Oversight Committee Republicans Take First Steps to Harm Workers and Eliminate Federal Labor Unions

Mar 10, 2017
Press Release

Oversight Committee Republicans Take First Steps to Harm Workers and Eliminate Federal Labor Unions


Washington, D.C. (Mar. 10, 2017)—Today, Republican Members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform voted in favor of a bill that would significantly harm middle-class workers, impair the effectiveness and efficiency of federal agencies, and fundamentally damage the interests of American taxpayers as part of a broader Republican campaign to eliminate unions from the federal workplace.


H.R. 1364, the Official Time Reform Act of 2017, would:


  • harm middle-class American workers by taking the drastic step of stripping pensions from employees who serve as shop stewards and union representatives at federal agencies;


  • effectively end “official time” across the federal government by slashing pensions to discourage workers from serving in these roles;


  • harm agency whistleblowers who report waste, fraud, and abuse by undermining union efforts to protect these workers against retaliation;


  • harm victims of discrimination who rely on assistance from union representatives to safeguard their rights;


  • harm federal agencies by undermining key mechanisms for improving agency efficiency and effectiveness; and


  • harm the interests of American taxpayers who rely on the benefits of union efforts to improve agency operations, protect whistleblowers, and safeguard worker rights.


Democrats offered eight amendments to:

  • preserve existing protections for whistleblowers who report waste, fraud, and abuse;
  • protect the rights of veterans and safeguard their working conditions;
  • ensure that conflicts of interest at federal agencies can continue to be identified and addressed;
  • continue protecting employees at national security agencies who identify and prevent illegal activity relating to foreign governments, including Russia;
  • ensure the ongoing protection of employees from sexual harassment;
  • continue safeguarding employees from unlawful discrimination;
  • protect current efforts to ensure workplace safety; and
  • ensure that all federal employees, including non-union members, continue to receive fair representation.

Republicans unanimously rejected all of them.  Democrats voted against final passage of the legislation.


Good government, civil rights, and labor groups strongly oppose this legislation, including:


115th Congress