Huge Victory: USDA Economists, Analysts Vote Overwhelmingly to Join AFGE

In a huge victory for federal government workers, economists, researchers, analysts, and other employees at the Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service (ERS) on May 9 voted overwhelmingly to join AFGE, the largest union representing D.C. government and federal employees nationwide.

ERS Employees cheered and high-fived each other after the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) announced the results of the election: out of 204 eligible voters, 138 voted yes and 4 voted no.

“This election is important because we’ve faced a lot of new policies in this administration that have made it hard to do our jobs,” said an employee who asked not to be named. “And with the continuing pressure and the continuing change in direction for us as a scientific and research agency, we want a voice at the table. We want a way to make our concerns heard.”

AFGE President J. David Cox Sr. welcomes the ERS employees into our AFGE family.

“I am proud to welcome our sisters and brothers at ERS into our union family,” he said. “Just like we have been standing up and fighting back against numerous other anti-worker proposals from the Trump Administration, we will join these employees in fighting against efforts to relocate them and politicize their research.”

The newly unionized ERS employees will join AFGE Local 3403 at the National Science Foundation. Local 3403 already includes other scientists and grant writers at the U.S. Geological Survey, National Endowment for the Arts, and National Endowment for the Humanities.

The overwhelming vote to join AFGE reflects employees’ concerns over working conditions and the Trump administration’s ongoing efforts to relocate the ERS office to a location outside Washington, D.C., a move many see as a retaliation for their science-based research that contradicts the administration’s position on various issues including climate change and taxes….

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