WASHINGTON, DC—Today, Rep. Scott Franklin (FL-18), along with Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA), wrote Acting Labor Secretary, Julie Su, demanding answers about federal employees protesting stricter telework policies in-person outside their office last week. The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), which represents 45,000 federal employees, organized the event.

“If employees can show up to the office to protest, they can show up to work,” said Rep. Scott Franklin, Member of the House Appropriations Committee. “We are simply fighting for transparency and exercising our oversight authority. Sen. Ernst and I believe the Labor Department should tell taxpayers how much it costs when employees rally outside their office instead of serving the public. If there is a gross misuse of taxpayer funds, Congress should hold them accountable and make adjustments in next year’s budget.”

Specifically, this letter demands Acting Secretary Su to address the following questions no later than April 10th:

1. How much taxpayer-funded union time did representatives of AFGE Local 948 log with the Department of Labor (DOL) in the four weeks preceding their rally on March 19, 2024?
2. Were the DOL employees paid—either through taxpayer-funded union time reimbursements or otherwise—for their protest against returning to the office, which they staged at their office?
3. If so, what is the cost to the DOL—including but not limited to labor and resources—of this protest?

Earlier this month, Rep. Franklin joined Sen. Ernst to introduce the bicameral, Taxpayer-Funded Union Time Transparency Act to require every federal agency to publicly report the total time and taxpayer dollars spent allowing federal employees to engage in union activities. Occasionally, these activities directly contradict the interests of the American taxpayer and Congressional oversight, like the House’s efforts to return to pre-COVID telework policies. 

Read the full letter here.