November 11, 2002
Diane S. Witiak
(202) 639-6419

Homeland Security Compromise Is A Bad Deal For Americans

(WASHINGTON, DC)—Bobby L. Harnage, National President of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) today issued the following statement responding to reports of a compromise on Homeland Security legislation:

“The American public needs to know that the President’s so-called compromise bill for the Homeland Security Department is a Trojan Horse. It may be called “homeland security” but it has nothing to do with improving security. All it does is strip federal workers of the right to defend themselves in the workplace.

“The sad truth is that Senators will not know what they’re creating when they vote on this bill. This terrible piece of legislation gives the President the power to strip unionized workers of their ability to represent themselves on matters as basic as hiring, firing, promotions, appraisals, disciplinary actions, matching pay to job duties—the bread and butter of democratic unionism. Under the bill, Congress would no longer determine how taxpayer money is distributed among the agency’s employees—political appointees and managers would.

“The American public deserves a federal government response to September 11 that actually improves our nation’s domestic security. Instead, they’re getting warmed-over union-busting that even the Bush Administration feels the need to shroud in false advertising.

“AFGE was proud that 51 Senators stood up to the President and said that this bill was bad for homeland security and bad for American workers prior to the election. We urge them to remain standing, and continue to support legislation that would provide meaningful improvement in security for our fellow Americans. And we urge the other 49 to join them in doing the right thing for the American people.”

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, please visit

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