Obama’s consumer agency unionizes to preserve office space

By Stephen C. Webster
Wednesday, May 15, 2013 10:13 EDT
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"Stock Photo: Accounting." on Shutterstock: http://tinyurl.com/cn9csdu
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Employees of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) voted last week to unionize in order to protect their office space.

The agency, created by the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, did not have an easy time getting off the ground, and even now at full operational capacity problems remain. But amid across-the-board budget cuts and partisan gridlock in Congress, there are signs of steady improvement, although with that improvement some further complications have arisen.

Specifically, the agency’s employees are trying to ensure they don’t have to work from their homes or Washington, D.C. cafes while their office space is renovated in the coming months.

Sources told Politico that the current office space situation has many employees “absolutely livid” and in some cases four to five people are sharing single rooms, stacked one after another with “very, very thin walls.”

When word came down that the situation was finally being addressed, that presented a new problem: where will they work while the office is in tatters? So, employees voted last Thursday in favor of joining the National Treasury Employees Union, which represents employees in 31 different federal regulatory agencies.

It’s not yet clear if the union will be able to effectively bargain with the agency for temporary office space while renovations are underway.

“Stock Photo: Accounting.” on Shutterstock: http://tinyurl.com/cn9csdu

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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