August 26, 2003
Enid Doggett
(202) 246-3982
Kurt Gallagher
(202) 639-6419

AFGE National President John Gage Addresses Blacks In Government Conference

Washington, D.C.—Newly elected AFGE National President John Gage will join the Blacks in Government (B.I.G.) 25th Annual National Training Conference in Denver, Colo. to address the challenges government workers face due to the state and municipal budget shortfalls caused by the economic slump and planned policies of the Bush Administration.

“At all levels, government employees are under siege,” John Gage said. “At best, those we hail as heroes—those charged with protecting the homeland and preparing for every contingency—are expected to do even more than in the past with the meager resources of today. At worst, those who make our government operate smoothly and provide the services Americans expect, face the reality that their jobs could be sold off to well-connected contractors or that they could lose the job protections that shield them from internal office politics.”

President Bush plans to privatize 850,000 federal jobs—roughly one-half the federal workforce—of which 17.7% are held by African-American, 6.7% by Hispanics, and 44% by women.

Gage added, “The implications for the diversity of the federal workforce are widespread. Decades of providing equal employment opportunity will be undone as the federal workforce is dismantled.”

AFGE, the nation’s largest federal employee union, represents 600,000 federal and D.C. government workers nationwide and overseas.

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