The Bush II administration is using the Homeland Security reorganization as an opportunity to do some union busting.
On grounds of national security, Bush has iced a nascent union for federal prosecutors being aggressively organized at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Miami.
And he’s dissolved a handful of existing unions that represented about 500 Justice Department employees around the nation — including the 45-member Miami Local 512 of the American Federation of Government Employees. Local 512 had represented support personnel at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including paralegals, clerks and secretaries, since the 1980s.
Bush based his actions on an exemption in the 1978 Civil Service Reform Act which presupposes that unionized federal workers are an impediment to effective national security. That’s why labor leaders fear that what happened in Miami is the prelude to broader union busting by the White House once the homeland security reorganization of federal agencies is complete.
Their principal concern is that thousands of unionized workers transferred to the Department of Homeland Security will be stripped of their right to organize and collectively bargain. That includes 12,000 U.S. Customs Service employees now represented by the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU).