Local 28 was founded in San Antonio under the National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE) on September 17th, 1917. It was among the very first unions to represent non-postal federal employees. Local 28 was able to form after 1912, when Congress passed the Lloyd-Lafollette Act to overturn President Theodore Roosevelt’s previous executive order. Roosevelt’s mandate, frequently referred to as the “gag rule” had previously prevented unionized activity for federal civil service employees.
Local 28 has continuously represented federal employees since its inception, making it the oldest Local in the country that has continuously represented non-postal federal employees. In 1997, members voted to move away from NFFE and affiliate with the Laborer’s International Union of North America (LIUNA). LIUNA was founded in 1903, and has over 500,000 members, making it one of the country largest.
Under LIUNA, Local 28 has more than tripled its membership and extended its membership to such states as Missouri, Alabama, Florida, and Colorado. Local 28 has long been widely recognized as a leader in federal employee representation and was instrumental in helping to defeat President George Bush’s effort to eliminate most employee rights in the personnel program known as NSPS. Under the leadership of President Jim Hewitt since 1991, Local 28 intends to continue to be a federal sector leader for decades to come.