U.S. Labor Dept. Halts Farmout Of 250 Jobs

'Like It Never Happened'

Local 12 President Alex Bastani called last week's move a victory for the union.

"It's as if the competition never happened," he said in a phone interview. "It's pretty huge."

In May, President Bush signed legislation sponsored by U.S. Sen. Robert Byrd (D-West Va.) that protected all jobs in the department's Mine Safety and Health Administration from being outsourced. That was more than 20 percent of the jobs in the competition, according to Daliza Salas, the department's Director of Human Resources.

"As such, the services you perform will not be transitioned to a private sector company," she wrote in a memo. "The Department has no immediate plans to re-run this competition."

Local 12 filed a grievance about the outsourcing a week before its rally at the Capitol Reflecting Pool saying that the eliminations targeted black women.

When Senator Byrd's legislation became law, Mr. Bastani became confident that it would help to stop the outsourcing that was threatening hundreds of his members. "I'm surprised it happened so quick," he said.

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