WASHINGTON, DC – Alex Bastani, president of the local 12 chapter of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), told union members that they are filing a complaint against the Department of Labor that may develop into a class action lawsuit.
AFGE is affiliated with the AFL-CIO, a mega-union that has endorsed President Obama, but parking rate increases at DOL have Local 12 up in arms against the Obama administration.
“Management has made it clear that it intends to move forward on July 1st with the parking increase without the involvement of the Union and despite any hardship expressed by the employees,” Bastani wrote to union members in an email obtained by The Washington Examiner.
The union is angry about losing a $35 per month parking fee as the DOL turns management of its parking spaces over to a private contractor. “The eventual contractor will charge ‘slightly below’ the average Washington rate of ‘$220 to $260/month,'” The Washington Examiner’s Paul Bedard explained, per Labor Department official Al Stewart’s announcement of the change.
“We will be filing a complaint with the Federal Service Impasses Panel requesting an order that the United States Department of Labor be compelled to bargain with us over its decision to contract out the parking, [and the] increase in rates,” Bastani told members.
Local 12 will also attempt to haul the Obama administration before the Federal Labor Relations Board, and may file a civil lawsuit against the Labor Department. “We will also explore whether a class action can be filed pursuant to the Rehabilitation Act for those employees who are disabled and park in the Frances Perkins Building Garage,” Bastani wrote.
In the meantime, they will organize more public protests.