More Foreign Ag Service Workers Join UnionFriday, June 15, 2012
(Metropolitan Washington Council, AFL-CIO)More workers at the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) have voted to join AFSCME Council 26. The new 98-person unit is comprised of “Schedule B” FAS employees based in Washington, DC, who work to link U.S. agriculture to the world to enhance export opportunities and global food security. The organizing effort is part of Council 26’s ongoing work to give federal employees a voice on the job to improve their morale and the effectiveness of their agencies. Joining the union gives the workers “the chance to finally have a formal voice representing the interests of all Foreign Agricultural Service employees” said Alex Gittelson, an International Affairs Specialist and “Schedule B” employee at FAS. The “Schedule B” employees have been “working under the threat of termination at any point, limited opportunities for career advancement, and without all due process rights other federal employees enjoy,” notes Council 26 Executive Director Carl Goldman. The group joins other FAS civil service employees who have been represented since 1994 by AFSCME Council 26 as part of its affiliate Local 3976.