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By Wendy W. Ghannam
June 11, 2004

IF YOU ARE A TENURED federal worker with 20+ years in U.S. Government service, you well remember the legacy that President Ronald Reagan left to all of us.  As America mourns and shows respect for her 40th president this week, the facts belie the truth of the matter as to what Pres. Ronald Reagan committed against U.S. Federal Workers across the board--ending with the carryover of his Administration policies by Pres. Bush today.

During Reagan's eight years in office (1981-1988), he followed Presidential rhetoric with actions against the federal workforce that were considered comparable to a totalitarian despot. He changed labor relations within the working spectrum of the U.S. government--first, by firing 13,000 striking air traffic controllers.  While his serious contentions to propose budgets and programs to curb bureaucracy proved sound, he brought along his governorship attitude from California--thereby capitulating upon his one-upmanship with disdain and ridicule by the rank and file inside the U.S. federal work system. Again parlaying upon his California Governorship tactics, he tried to eliminate thousands of federal jobs and remove them to the States, while encouraging "outsourcing" and contracting out.  During Reagan's administration "outsourcing out" became a daily word inside the Beltway.  Our 40th President even supported an overhaul of federal pension programs, while advocating a wider use of drug/polygraph testing for federal workers across the board.  Very little has been written about these facts in recent days.

Today, his many program ideas come to light over again. His vision to outsource many federal programs and initiatives is still steadfastly adhered to by Members of Congress.  His brutal firing of the air traffic controllers has evolved into a softer union stance across the federal arena, here in Washington, DC and across the country.  But nowhere is the man's penchant to overturn protocol made inevitable and insidiously curtailed than what was contained inside the federal work system's disability programs, which has also proven to be a "springboard" for California's present Republican governor today. The disability system inside the Federal Government for its many workers has definite loopholes, and it needs a dire overhaul. The Workmen's Compensation System inside the U.S. Federal Government has never been audited--and federal workers continue to realize ruthlessness from toxic supervisors when they become injured/disabled on their jobs.

Repetitive Stress Disease alone will impact over 60 percent of American workers, whether they are federally employed or not.  Every President except Bill Clinton has overturned needed OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health) guidelines for a diligent ergonomic standard to protect American workers.  Ronald Reagan, when he was President, was no different in this regard.  This lack of afforded ergonomic containment will drive Americans into workplace disability scenarios such as they have never envisioned before.  Their working rights are fast becoming obliterated by the lack of proper workplace protections, as many are finding that Repetitive Stress injuries aim to cripple workers not only in their hands and arms, but also their neurological body motions and their skull areas as well.  This fact is well hidden from the average worker's knowledge arena today.

When President Reagan came head to head against the unions, he began an "anti-worker" offensive that has easily been carried over by every Republican President since his time.  As a result, American unions are experiencing a shrinking union population across the country.  Today, a more vigorous leadership is needed to offset various organizing efforts, esp. among the most oppressed workers--who in many instances are women. Women who toil on computer technology each and everyday of their working lives!!

Thus, the light following President Ronald Reagan's legacy should clearly indicate that all of America does not agree with any Presidential "elitism" tactics to obliterate the working needs for every American today.  Our strength is in our moral fiber to correct that which needs an "attitudinal adjustment" in our society as a whole--and injured members of America's working environment need  the rehabilitation and care/concern of a proper "Workplace Disability Protection System," which is entirely worker-friendly,  in order to re-commit their lives to the betterment of America's economy, for themselves and for their children.


Wendy Ghannam is an author and speaker.  Her book, WEB of BETRAYAL, is her own personal memoir of what happens when U.S. Government officials become insidiously callous and toxic when workplace injury/illness occurs.  Her employment discrimination case against the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Wash. DC took nearly eight years to achieve through the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.  She is available for speaking engagements on these subject matters.

Contact her at:  desert_rose72@hotmail.com

Her website is:  http://www.Betrayals.net

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