June 09, 2009
WASHINGTON, DC - As the union strike at Vance Air Force Base entered its second day, U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) today made the following statement:
"If the negotiations do not reach a conclusion within the next seven days, the Air Force will be forced to send the current senior training class of pilots to another base that conducts training for pilots. If students begin to be shipped out to Texas or Mississippi, it could have dire consequences for the future of Vance.
"This strike is having an adverse effect on Vance as well as the over 550 students from the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and our Allies that are currently being trained there. The ability of our military to continue pushing individuals through the training pipeline is critical to meeting national security requirements. If the strike continues, more and more classes, and potentially their aircraft, will be moved out of Vance.
"Over the past decade, our military has increasingly relied upon contractors here at home and overseas. This process has led to an increased number of Collective Bargaining Agreements. As we have seen in this case, such agreements can lead to a significant work stoppage that creates a problem for our national security. This is why many of us in Congress have asked the Department of Defense to look into what operations should be considered inherently governmental. It is my fear that, in some cases, outsourcing to contractors has gone too far. Inherently governmental tasks should be left to government workers.
"As CSC's contract at Vance comes under its regularly scheduled review this fall, I expect the Air Force will take the current strike into consideration when determining whether or not the contract is being met. That decision will directly affect the future of the CSC contract at Vance. For all these reasons, it is imperative that a consensus be reached on the contract as soon as possible."