Homeward-bound commuters in Langley, Virginia Thursday afternoon were greeted by hundreds of protestors outside CIA headquarters, many of them sporting American flags and other patriotic garb. The demonstration was organized by Operating Engineers Local 99, which is trying to reach a contract agreement with AECOM, a subcontractor at the agency. “Look, we love our country and we love working at the agency, but we feel disrespected,” said Robert Poe, an electrical specialist and Local 99 shop steward, wearing a t-shirt with “USA” emblazoned on across his chest. “Here we have a company that’s violating labor laws, and is trying to slash costs on our backs.” Read more below.
- report/photo by Chris Garlock; more photos here
Workers at AECOM have received just one raise in the last five years and the company has demanded significant givebacks on pensions and healthcare, according to Local 99. “We’re really disappointed in the company,” Poe said, as Local 99 members and their supporters chanted and waved picket signs at the passing traffic. “We have a lot of pride in the work we do, working for our country.” Local 99 Business Manager Michael Murphy says it’s important to hold the line on a good contract at AECOM, not just for the local’s members there, but for those who work for other area government service contractors. “It’s great to see support from both the NOVA and Metro Washington Councils and their affiliates today,” added Murphy, “It really means a lot to the guys.” Another negotiating session has been scheduled for next Wednesday.