Federal workers enjoy job security

Tuesday, November 6, 2001

The U.S. House decision to keep airport security guards in the private sector rather than making them federal employees has its detractors who argue that national security is a federal responsibility whether it's at airport security checkpoints or ground forces in Afghanistan. But the experience of other countries, where terrorism has been prevalent for years, has shown that private security -- done right -- works better.

An interesting sidelight of the debate prior to last week's vote on the House airport security bill was a concern expressed by U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson of Cape Girardeau. Without a special provision, she said, there would be no way of firing federal employees at airports who fail to do their job.

This is a telling assessment, given the large number of federal employees in this country -- all safe, for all practical purposes, from ever being fired regardless of the quality of their work.

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