Fort Gordon, GA (WJBF) – Protesters with the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) picketed outside Fort Gordon’s Gate 2, Tuesday night, rallying against what they call poor working conditions at the military installation.
“They’re working in conditions where there is asbestos, they even got it on the windows and on the doors. Employees have to go in and working in those conditions every single day. Mold seems to be just almost everywhere in these dilapidated buildings. They’re just old and run down and employees should not be forced to work under those conditions,” said Everett Kelly, who is vice president of the AFGA.
Kelly adds that the union has brought up the issue to management at Fort Gordon several times, but not much has been done. “They are working in conditions that are unsafe and when we raise those issues, it appears that union representatives are being targeted, once they raise these issues to higher management.”
Kelly says, what’s pushed them over the edge is when employees, who are also members of the union, brought issues to management’s attention, they suffered negative repercussions. “I’ve tried to reach out to management on several occasions, through a formal process and an informal process…to at least have management sit down to the table and tell us what’s their plan to get our employees out of that hazard buildings.”
Jamie Dukes says he has respiratory problems from working in poorly ventilated areas. He claims, once the union made him local president of the organization, the military installation let him go. “We have asked management, the Command, and the Department of Public Works for Fort Gordon to come in and do a walk-through with us. They refuse to do it.”
Earlier this year, we reported about military personnel living on post complaining about the conditions inside the barracks there. Pictures taken by soldiers show mold on their pillows, ceilings, and chairs, and these protesters say they work in the same conditions.
Fort Gordon Garrison Commander, Colonel Sam Anderson, had this to say about the protest:
“Fort Gordon cares deeply about the welfare of its workforce and takes grievances and other Union charges seriously. As individual personnel matters are covered by various privacy laws and regulations, Fort Gordon will respond to individual complaints in the appropriate legal forum.”