Local 1650 Wins Settlement Allowing Workers to Wear NFFE Gear on the Job


Internal NFFE News

February 20, 2024

Last week, U.S. Forest Service Management and National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE-IAM) Local 1650 settled a dispute regarding Angeles National Forest (ANF) employees wearing union t-shirts, patches, and other gear at work. Management and Local 1650 released a joint letter stating that ANF employees are now permitted to freely wear NFFE items and other personal clothing while on duty performing activities that do not require a Forest Service approved uniform.

Local 1650 filed an Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) against ANF management, as employees were told by their supervisors that they were not allowed to wear union branded items at any time while at work. Shortly after the ULP was filed, management quickly returned a settlement offer, agreeing to the terms that Local 1650 requested.

“This a win for our union in that we held management to the letter of the law,” said NFFE Local 1650 President Matt Brossard. “The statute protects us to be able to freely wear our union shirts and we wanted to make sure our rights were respected. I think this is a sign of management’s willingness to work with us and it sent a message that we have the authority to defend our rights and we are not afraid to challenge policies that are unjust.”

“While this may seem like a small victory at first glance, this effort shows the strength of collective action and unionism at work,” said NFFE National President Randy Erwin. “This is only the beginning of what federal wildland firefighters can accomplish through their union. We are still resolving a second ULP regarding flexible work schedules for Local 1650, but we are confident that this decision sets a precedent of management recognizing the collective voices of NFFE members, both in Region 5 and across the Forest Service.”