AFGE issued a release today in support of the U.S. Sentencing Commission's (USSC's) unanimous vote on Friday to allow federal prisoners serving time for low-level drug offenses to apply for early release. Overcrowding in federal prisons has become a significant problem in recent decades. AFGE notes that federal prison incarceration levels have risen 50% since 2000, and nearly 900% since 1980, much of it relating to drug sentences. The federal prison system is overcrowded by an average of 43%, with some prisons being much higher, and this increases dangers for both correctional officers working in the prisons and inmates.
There's been lots of debate and discussion lately about how to shore up Social Security for future generations. But already there are dramatic changes underway that threaten to end Social Security as we know it—yet almost no one has even heard of it.
The plan is called Vision 2025, and every working American has a stake in it.
AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. today issued the following statement on the House Republican-forced government shutdown:
The moment we have been dreading has arrived. The House of Representatives has shut down the federal government, locking out 800,000 federal employees who want to go to work to support the American people.
More than 1,500 people rallied Tuesday on Capitol Hill in support of working families and to tell Congress not to make any benefit cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. They also told Congress to close tax loopholes for big corporations and the wealthiest 2% and to prevent the sequester from going into effect and harming the country. Throughout the rally, working families spoke with a unified voice calling for "jobs, not cuts."
AFGE is urging Congress to reject an attempt by Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) to extend a freeze on federal worker salaries that has been in effect for the past two years. AFGE National President J. David Cox said that the proposal is a "cheap political ploy" that would inflict serious damage to the already modestly paid working families whose members hold federal government jobs. Cox also pointed out the freeze would harm the communities where these workers live since they will spend another year unable to afford much outside of bare necessities.
J. David Cox was elected AFGE president yesterday by delegates to the union’s convention in Las Vegas. Cox, who served the past six years as AFGE’s secretary-treasurer, succeeds John Gage, who retired after serving nine years in the top job. Eugene Hudson Jr. was elected secretary-treasurer and Augusta Thomas was re-elected vice president for Women´s and Fair Practices.
AFGE Secretary-Treasurer J. David Cox has been named new chair of the AFL-CIO Union Veterans Council. He previously served as the council’s vice chair. The Union Veterans Council focuses on veterans’ issues and advocates public policies to improve the quality of life for U.S. veterans and their families. The two primary areas of focus for veterans are access to good jobs and to quality health care. Cox says:
The care of our nation’s veterans is of utmost importance to me. They have sacrificed so much to this country.