Union denounces GSA decision to close warehouses

Union denounces GSA decision to close warehouses

MARCH 28— The union representing workers at six General Services Administration supply depots scheduled to be closed next month has blasted the decision as short-sighted.

In a six-page letter to GSA administrator David J. Barram released today, American Federation of Government Employees President Bobby L. Harnage Sr. said GSA has rebuffed attempts by the union to let the employees make the facilities more efficient and competitive.

"We realize GSA wants to be GSA.com, but what GSA refuses to acknowledge is that the successful 'dot-coms' providing goods are actually building warehouses to ensure customer satisfaction," Harnage wrote. "GSA's supply system offers many unique customer and delivery needs that cannot easily be accommodated elsewhere."

The letter came in response to GSA's decision to close six of its eight supply depots [see story at www.gcn.com/vol1_no1/daily-updates/1573-1.html].

Harnage also criticized GSA's claim that the warehouses should be shut down because of declining sales. "GSA's forecasts have been significantly over-pessimistic," he said.

"The central dispute between the parties remains that GSA's goal is to close the warehouse system in its entirety, while we agree with the consultants that a reformed system can and should be retained as an integral part of the overall [Federal Supply Service] supply chain," Harnage added.

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