March 19, 2003
Diane S. Witiak
(202) 639-6419
Bob Nicklas
(202) 262-1719 (Albuquerque)

Largest Federal Employee Union To Hold News Conference In Albuquerque

(Albuquerque, N.M.)—Bobby L. Harnage, Sr., National President of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE)—the largest federal employee union, representing some 600,000 government workers across the nation—will hold a news conference in Albuquerque to discuss the dangers of privatization and its impact on Albuquerque and surrounding communities. Also attending the news conference will be AFGE’s 10th District National Vice President Roy Flores, who represents federal employees in Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Texas and Panama.

The news conference will take place on: Tuesday, March 25, 2003, 4 p.m., South Broadway Cultural Center, 1025 Broadway, S.E.

More than 5,000 federal employees in the Albuquerque area could lose their jobs under plans being promoted by some members of Congress to privatize close to one million federal jobs over the next two years. The state of New Mexico could lose close to 10,000 federal employee jobs—a very unwise and economically-dangerous move while our nation is facing the very real possibility of a severe recession.

Under this plan, the jobs of federal employees who secure our homeland, protect the food we eat, the water we drink and the air we breathe will be turned over to the lowest-bidding contractor, whose bottom line is profit—not quality public service.

Park rangers who protect our national parks, defense workers who maintain critical machinery and aircraft for our warfighters, correctional officers who keep our federal penitentiaries secure, nurses and doctors who care for our veterans, and even air traffic controllers are slated for privatization.

President Harnage will announce the formation of a national alliance—the Alliance for Public Services in the Public Interest—with the National Park Conservation Association, to oppose the reckless and arbitrary privatization of federal jobs and to guarantee that good jobs and good public services stay in Albuquerque.

“Anyway you look at this plan, the taxpayers are going to pay more,” Harnage will emphasize. “The cost of public services will increase while the quality of the services will decline and Albuquerque will lose good jobs which will be bad for the city’s economy.”

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