West Point workers protest outsourcing of jobs

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More than 50 federal workers picketed outside the Military Academy at West Point Friday to protests the decision to privatize jobs there.

In an effort to cut spending, the Army turned to outsourcing, hiring a private company from Georgia to handle jobs like plumbing and maintenance. That means 460 federal employees could soon lose their jobs.

"You have folks here on this picket line whose grandfathers and great-grandfathers put doors and stone together with their bare hands," says union leader Don Hale. "It's generations of families that have supported these cadets."

In a statement, the administration of West Point says if the decision to outsource jobs stands, "West Point will work to ensure a smooth transition period and an environment in which all displaced federal employees receive the utmost support."

The rally was held a day before commencement ceremonies. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates will deliver the commencement address Saturday.

"We want Secretary Gates to stand up and say he supports federal employees and civil servants to do the job for DOD (Department of Defense) along with our war fighters," says Scott Wilson.

For footage of West Point Employee Union members' protest, go to your digital cable box and select iO Extra, Ch. 612.

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