BBG Watch wishes Happy Thanksgiving to our readers, contributors and supporters.

The following commentary is reposted from the American Federation of Government Employees, AFGE Local 1812, website.


by American Federation of Government Employees, AFGE Local 1812

AFGE Local 1812On this very special and unique American holiday, as we give thanks for the many blessings bestowed upon us by a society that gave us the Bill of Rights and many other human and civil rights guaranteed in the Constitution, our thoughts are with former BBG Governor Victor Ashe and soon to be leaving Governor Susan McCue who fought bravely over these past few years to ensure that employees would enjoy these rights. We wish them the best on this Thanksgiving Day and want them to know how grateful we, the rank-and-file workers, are that they considered us as valuable professionals rather than disposable items. It was truly a privilege to have worked with them.

We also give thanks to those many employees who have fought bravely this past year to carry out Voice of America’s mission, in spite of all the obstacles put in their path while that venerable mission was demeaned by some Agency managers bent on destroying it. And we thank those who have given so much of their time dedicating themselves to preserving the Voice of America, a voice of the people of the United States to the world — a voice that used to speak of these rights, and of the ideals of the American people. The VOA Charter has been our guiding principle and motivates us at a time when upper management has steered our Agency away from the Charter and onto the rocks of dysfunction and irrelevance.

Finally, our thoughts turn to those former employees who have less to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, those employees whom the Agency has egregiously wronged. Our hearts go out to them. Two years ago, an Arbitrator ruled in favor of the illegally-fired former employees of the Office of Cuba Broadcasting in Miami. This Thanksgiving, many of them are still unemployed, their houses repossessed, their careers destroyed, their family lives shattered.

Those Agency managers responsible for their ordeal will stuff themselves with their Thanksgiving dinner of turkey, mounds of mashed potatoes, gobs of cranberry sauce and pieces of pumpkin pie, with visions of their next bonus, their next raise, their next cushy job, or their rehiring as contractors or consultants to the Agency the second they retire dancing in their heads. It’s a different story down in Florida, where those, who by law should have been compensated and made whole by virtue of a legally binding Federal Arbitrator’s decision, have little to be thankful for.