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Unions aren't contrary to National Security

Hi all,

I AM A UNION rep in the Forest Service, representing employees in many of your National Forests and Grasslands. One very scary thing that is going on right now for Unions in the Federal sector is the "National Security Personnel System" which largely guts bargaining rights for unions in the Federal sector (we don't have much now, and this takes even more away). The rationale is that collective bargaining and unions are contrary to national security. This is VERY scary stuff for Federal employees, but it should be equally scary to others. If the employees aren't protected while they are serving the public, then I guarantee that the public will be served much more poorly.... One Federal Union was screaming a year before Katrina that FEMA was being decimated... at least they were trying to get someone to fix the problem. Furthermore, if unions in the federal government are a hazard to national security, how far of a leap do you think it is to say that having fire fighters, police officers, hospital staff, etc. in unions is a bad idea for national security reasons? I think it is not so far to go.

Recently, the government tried to say that IMPORT INSPECTORS in the USDA should not be allowed to be unionized for national security reasons. Fortunately, the Federal Labor Relations Authority (equivalent to the NLRB in private sector) ruled that the import inspectors have the right to organize.

I am sure this will not be the last time we hear about workers being denied the right to organize and bargain due to national security reasons.... Even though you are not a Federal employee, as a worker in the US, you should be VERY worried about this trend.

Melissa Baumann
NFFE Forest Service Council

One Gifford Pinchot Dr.
Madison, WI 53726

Phone: 608-231-9278
Cell: 608-698-2645 Fax: 801-650-7354

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