PRESS RELEASE from AFGE via PRNewswire-USNewswire

Social Security Union Endorses Obama

    WASHINGTON, Feb. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Federation of Government Employees' Council 220, which represents 25,000 federal
employees in the Social Security Administration (SSA) field offices, today announced that it will support Sen. Barack Obama for President of the United States.

    "It was a difficult choice between two highly qualified candidates, but in the end we feel Sen. Obama will offer the kind of new leadership necessary to restore the Social Security Administration to a first class agency," said Witold Skwierczynski president of AFGE Council 220. "Sen. Obama has been a friend of labor, displaying a firm understanding of the critical importance of both a healthy labor movement and strong government in America. We are confident that as President, Sen. Obama will look closely at SSA's needs and work to reestablish the necessary working relationship between the agency and its bargaining unit employees."

    In recent years, public access to SSA services has been severely limited because of budget restrictions. Proposed budget cuts and updates to "modernize" the system have been misguided and poorly implemented, such as the push to force seniors to conduct the complicated SSA process entirely on the internet.

    The Council said it retains the utmost respect for Sen. Clinton, but notes that the next administration must be prepared to make the changes necessary to meet SSA's critical challenges. Unfortunately, the previous Clinton Administration made cuts that severely limited the agency's ability to effectively pursue its mission, a trend accelerated by the Bush Administration's agenda to create privatized social security.

    "What SSA needs is leadership that respects the value of its employees and seeks their input as the agency moves through the 21st century. We believe the candidate most apt to bring about that change is Sen. Barack Obama," added Skwierczynski.

    The Council of Social Security Field Office Locals, Council 220, is an affiliate of the American Federation of Government Employees. AFGE HAS NOT
YET ENDORSED a candidate in the presidential race.

    The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union, representing 600,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia.

SOURCE American Federation of Government Employees