FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 28, 2001

Magda Lynn Seymour
Diane S. Witiak
(202) 639-6419

GSA Decision: A Business Blunder

(WASHNGTON, D.C.)—Acknowledging that they are “not in the business of managing a multi-million dollar national warehouse stock distribution system with over 1,200 employees,” the Federal Service Impasses Panel (FSIP) has handed down a decision that can only be termed shortsighted.

Calling the decision a “business blunder,” the president of the nation’s largest federal employees union, Bobby L. Harnage, which represents some 4,500 General Services Administration (GSA) employees, notes the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) will look into a congressional investigation.

“The Panel itself claims it does not have the expertise to make such a decision,” said Harnage. “Yet when AFGE asked the Panel to refer the matter to a qualified arbiter, they refused.”

The FSIP decision upholds GSA’s original announcement in March of 2000 which will close Distribution Centers in: Ft. Worth, Texas; Palmetto, Ga.; Franconia, Va.; Chicago; Denver, Colo.; and Auburn, Wash. The only two Distribution Centers slated to remain open are those in Burlington, N.J., and Stockton, Calif.

“AFGE is very concerned about the jobs of these employees as well as the needs of this nation,” Harnage explained. “What about the risk facing firefighters who risk their lives battling forest fires and depend on supplies from GSA warehouses? We had better not have forest fires naturally occurring in places far away from GSA Distribution Center locations.”

“AFGE worked with GSA for months last year to determine what system would work best for our nation,” noted Harnage. “We won’t give up on doing the right thing now,” he added.

The American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, is the largest union for government employees, representing 600,000 federal workers in the United States and overseas, as well as employees of the District of Columbia.

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The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union, representing 670,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia. For the latest AFGE news and information, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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