subject to these recent measures, and asks the court to stop these orders from going into effect.
“I love the VA and helping my fellow veterans. I am an employee and a Ft. McClellan veteran with medical needs, I get my care at the VA too. I give other veterans the same service I want when I go in,” said Advanced Medical Support Assistant Denise Wilson.
“This hits home with me. We need to protect the rights of employees who help veterans who have sacrificed everything under the sun to protect the civil liberties and freedoms we enjoy every day. If these executive orders go into effect, it’s going to have a negative impact on lots of people like me.”