Labor Department Union Objects to Obama Choice of Acting Director
By Carol Leonnig
The union for federal employees at the Department of Labor complained this morning about Obama's choice of Edward Hugler to be acting secretary of labor while the president's nominee for the job, Hilda Solis, struggles through her confirmation process.
Hugler, who had been deputy assistant secretary for administration and management at the Department of Labor, was a point person in the Bush administration's push to privatize parts of the department's work functions. The Government Accountability Office recently concluded that the privatizing effort disproportionately and adversely impacted women, African Americans and employees over the age of 40.
The American Federal of Government Employees said it complained to Hugler in 2006 about what they considered the discriminatory nature of the privatization process, but received little response to their concerns.
"While the GAO is holding Department of Labor management accountable, the first signal from our new president is that he will not be holding Department of Labor management accountable for their actions," said Alex Bastani, the President of the AFGE Local 12, which represents federal employees at the Department of Labor in the Washington metro area.
"Department of Labor employees, whose morale was badly damaged during Secretary Elaine Chao's tenure at the Department, are deeply disappointed by the President's decision to make Mr. Hugler acting secretary," he said.
Posted at 11:54 AM ET on Feb 5, 2009
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