FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 23, 2002
Diane Witiak
John Irvine
(202) 639-6419

AFGE Thanks Reyes For Effort Against Army's "Third Wave"

(WASHINGTON, D.C.)--AFGE thanks Representative Silvestre Reyes (D-Texas) and 68 of his colleagues for signing a letter of "great concern" to Army Secretary Thomas White, a former high-level Enron executive, about the privatization effort known as "Third Wave."

In the letter organized by Reyes, a bipartisan coalition of Representatives from across the nation demonstrated their dismay about White's decision "to review for privatization more than 214,000 military and civilian positions in the Army." The letter states that the "Third Wave" initiative has "the potential of seriously eroding the readiness of the total force at a time when the nation is facing a determined security threat."

"White would like to run the Army like Enron," stated AFGE National President Bobby L. Harnage, Sr. "Representative Reyes' letter lays down an excellent foundation for defending the Army and any other parts of DoD from wholesale privatization that would jeopardize national security in order to reward contractors for campaign contributions."

The Reyes letter reminds White that efforts like the "Third Wave" were repudiated by the House of Representatives in an overwhelming and bipartisan vote earlier in 2002. The letter also points out that the policy of privatization without competition was rejected by the 12 member-Commercial Activities Panel, which included three representatives from the contractor community and four representatives from the Bush Administration, including a representative from the Department of Defense (DoD).

The pro-warfighter, pro-taxpayer coalition concluded the Reyes letter by insisting that White attempt to secure the necessary enabling legislation from Congress before undertaking any part of the "Third Wave" initiative.

A copy of the letter and a list of signatories are available by calling AFGE's Legislative Dept. at (202) 639-6413. AFGE is the largest federal employees union, representing 600,000 federal and D.C. workers. For more on AFGE, log onto www.afge.org.

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