News Releases

Senator Murray voices support for federal workers, condemns President Trump’s executive orders targeting federal employees’ right to organize and ability to collectively bargain

Senator Murray: “The federal government should be a model for employers—demonstrating how to treat their workers fairly and with respect.”

Senator Murray criticized Judge Kavanaugh nomination to Supreme Court as latest step in President Trump’s anti-worker crusade

Senator Murray: “Judge Kavanaugh’s record proves he would not be the fair voice working families need. Throughout his long career, Judge Kavanaugh has sided with corporate special interests at the expense of workers and their rights.”

The Stand: “Sen. Murray: U.S. should be model employer, not attacking its workers’ rights” – LINK

***WATCH VIDEO OF SENATOR MURRAY’S SPEECH HERE***

(Washington, D.C.)  Today, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), top Democrat on the Senate labor and pensions committee, recognized the important and underappreciated work that federal workers do every day and voiced opposition to President Trump’s continued crusade against worker’s rights. In remarks on the Senate floor, Senator Murray emphasized that the federal government has a responsibility to ensure every worker can work under safe conditions, earn a living wage for their family, and retire with dignity. She stressed that the government has a direct responsibility to treat its own employees with respect and should be a model for protecting the rights of workers.

Senator Murray condemned President Trump’s series of anti-worker executive orders, which make it harder for working families to become economically secure and limit the ability of workers to unionize and collectively bargain for safer conditions and fairer wages. She also criticized President Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, spotlighting the judge’s consistent rulings in favor of corporate special interests at the expense of workers. Senator Murray encouraged every worker who believes in a fair economy to make their voice heard and urge their Senators to oppose Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination.

Key excerpts from Senator Murray’s remarks:

“Through a series of executive orders—President Trump has made it harder for workers to organize, for their unions to effectively represent them when they have a dispute with management, and for federal agencies to bargain collectively with their employees in good faith…Since day one, President Trump has undermined worker protections, including their right to overtime pay and collective bargaining, and made it harder for working families to become economically secure. And now, he has nominated another anti-worker, anti-union judge to the Supreme Court.”

“But Judge Kavanaugh’s record proves he would not be the fair voice working families need. Throughout his long career—Judge Kavanaugh has sided with corporate special interests at the expense of workers and their rights. He has argued against health and safety standards for workers—a view not shared by the other members of the Circuit Court. He has argued against workers’ right to be paid fairly for the work they do, and repeatedly, he has been hostile towards workers’ right to organize, join a union, and speak up together for better wages and working conditions.” 

“Our government, our economy, and our country are strongest when workers are able to make their voices heard, and are a part of this process. So I hope my colleagues across the aisle who claim to care to about the economic security of working families and the middle class will join us in pushing back against President Trump’s harmful executive orders and opposing his anti-worker Supreme Court nominee.”

Watch video of Senator Murray’s remarks HERE.

Full text of Senator Murray’s remarks:

“Thank you M. President.

“I come to the floor today in defense of the millions of federal workers around the country who have been targeted by President Trump and his Administration, including tens of thousands of workers in my home state of Washington.

“Federal workers go to work every day, performing jobs that often go unnoticed or unappreciated. They ensure our grandparents receive Social Security and Medicare benefits. They investigate claims of unsafe working conditions or employers not paying workers what they are owed. Federal workers are the nurses and doctors who take care of our veterans at VA hospitals and facilities. They are our first responders when natural disasters devastate communities, including thousands of men and women on the frontlines of wildfires ravaging the West right now. They help protect our drinking water and clean air as scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency. They educate us about our nation’s landmarks as National Park Rangers, and so much more.

“M. President—they work tirelessly every day to ensure our lives are a little bit better, and while it is the responsibility of government to ensure every worker is able to go to work without putting their health or safety at risk, earn a living wage to support their families, and retire with dignity, the federal government has even more direct responsibility for its own workers, and should be a model for treating workers fairly and protecting their rights.

“Unfortunately, M. President, since day one, President Trump has fought to roll back worker protections and undermine their rights.

“And now he has taken a number of steps targeting federal workers’ right to join together and collectively bargain for better working conditions. Through a series of executive orders—President Trump has made it harder for workers to organize, for their unions to effectively represent them when they have a dispute with management, and for federal agencies to bargain collectively with their employees in good faith.

“And these executive orders target protections that were painstakingly negotiated and agreed to by both parties to ensure workers who are paid with taxpayer dollars are treated fairly and that workplace disputes in the federal government are resolved efficiently and equitably.

“M. President—again, the federal government should be a model for employers—demonstrating how to treat their workers fairly and with respect. 

“And by treating federal workers poorly, President Trump is sending a clear signal that this Administration does not care about workers and will do nothing to intervene when corporate management mistreats their workers.

“This series of executive orders is not the only way President Trump is making it harder for working families to succeed in this country. Since day one, President Trump has undermined worker protections, including their right to overtime pay and collective bargaining, and made it harder for working families to become economically secure.

“And now, he has nominated another anti-worker, anti-union judge to the Supreme Court.

“M. President—last month’s Supreme Court decision in Janus made it clear that working families need a fair voice on the highest court in the land.

“But Judge Kavanaugh’s record proves he would not be the fair voice working families need. Throughout his long career—Judge Kavanaugh has sided with corporate special interests at the expense of workers and their rights. He has argued against health and safety standards for workers—a view not shared by the other members of the Circuit Court. He has argued against workers’ right to be paid fairly for the work they do, and repeatedly, he has been hostile towards workers’ right to organize, join a union, and speak up together for better wages and working conditions.

“Judge Kavanaugh has used his power as a federal judge to try to create loopholes for corporations to avoid negotiating with unions. He has even argued that some immigrant workers do not have the right to organize and collectively bargain.

“M. President—Judge Kavanaugh’s record is not one of someone who will be balanced—and who will listen to each case without bias, it is the record of someone who has consistently sided with corporations and management—and I fear he will do the same on our nation’s highest Court.

“And I fear that Judge Kavanaugh’s pro-corporate, anti-worker record is exactly why President Trump and Republicans in Congress are pushing so hard to seat him on the Supreme Court.

“So—M. President—I am proud to join my colleagues today to stand for our federal workers and working families, and I urge every worker who believes our economy should work for them—not just corporations and special interests—to make their voices heard. Call—write—text your Senators and urge them to oppose Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination.

“Our government, our economy, and our country are strongest when workers are able to make their voices heard, and are a part of this process. So I hope my colleagues across the aisle who claim to care to about the economic security of working families and the middle class will join us in pushing back against President Trump’s harmful executive orders and opposing his anti-worker Supreme Court nominee.

“Thank you, M. President, I yield the floor.”