Employees of the AFL-CIO, the union federation representing 12.5 million workers, during the December-January government shutdown. But they could soon be facing furloughs of their own.

A group of secretaries, accountants, janitors and other hourly workers at the federation’s Washington headquarters have been fighting a months-long battle with management over their next collective bargaining agreement. While the two sides have settled most issues, the dispute now revolves around furloughs, and whether management would have the right to unilaterally impose them as it tightens its budget.

A union representing the 50 AFL-CIO employees, the Office and Professional Employees International Union Local 2, says that what the federation is seeking runs counter to its own values, since its contract demand could weaken

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