Federation, SIU Stand Up for Federal Workers (7/18)


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The AFL-CIO, to which the SIU is affiliated, recently urged Congress to stop unnecessary furloughs of civilian workers at the Department of Defense, and to re-examine how the current furloughs have been instituted. The text of the related letter from AFL-CIO Government Affairs Department Director William Samuel appears below; a PDF copy may be accessed by clicking HERE.


SIU President Michael Sacco is a vice president of the AFL-CIO executive council.


July 17, 2013


Honorable Pete Sessions, Chairman House Rules Committee Washington, D.C.  20515


Honorable Louise Slaughter, Ranking Member

Committee on Rules

Washington, D.C.  20515


Dear Chairman Sessions and Ranking Member Slaughter:


On behalf of the AFL-CIO, I urge you to make in order two amendments to the FY 2014

Defense Appropriations bill that would create a workforce management process that is more equitable for the women and men who make up the Department of Defense’s (DoD) civilian workforce and more accountable to taxpayers.


We urge you to support the O’Rourke amendment that gives the House of Representatives the opportunity to register a vote of no confidence in the Pentagon’s use of furloughs in FY 2013. Without that adverse judgment, Pentagon officials will continue the ill-advised practice of furloughing workers in FY 2014. Ideally, the House of Representatives could consider thoughtful reforms to how furloughs are used by the Department. However, that is not procedurally possible through a limitation amendment. At the onset of sequestration, Pentagon officials almost immediately imposed the maximum number of furlough days on the maximum number of civilian employees. Many observers believe that hasty declaration was really intended to inspire Congressional opposition to sequestration by making the process even more draconian and disruptive than it actually is.


We also urge you to support the Cole-Kilmer amendment that would stop the unnecessary furloughing of Working Capital Funded (WFC) employees in the depots, the arsenals, the Defense Contract Management Agency, and the Defense Logistics Agency, as well as at multiple weapons maintenance centers and supply centers across the nation. According to Navy officials, furloughs actually drive up costs and undermine productivity. The WCF workforce consists of as much as one-quarter of the Department’s overall workforce.

Thank you for your consideration.



William Samuel, Director

Government Affairs Department




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