EPA Management Thwarting Organizing Effort At Georgia Laboratory, Says AFGE
EPA management fires a world-renowned EPA scientist and suspends another
ATLANTA, Aug. 31, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The American Federation of Government Employees’ Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Labor Council #238 today expressed its utter disbelief that in the midst of a union election, EPA management has fired a world-renowned EPA scientist and suspended another at the Ecosystems Research Division of EPA’s National Exposure Research Laboratory in Athens, Ga.
Scientists at EPA’s Athens laboratory contacted AFGE, seeking union representation. “The two scientists who were blatantly reprised against were activists in seeking the union election. We stand by them in their hour of need,” said AFGE EPA Council 238 President Charles Orzehoskie.
“We are more than dismayed that EPA management has chosen to fire a world-renowned EPA scientist and suspend another, creating a chilling effect on this representational election. We have filed an Unfair Labor Practice with the Federal Labor Relations Authority’s Atlanta Office, citing our belief that these actions by EPA management were purposeful and designed to chill EPA employees in the exercise of their rights to participate with the union,” said AFGE District 5 National Vice President Everett Kelley.
AFGE Council 238 urges the Administration to remind EPA management of their obligations under federal labor law to ensure there is a fair and unbiased election at the Athens laboratory. “The least this Administration could do is work with its labor partners to ensure that the Executive Order establishing a cooperative and productive form of labor-management relations at EPA is followed by management,” concluded Orzehoskie.
“We intend to hold this election and prevail. It is clear that these EPA scientists need someone to protect them so they can continue to ensure all of us have clean air to breathe and safe water to drink. They stand at the front lines of ensuring that human health and the environment are protected,” concluded Kelley.
The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union, representing over 650,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia. AFGE District 5 represents Federal employees in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. AFGE Council 238 and its affiliated locals constitute a union of highly dedicated employees working within the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) nationwide. Membership in the Council includes Locals at EPA Headquarters, Research Triangle Park in North Carolina, all 10 Regional Offices, as well as the National Health & Environmental Effects Research Laboratory in Corvallis and Newport, OR, National Vehicle & Fuel Emissions Laboratory in Ann Arbor, MI, and the Robert S. Kerr Research Laboratory in Ada, OK.
SOURCE American Federation of Government Employees