(WASHINGTON)— American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. today issued the following statement regarding an explosion outside an Arizona Social Security office:
A recent explosion outside the Social Security Administration office in Casa Grande, Ariz., should be a wakeup call for every agency head that the security and safety of our federal employees should be a top priority.
In this frightening event, a homemade bomb was detonated at the employee entrance to the Social Security office on the morning of Nov. 30. Luckily, no one was injured in the blast, although some employees have developed a cough and one is being examined for possible hearing loss as a result of the explosion.
Employees are understandably shaken and frightened and worried that they are putting their lives in danger simply by showing up for work. This incident is a stark reminder of the difficult and often dangerous environment in which federal employees work.
The office reopened Thursday for the first time following the incident, and employees have been gratified by the outpouring of support and encouragement from visitors.
I want to thank AFGE Local 3694 President Tony Thomas and Council 147 President Katrina Lopez for attending to the needs of the affected employees. I also extend my gratitude to SSA Administrator Michael Astrue and Region 9 Commissioner Bill Zielinski for personally visiting the office and pledging to review security enhancements at all Social Security offices.
My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone at the Casa Grande office, and I hope that justice is served as this case moves through the courts.