“The Panel itself claims it does not have the expertise to make such a decision,” said Harnage. “Yet when AFGE asked the Panel to refer the matter to a qualified arbiter, they refused.”
The FSIP decision upholds GSA’s original announcement in March of 2000 which will close Distribution Centers in: Ft. Worth, Texas; Palmetto, Ga.; Franconia, Va.; Chicago; Denver, Colo.; and Auburn, Wash. The only two Distribution Centers slated to remain open are those in Burlington, N.J., and Stockton, Calif.
“AFGE is very concerned about the jobs of these employees as well as the needs of this nation,” Harnage explained. “What about the risk facing firefighters who risk their lives battling forest fires and depend on supplies from GSA warehouses? We had better not have forest fires naturally occurring in places far away from GSA Distribution Center locations.”
“AFGE worked with GSA for months last year to determine what system would work best for our nation,” noted Harnage. “We won’t give up on doing the right thing now,” he added.
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.