(WASHINGTON, D.C.)—Bobby L. Harnage, National President of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), today urged Congress to federalize airport security:
"Airport security, like law enforcement, is not a function suitable for outsourcing. The bottom line for contractors is profit while the bottom line for the federal government is public safety.
"It's outsourcing that's the problem. Whether supervised by the airlines or the government, outsourcing public safety has proven to be a very dangerous business.
"The security and safety of Americans traveling on U.S. airlines should be the responsibility of the federal government.
"This government function would be responsible for the safety of the flying public—more Americans than any other federal agency is responsible for protecting at any one time.
"Just as law enforcement is a government responsibility, so should the security of the American people against terrorism be a responsibility of the federal government. This important function should not be abdicated to contractors.
"When the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were attacked, Americans turned to their government for reassurance and protection. Americans need to feel safe in the sky again: To do that we must federalize airport security."
The American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, is the largest union for government employees, representing 600,000 federal workers in the United States and overseas, as well as employees of the District of Columbia. To learn more about AFGE, visit www.afge.org.