WASHINGTON, Aug. 25, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Federation of Government Employees today announced that the National Veterans Affairs Council has recruited its 100,000th member.
The milestone was reached Aug. 25, when an employee of Local 2382 in Phoenix (AFGE District 12) turned in her union enrollment form. The VA and all other federal agencies are an open shop, meaning employees don't belong to the union unless they actively join.
"This is a remarkable achievement for the VA Council and AFGE, and it's a testament to the continued strength and vitality of the labor movement in this country," AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. said.
Membership in the VA Council has swelled by 60 percent since 2007, when the VA Council ended the year with 62,486 members. Except for a small drop in 2011, enrollment has grown steadily during the past seven years.
"VA employees know that there is strength in numbers, and they see that AFGE fights on their behalf every single day to improve working conditions and give them a voice in the workplace," National VA Council President Alma L. Lee said. "We're excited to reach the 100,000 mark and now we'll start working on getting to 105,000."
The growth in union membership within the Department of Veterans Affairs mirrors increases occurring throughout AFGE. AFGE enrollment eclipsed 285,000 in July, following a decade of continual increases.
"During a time of unprecedented attacks on the pay, benefits and jobs of government employees, we have been able to continue to grow our union because employees know that we're the only one out there fighting for them," Cox said.
"We win some battles and we lose some, but we are always in the ring. As our membership grows, so does our voice in fighting on their behalf."
The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union, representing 670,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia.
SOURCE American Federation of Government Employees