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DOL Employee Orientation

About the Union — AFGE Local 12

Local 12 of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), AFL-CIO, represents the U.S. Department of Labor employees in the Washington, D.C. area. One of the original "lodges" established when AFGE was founded in 1932, AFGE 12 is a flagship local of the Federation. As the union representing employees at the Department of Labor (DOL), the principal Federal agency responsible for enforcing the labor laws of the country, AFGE 12 occupies a unique position.

There are about 4,000 employees in the AFGE 12 bargaining unit. The membership of the AFGE 12 is quite diverse. In terms of occupations, for instance, economist, industrial hygienist, attorney, secretary, and computer specialist are among the many jobs held by AFGE 12 members.

The current contract between AFGE 12 and the Department of labor is viewed by many as one of the best in the Federal sector for the rights and protections it contains for employees as well as for the union as an institution.

AFGE 12 has led the way in a number of areas. In 1980, for example it negotiated one of the first flexitime agreements in the Federal government. In late 1998, AFGE 12 and DOL signed a model flexible workplace (flexiplace) agreement.

Within its union nationally, AFGE 12 has played a prominent role. At the AFGE National Convention in 1997, for instance, AFGE 12 played a key role in getting the union to make fighting for fair pay for Federal workers a top priority.

In short, AFGE 12 is a continually seeking ways to increase the pay, benefits, and rights of the employees it represents.