Federal worker union to move forward with court fight against Trump administration over shutdown

Federal worker union to move forward with court fight against Trump administration over shutdown
© Greg Nash

The American Federation of Government Employees said it will move forward with its legal fight against the Trump administration over the partial government shutdown, despite news on Friday that the president had agreed to end it and reopen roughly one-quarter of the government. 

AFGE, which purports to be the nation's largest federal employee union, said the three-week deal President TrumpDonald John TrumpGrassroots America shows the people support Donald Trump Trump speaks to rebel Libyan general attacking Tripoli Dem lawmaker: Mueller report shows 'substantial body of evidence' on obstruction MORE has agreed to sign does not render its case moot.

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Speaking from the Rose Garden on the partial shutdown's 35th day, Trump agreed to sign a short-term spending bill to fund the government though Feb. 15. The measure does not include the billions of dollars he has demanded to build his southern border wall.

AFGE filed its lawsuit against the federal government on Dec. 31, alleging that the Trump administration was violating the law by requiring some federal employees to continue to report to work without pay. The shutdown, which began on Dec. 22, has left roughly 800,000 workers furloughed or working without pay.

Though Trump said Friday that federal workers will receive back pay "as soon as possible," AFGE said it isn't dropping its case.

The union is urging federal employees who have been working without pay to join the case as plaintiffs and to fight for liquidated damages for any financial harm they may have suffered.

“While the agreement reached by the White House and Congress will put employees back to work temporarily and allow them to start getting paid, we will not stop fighting until we have full-year funding approved for all our agencies and until all employees are made whole for the income they have lost," AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. said in a statement.