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Court Slaps Down AFGE on Its Efforts to Avoid Reinstatement of National Union Official

Following a court’s order to undo the removal of the National Secretary-Treasurer of AFGE, Eugene Hudson, the union tried to get the court to issue an emergency stay of its order so the union could have time to fire him again. The court declined to do so and its order to reinstate Hudson to his national office still stands.

As explained in the court’s opinion  (Hudson v. American Federation of Government Employees (DDC Civil Action No. 17-1867 (JEB), 11/16/17)), the union originally removed Mr. Hudson from his position to which he was voted by the union membership because it took issue with an email blast he sent out to numerous union members using AFGE resources.

He was charged with violating the union constitution and the matter was referred to the National Executive Committee (NEC), which just so happened to be chaired by NVP Gerald Swanke, an official who previously had filed another complaint against Hudson. Mr. Hudson objected to Mr. Swanke’s participation as it led to “a significant risk of actual bias” against Hudson. Undeterred, the NEC met, found Hudson guilty of three violations of the union constitution and ordered him removed from his national office.

Hudson took his case to the district court, seeking an injunction against the AFGE removing him from his national office. The court was persuaded by Hudson’s challenge that AFGE was in violation of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act’s requirement that a full and fair hearing was required before a union may discipline a member.

t as an officer of AFGE he has the right to be in on. “Any inconvenience to AFGE is thus outweighed by this hardship to Plaintiff.” (p. 5)

Stay tuned.

Hudson v. AFGE (17-1867)

About the Author

Susan McGuire Smith spent most of her federal legal career with NASA, serving as Chief Counsel at Marshall Space Flight Center for 14 years. Her expertise is in government contracts, ethics, and personnel law.