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A federal settlement will let active National Guard members unionize

National Guard soldiers take part in desert training at Fort Irwin, Calif.
Tom Bowman
National Guard soldiers take part in desert training at Fort Irwin, Calif.

The Department of Justice has given a green light to National Guard members to unionize when they’re on state active duty. The federal government reached a settlement with plaintiffs in Connecticut that will allow unions around the country to support National Guard members.

“Guard members can go ahead and start setting up unions," said Josh Lefkow with Yale Law School's Veteran Legal Services Clinic. "The work now is organizing, ensuring that guard members know that they have the right to organize, and as part of the settlement, the Department of Justice have reached out to 54 National Guard bureaus letting them know of their legal position in this case.”

National Guard members have been organizing in Texas, where they were sent as part of Governor Greg Abbott’s "Operation Lone Star" — a border operation directed against immigration.

Guard members in Texas have said they’ve faced long hours and poor conditions.

“Seeking to make sure that these guard members have the right to organize and collectively bargain for better conditions," Lefkow said.

Copyright 2022 WSHU. To see more, visit WSHU.

Davis Dunavin loves telling stories, whether on the radio or around the campfire. He fell in love with sound-rich radio storytelling while working as an assistant reporter at KBIA public radio in Columbia, Missouri. Before coming back to radio, he worked in digital journalism as the editor of Newtown Patch. As a freelance reporter, his work for WSHU aired nationally on NPR. Davis is a proud graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism; he started in Missouri and ended up in Connecticut, which, he'd like to point out, is the same geographic trajectory taken by Mark Twain.

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