The Enemy Within

Our hometown paper looks at the regional government employee union meeting held in Warner Robins, GA.

President Bush came under heavy fire Friday as officials from the American Federation of Government Employees closed out a two-day meeting at the Local 987 union hall on Watson Boulevard.

The session included presidents and vice presidents from several locals within AFGE’s 5th District. The district, one of 11 in the AFGE structure, covers five Southeastern states and Puerto Rico.

Speaking at a concluding town hall meeting attended by about 40 union members, AFGE national vice president Charlotte Flowers said she was tired of Bush “wrapping himself in the flag at public events and calling himself a true patriot.”

Flowers, based in Atlanta and District 5s chief executive, said Bush had made federal employees the enemy.

“He continues to portray us in a poor light,” she said. “It’s demoralizing. We work hard for the American people. We deeply care about the work we do. The president needs to look at federal employees if he wants to see who the true patriots are.”

AFGE is the bargaining unit for about 600,000 civilian employees in the federal government. Local 987 represents some 12,000 workers at Robins Air Force Base.

Maybe if the AGFE was willing to compromise on issues like the Homeland Security department and actually do regular, consistent, decent work people wouldn’t look down on government employees. But, when they can’t be fired for doing crappy work, people will continue to view them negatively.

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Erick Erickson

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