St. Louis Public Radio News
9:18 am
Mon March 31, 2003

Union Members Rally Against Privatization

St. Louis, MO – Public sector employees rallied in downtown St. Louis Monday against a Bush administration proposal to replace up to
1-million federal workers with private contractors over the next three years.

Steve Hollis, president of the American Federation of Government Employees Local 3354, says phasing out government workers would significantly cut public services and raise costs for taxpayers.

As an example, Hollis points to the US Transportation Command at Scott Air Force Base, the agency that coordinates all military movements into the Persian Gulf.

"All the equipment, food and mail to the troops in Iraq is being provided through civilian Department of Defense employees, yet they are now being threatened with contracting out in the midst of trying to support the troops," Hollis said. "So we really feel the Bush program is not supporting our own troops."

Hollis says in Missouri, federal employees contribute more than 4-billion dollars to the state's economy each year.