Leadership: December 9, 2002


Behind the Bush Administration's demand that the new Department of Homeland Security avoid the union work rules that make it hard to fire people is an even broader Bush Administration plan to fire tens of thousands of government employees and have private contractors compete to do that work (which is mostly maintenance and construction but includes some office jobs). Republicans have traditionally wanted to do this since they regard the highly unionized (and largely Democratic) government civilian employees as inefficient and wasteful. This policy is welcome with many military commanders, who see turning essentially non-military support jobs over to civilians a way to make it easier to meet recruiting needs with better qualified candidates.--Stephen V Cole


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