January 29, 2002
Magda Lynn Seymour
John Irvine
(202) 639-6419

The State of the Federal Work Force

(WASHINGTON, D.C.)—The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) supports President Bush in his efforts to rid the world of terrorism but opposes the Administration in its management of the federal work force. Federal employees would like Americans to know that the Administration:

• Revoked prior government policy to allow agencies to sign contracts with companies that have broken environmental, consumer-protection, civil rights, labor and tax laws—companies allegedly such as Enron and Arthur Anderson.

• Is randomly converting or competing at least 425,000 federal jobs under a quota system, enabling the Administration to award work to corporations that made campaign contributions.

• No longer encourages labor-management partnerships, ensuring employees’ concerns and ideas are no longer heard.

• Embraces prison privatization, an approach that failed at the state level because it resulted in unsafe conditions for corrections officers and local communities.

• Refuses to turn over documents to the General Accounting Office on how America’s energy policy was developed, in turn displaying a lack of accountability to the public.

• Refuses to provide federal airport screeners with rights and benefits afforded to other federal employees—health and life insurance, retirement benefits, workers’ compensation, veterans preference, equal employment opportunity rights, rights to organize, and whistleblower protections—which are essential to having a high-quality work force.

• Treated employees in the U.S. Attorney Offices as disloyal Americans by taking away their right to union representation—a right they had for 20 years.

• Has failed to name for over one year a General Counsel to the Federal Labor Relations Authority, which in effect removes a forum for workers to speak out against mismanagement practices in government.

"The state of the federal work force is not strong," says AFGE National President Bobby L. Harnage. "The Clinton Administration mismanaged the work force and created a human capital crisis. The Bush Administration plans to dismantle the work force by replacing highly trained public employees with unaccountable private corporations, often at a greater cost."

AFGE is the largest union for government employees, representing 600,000 federal workers.

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