Tip of the hat to The Progress Report, which points out that President Bush signed an executive order yesterday, Exclusions from the Federal Labor-Management Relations Program. According to the New York Times today, the order:
denies collective bargaining rights to about 8,600 federal employees who work in law enforcement, intelligence and other agencies responsible for national security.
Not surprisingly, President Bush cited national security concerns as the reason for the change. Union officials have a different view, as quoted in the Times article:
Colleen M. Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, said that employees at the alcohol, tobacco and firearms agency had just “had their collective bargaining rights stripped away for no justifiable reason.”
The union said it represented 1,600 employees at the agency. Those employees have had collective bargaining rights for more than 30 years, with no indication that the rights interfered with the agency’s mission, Ms. Kelley said.
The Progress Report also points out that:
The executive order is just one of Bush’s many last-minute regulations, orders, and proposed rule changes, many of which reduce the power of organized labor. New rules make it harder for employees to take time off, require labor unions to file extensive financial reports, and make it harder to regulate toxic substances on the job. For more on Bush’s 11th hour rules, check out The Progress Report’s report: “Bush’s Backward Sprint To The Finish.”