President Biden promised to unify America but public-sector unions had other plans. For months, union officials called on Mr. Biden to dismiss every member of the influential, but little-known, Federal Services Impasse Panel (FSIP). Last week he did. That’s how I got fired.
As an attorney with experience in public-sector labor law, I was appointed in 2017 by President Trump and began my second term last year. Last Tuesday Mr. Biden abruptly demanded the resignations of all 10 panel members and fired those who, like me, chose not to resign.
I accepted Mr. Trump’s appointment on the premise that the federal government has a duty to deal fairly with its employees. Because much of the federal workforce is unionized, officials must work with union officials on expansive collective-bargaining agreements. To prevent disruptions like the 1981 air-traffic controllers strike, the FSIP is empowered to resolve disputes.
New presidents traditionally put their own people in executive-branch positions. What makes this clearing of the decks different is Mr. Biden’s close ties to powerful labor unions and the troubling reality that those unions will end up before the FSIP over issues that could change the way the federal government serves vulnerable Americans and cost taxpayers billions.
During his campaign, Mr. Biden repeatedly said “I’m a union guy” and promised to be the most “pro-union president you’ve ever seen.” Union officials launched a massive operation to support his campaign. Many of his early orders and personnel decisions are making good on his promises to labor leaders. Union officials openly applauded when he took the unprecedented step of firing Peter Robb, the National Labor Relations Board’s general counsel, a position that traditionally carries over to a new administration.
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