WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today in support of federal employees’ protest of Department of Defense personnel changes on Capitol Hill today:
“I support the hundreds of concerned federal civilian employees who are visiting Capitol Hill today to protest Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld’s poorly crafted proposal to replace the Defense Department’s current personnel system and significantly weaken or eliminate collective bargaining, employee appeals, the right to organize, and other basic worker rights.
“Nearly 750,000 hard working women and men serving in the Department stand to be adversely affected by the Secretary’s plans. It is ironic, to say the least, that the Secretary is targeting those workers at precisely the same time that their effectiveness and dedication have been proven in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere.
“The war on terrorism will not be won by declaring war on basic worker rights that contribute to a strong and capable Federal workforce. I call on Secretary Rumsfeld to abandon his personnel plans and will work to ensure that Congress continues to scrutinize the merits and effectiveness of these changes if they are implemented.”