October 28, 2001
Magda Lynn Seymour
Diane S. Witiak
(202) 639-6419

Airport Security Is Government Responsibility

Coalition to Launch TV Advocacy Campaign

Media Note: Copies of TV Advertisement Available by Calling Contact Spokespeople Available for Interviews

(WASHINGTON, DC)— Federalizing airport security is the focus of a television advocacy campaign launched today by a coalition consisting of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), Association of Flight Attendants (AFA), American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU).

"Airport security for too long has been managed by private companies with a history of problems," said AFGE National President Bobby L. Harnage. "We believe airport security personnel play an essential role in law enforcement to protect American citizens, which is why public employees should fulfill this public obligation."

The coalition's aim is to galvanize the broad support recognized in recent polls for the federalization of airport security. Every member of the U.S. Senate voted for a bill (S. 1447) that would end private contractor control of airport safety.

"The truth is that the tragedy of September 11 taught us an awful lesson," notes Harnage. "From now on public safety must come before the profit-driven motives of private contractors.

"The Secret Service, firefighters, police, and INS agents are all government employees who ensure the safety of the American public. Shouldn't airport security fall under the same control?" Harnage continued. Airport safety isn't a job that should go out to the lowest bidder. American lives and safety are more valuable than that."

The coalition believes that our country has now seen the ultimate cost of outsourcing. The TV ad urges viewers to call Congress and tell them airport safety is the responsibility of the government and not companies that barely pay minimum wage and sometimes even hire convicted felons.

For more information on the campaign, please call the AFGE contacts listed above or:

- Dan Kaufman, AFSCME, (202) 429-1135
- Jim Watkins, NTEU, (202) 783-4444 x2601

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