The National Weather Service is canceling its contract with the union representing about 3,800 of its meteorologists and other workers in what could be the first major labor showdown of the Trump administration.

The federal agency says it's a somewhat routine move to restart negotiations, but the union calls it a bizarre surprise.

An outside expert, University of California labor law professor David Rosenfeld, calls it a shot across the bow of the union.

Weather Service deputy director Mary Erickson says terminating the 16-year-old contract is the next step in the negotiating process. In 2015, the agency sent a notice to the union that it intended to do this.

She says it is not about cutting jobs.

Union president Daniel Sobien says the union has already enlisted a mediator.


Follow the Channel 3 Weather Team on Twitter @wkycweather and on Facebook