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Tag: union

ICE Employees Complain of Pervasive Discrimination, Mismanagement, Harassment

ICE logoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The union representing ICE employees is asking the agency’s Office of Inspector General to investigate allegations of discrimination, mismanagement and harassment from top officials.

“We’ve begged ICE leadership to intervene but they refuse to clean up the agency,” Felix Luciano, a local president of the union in San Diego, said in a PR News Wire release. “If you’re a pregnant female, a veteran, a union representative, or person of color, you’re a target of ICE managers.”

The issues are so pervasive, the union argued, that ICE employees filed 18 discrimination suits in just San Diego.

“Union and non-union employees agree: ICE is a horrific place to work,” said Chris Crane, National President of the union representing ICE employees.

“Mission readiness falls apart when leadership fails, and morale hits rock bottom,” Crane said. “Discrimination, harassment and retaliation are a part of everyday life for ICE employees. Our managers act more like thugs than public servants entrusted to manage ICE’s critical public safety and national security missions.”

Crane said the pervasive issues are causing morale to continue to decline.

Other Stories of Interest

Drunken Brawl Breaks Out at National Border Patrol Council Meeting

Border PatrolBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A drunken brawl broke out at a National Border Patrol Council meeting in San Diego, resulting in nine civil harassment restraining orders being filed by four agents, ABC 10 News reports.

The fight at Local 1613 broke out during the June 9 meeting as union members were drinking.

The union’s meeting at Crowne Plaza Hotel in Mission Valley included an open bar tab “in order to foster a sense of brotherhood and boost morale.”

It appears the bar fostered some ill-will when an altercation broke out among intoxicated members, according to ABC News.

Former Local 1613 President Robert Harlan complained that a union member “started kicking me in the head, and then he straddled me and started wailing me with both fists on the sides of my head and my ears repeatedly, and there was nothing I could do to defend myself.”

The San Diego Police Department investigated the brawl and handed the case over to the prosecutor for potential charges.

San Diego Park Improvements Become Impediments for Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Enhancements at a San Diego park have caused an unusual rift between the Border Patrol union and city park officials.

NBC San Diego reports that wooden bollards were placed around the Tijuana River Valley Regional Park in 2013 to prevent cars from driving into the park.

But those roadblocks are now impeding border protection, the union claims, because law enforcement officials can’t get around them.

“It looks to me the design is there in the middle of the roads to keep the Border Patrol agents off those roads where we ordinarily patrol,” said Border Patrol Union Representative Gabe Pacheco.

 

Now Border Patrol worries that illegal immigrants will use the barriers to their advantage.

But park officials said the bollards are important.

“Bollards are used for 2 main reasons: (1) Public Safety- Protect trail users from vehicular traffic; (2) Stewardship of Public Lands- Protect areas that are environmentally or culturally sensitive,” park’s department spokeswoman Shannon Singler told NBC.

Union Recommends Terrance Gainer As Next Head of Embattled Secret Service

Terrance Gainer

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Who should replace the leader at the embattled Secret Service?

In a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, the nation’s largest police union is recommending former Senate Sergeant-at-Arms and U.S. Capitol Police Chief Terrance Gainer, the USA Today reports.

The recommendation follows the resignation of Julia Pierson, the agency’s first female leader.

The interim chief is Joseph Clancy, a retired special agent in charge of the Secret Services’s Presidential Protective Division.

Franternal Order of Police President Chuck Canterbury said Gainer has “the respect and admiration of those who worked for him and those who worked with him.”

Border Patrol to Test Body Cameras Following Complaints from Activists

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Border Patrol is beginning to test body cameras following complaints from activists, the Associated Press reports.

The body cameras were purchased and will be tested at Border Patrol’s training academy.

The news came during a meeting with activists who have urged the federal government to use the cameras.

It remained unclear whether the cameras would be introduced to the field.

According to the AP, the National Border Patrol Council likely will oppose the measure.

“We want to make sure these are used to back up agents, not to persecute them,” Shawn Moran, a spokesman for the agent’s union, said. “If they’re used correctly by the agency, they will offer an independent account in use-of-force incidents or any type of incident. We do have concerns management would use them to look for administrative violations.”

Border Patrol Union Leaders: Understaffed Agency Is Increasing Immigrant Crisis in Texas

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Union leaders for the Border Patrol told lawmakers Wednesday that the agency is understaffed and unable to handle the influx of immigrants as a crisis unfolds at the border with unaccompanied children, the Houston Chronicle reports.

The agency is “drastically understaffed with morale plummeting to record lows,” Chris Crane, president of the National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council 118 of the American Federation of Government Employees, told the House Judiciary Committee.

“I hope that Congress will also consider the future consequences of allowing (enforcement and removal activity) to continue in its current state.”

Making matters worse is a heightening crisis involving the detainment of thousand of unaccompanied children from Central America. Up to 40% of Border Patrol’s manpower has been diverted to caring for the immigrants, said Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd. “This manpower decrease did not go unnoticed and for those trying to enter the country illegally – it was a good time to try,” Judd said.

Border Patrol Union: Agency Violated Guidelines with Ban on Agents’ Cell Phones

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Border Patrol’s ban on bringing cell phones or electronic devices to work following the leaked photos of an overcrowded processing center in Texas violates collectively-bargained guidelines, a union representative insists.

The Blaze.com reports that the agency also is threatening employees who speak to the media.

Prior to the release of photos at the Nogales center, agents were allowed to bring cell phones to work in case radio communications shut down.
Shawn Moran, spokesman for the National Border Patrol Council, said a patrol agent in charge doesn’t have the authority to to ban cell phones. That responsibility lies with the sector chief.

“If the Tucson local feels there’s a violation of our collective bargaining agreement then they can file the appropriate grievance,” Moran told TheBlaze. “If there’s a violation I hope they do, our locals are not afraid to litigate these matters.”

A Dec. 2, 2008 memo to all station chiefs states that the “policy does not prohibit personal wireless communication devices while performing official duties, but limits the usage.”

FBI: 10 Union Members Accused of Resorting to Violence Targeting Contractors with Non-union Laborers

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Ten union members in Philadelphia are accused of starting fires, sabotaging construction sites and threatening violence when companies used non-union laborers.

The Blaze.com reports that federal agents arrested 10 members of Ironworkers Local 401 and charged them with participating in a “a conspiracy to commit criminal acts of extortion, arson, destruction of property, and assault.”

“While unions have the right to legally advocate on behalf of their members, my office will not tolerate the conduct of those who use violence to further union goals,” said United States Attorney Zane David Memeger. “Union officials and members who commit arson, destroy property, use threats of physical harm, and engage in other acts of violence to extort victims on behalf of their union need to be criminally prosecuted.”

The FBI says the defendants created a “goon” squad to “commit assaults, arsons, and destruction of property.”