The Right To Form And Join A Union

Executive Order 10988 is a United States presidential executive order issued by President John F. Kennedy on January 17, 1962 that recognized the right of federal employees to collective bargaining.

Executive Order 10988 gave Federal employees the right to join, form, or assist labor organizations. It established a three-tiered system of recognition: exclusive representation, formal recognition, and informal recognition. For unions designated by a majority of employees in a unit, agencies would be obligate to negotiate over terms and conditions of employment with the exclusive representative, and to allow it to attend formal meetings. In units without an exclusive representative, the agency would have to accord formal recognition to unions representing more than 10 percent of the unit and to “consult with such organization from time to time in the formulation and implementation of personnel policies and practices, and matters affecting working conditions that are of concern to its members.” The agency would also have to informally recognize all unions, regardless of whether another union was the exclusive representative, and allow them “to present to appropriate officials its views on matters of concern to its members.” 


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