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Shipyard Workers Sue U.S. Defense Department

The union representing civilian workers at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard is part of a larger group that is suing the government over collective bargaining rights.

A group of 10 labor organizations representing more than 700,000 federal workers has sued Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld over new regulations they say would eliminate collective bargaining rights.

Known as the National Security Personnel System (NSPS), the regulations would affect all civilian employees, including the nearly 5,000 workers at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. The lawsuit, filed at the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. on Monday, seeks an injunction to stop the Defense Department from implementing the regulations, most of which are expected to take place November 28th.

A federal judge has already ruled on similar regulations that were devised by the Department of Homeland Security, saying they overstepped authority granted by Congress.