WASHINGTON – The American Federation of Government Employees applauds the Senate for striking down a proposal to begin privatization of Department of Defense commissaries under a pilot project.
The Senate voted 70 to 28 on June 7 to kill the privatization pilot project, which had been included in the Senate version of the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act. The amendment rejecting the privatization effort was sponsored by Senators Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma and Barbara Mikulski of Maryland.
“Preserving the commissary benefit is a priority for AFGE and that’s why our DoD members sent nearly 2,000 emails to their lawmakers voicing opposition to the privatization project and other harmful provisions in the NDAA,” National President J. David Cox Sr. said.
AFGE is now working to remove a provision in both the House and Senate versions of the NDAA that would slash the pay and benefits of future commissary workers by converting commissaries to a non-appropriated fund status. This downgrade would result in pay cuts of anywhere from 10% to 30%, depending on job and location, for commissary workers – many of whom are veterans or spouses of active-duty members.