LINCOLN — A state agency director has apologized for a social media post that referred to the leadership of a state labor union as “communist agitators.”

Trevor Jones, the head of History Nebraska (formerly the State Historical Society), sent a message to employees referring to a July 10 meeting between agency employees and the Nebraska Association of Public Employees. The union represents state workers, including History Nebraska employees.

“Don’t spend your noon hour throwing hands and dustin’ it up with communist agitators,” the post said. “Consider instead spending a peaceful hour at ‘Lunch with Trevor.’ ”

 The post, which featured a photo of a 1934 labor riot in Loup City, Nebraska, drew a harsh rebuke from a union official who called it “unprofessional, inappropriate and a prohibited (labor) practice.”

“In my 34 years as a state employee, I’ve never seen the head of a state agency … treat our union with such contempt,” wrote Deb Strudl, chairwoman of NAPE/American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Local 61. “Your implication that we are communist agitators, violent and unfriendly is without merit and completely false.”

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