Union Hopes for Better Labor Relations Under New GSA AdministratorThursday, May 1, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: John Hanley, GSA Council President
Phone: (202) 253-4571
Washington, D.C. – After the resignation of GSA Administrator Lurita Doan, the NFFE GSA Council is planning to appeal to members of Congress and the White House to encourage the selection of a new GSA Administrator that will embrace the idea of collaborative and effective labor relations at the agency.
“Over the last couple years, the union’s relationship with management at GSA has deteriorated,” said NFFE GSA Council President John Hanley. “We really hope that with a new Administrator we can put this bad stretch behind us. It is better for our members and the agency when the union and management can work together to improve working conditions.”
The union thinks change at the Administrator level could improve labor-relations throughout the agency. The labor-management relations had become so volatile that management hired an outside contractor to give the agency advice on how to diminish the strength of the union.
“I am shocked that the federal government could hire a contractor specifically to come in and bust the union. I don’t think taxpayers should be paying for something like that,” Hanley said.
Union officials attest to being targeted with abusive tactics from GSA managers. On a number of occasions employee representatives were threatened with forcible physical removal by security forces when there was no explanation for the threat. Union officers were also singled out by management and instructed to carry out pointless assignments intended to humiliate them. Numerous Unfair Labor Practices have been filed for these and other actions taken to intimidate union officers.
“This kind of thing shows just how hostile and antagonistic relations have become at GSA,” said Hanley.
“The union looks at Doan’s resignation as an opportunity for a fresh start,” said Hanley. “We realize the importance of having an Administrator that is willing to work with the union, and we hope the new Administrator will be more inclined to do so. Labor relations have basically been non-existent at this agency.”