Tim Kaine Speaks to AFGE on Federal Workplace Issues
The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) and many other federal, postal employee and worker organizations heard from former Virginia Governor and current U.S. Senate candidate Tim Kaine in a town hall meeting last night in Arlington. At the meeting, attended by over 100 people, Kaine discussed critical workplace issues directly impacting federal employees including budget cuts, the impact of sequestration and social security.
The event consisted of a forum and was hosted by the Federal-Postal Coalition as a part of their new campaign “America Counts on Us.” At the forum, federal workers and Virginia residents could meet face-to-face with the candidate and ask him questions. Before taking questions from the audience, Kaine highlighted the importance of federal workers and said, “Our public employees are a very integral part of a government by and for the people.”
During the town hall, Kaine tackled many issues, but specifically focused on his approach to budget cuts and how his tactic on this issue differs from George Allen, his opponent in the Virginia Senate race. While Allen maintains an all-cuts approach, Kaine supports a balancing of budget and revenue cuts approach.
“An all-cuts approach is a way of weakening our social fabric and our economy,” said Kaine. “I’ve got a good track record of sharing budget cuts all around and not demonizing federal workers.”
Kaine also focused on how sequestration cuts could lead to a loss of federal jobs, his support of the “Affordable Care Act” and how social security does not contribute to the federal budget deficit.
AFGE National Secretary-Treasurer J. David Cox said that the town hall meeting was a great opportunity for union members and constituents to hear a candidate talk about union issues.
“It is refreshing to see a candidate for political office participating in a forum specifically for federal workers and retirees—the people who make America run,” said Cox. “Federal employees, especially postal service employees, are unjustly attacked in these harsh economic times, and it’s more important than ever for people to understand and stand by them.”
The town hall took place at a community center in Arlington and was attending by leading federal employees from AFGE, the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE), the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) and others. George Allen was unable to attend due to a scheduling conflict.