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*** The Association of Federal Government Employees announced Dec. 5 that it was going back to the bargaining table with the Environmental Protection Agency following a campaign of support from congressional allies and an investigation by the Federal Labor Relations Authority. The FLRA found the EPA had acted illegally in imposing rules upon AFGE workers in accordance with workforce orders that the President signed in May 2018 that disregarded previously agreed upon bargaining agreements between the agency and union. In exchange for EPA’s cooperation, the AFGE agreed to rescind the two complaints of unfair labor practices it filed against the agency in June and October. The two parties have agreed to begin negotiating a new contract agreement sometime in the next 30 days.

*** Georgia Republican Rep. Tom Graves announced he would not seek reelection for a sixth term in the House. Graves, who sponsored a bill to allow private companies to "hack back" against cyber intruders and who served as the ranking Republican on the Appropriations subcommittee responsible for the federal workforce and IT policy, is one of at least 20 GOP House members to opt for retirement at the end of the current Congress. In a statement, Graves said he planned to devote his remaining months in office to his service as vice chairman of on the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress.

*** Huawei is suing the Federal Communications Commission in federal court over the agency's move to prevent U.S. telecommunications carriers from using a $9 billion subsidy pool to buy the Chinese company’s network gear. In a Dec. 5 statement the company said it had filed a challenge to the FCC’s Nov. ruling that banned the use of the agency's Universal Service Fund to buy Huawei and ZTE telecommunications gear, particularly wireless 5G equipment because it threatened national security. The U.S. government has said Huawei and ZTE are legally beholden to the Chinese government to operate, presenting a critical danger to U.S. telecommunications infrastructure.

Posted on Dec 06, 2019 at 2:05 AM


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