Senator Tom Harkin opposes President Bush’s drive to prevent workers in the new Homeland Security agency from being part of a union. Bush says the move’s needed for national security reasons. Harkin says the 170-thousand workers who’ll become part of the new agency already have civil service protections, and 50-thousand of them are part of a collective bargaining agreement. Harkin says under current law, the Administration can hire and fire workers for national security reasons, and Harkin says he doesn’t know why the President needs more flexibility than that. Harkin says union membership didn’t prevent hundreds of union fire fighters and police officers from rushing into the World Trade Center and saving lives. Harkin says it’s a disservice to their memory to say union members shouldn’t be able to serve in the new Department of Homeland Security. The U-S Senate will resume debating the Homeland Security bill today. Harkin says it’ll be the largest reorganization of the federal government in 55 years. He says they should act swiftly to get the bill to the president’s desk, but he says the bill won’t fix everything.Harkin has been supported by organized labor in his political campaigns.
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