Bush takes one last whack at worker rights

Hislatestvictims:8,600workers,1,000ofthemnowrepresentedbytheAmericanFederationofGovernmentEmployees,inarangeofagencies.Bush,again,used"nationalsecurity"asanexcuse.
"ThesubdivisionsoftheDepartmentsofEnergy,HomelandSecurity,Justice,Transportation,andtheTreasury"listedinhisorder"haveasaprimaryfunctionintelligence,counterintelligence,investigative,ornationalsecuritywork,"Bushdeclared.
Asaresult,federallaborlawsthatletunionsnegotiateforthoseworkers"cannotbeappliedtothesesubdivisionsinamannerconsistentwithnationalsecurityrequirementsandconsiderations,"heordered.
Whilefederalworkerscannotstrikeandwhiletheirabilitytonegotiatewagesislimited,theirunionscanbargainoverworkingconditions,grievanceproceduresandwhistleblowerprotections.Butfortheseworkers,notanymore,ifBushhashisway.
AmongtheworkersBushtossedoutofunionprotectionarethoseattheSavannahRivernuclearreactor,25HomelandSecurityDepartmentagencies–notablyincludingfederalairmarshals–and5,000workersintheBureauofAlcohol,TobaccoandFirearms.
AFGENationalOrganizerPeterWinchsaidhisunionwillfightBush'sorderandtrytogettheincomingObamaadministrationtorevokeit.Bush'spriorexecutiveordersbannedothergroupsoffederalworkers,notablythenation'spubliclyemployedairportscreeners,fromunionrepresentationon"nationalsecurity"grounds.Screenershiredbyprivatefirms,atfiveairportsnationwide,canunionize.
"Severalexclusionsbythispresidentwerenotdonefornationalsecurityreasons,buttostopunions,"Winchsaid.


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