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GSA Statement on Distribution Program Decision

GSA # 9800

February 23, 2001
Contact: Bill Bearden (202) 501-1231
bill.bearden@gsa.gov

The General Services Administration released the following statement today from Donna Bennett, Commissioner, GSA Federal Supply Service, regarding the future of the agency's distribution program operations:

"Today we received the Decision and Order of the Federal Service Impasses Panel concerning our negotiation impasse with the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE). The Panel supported our decision, announced on March 20, 2000, to consolidate distribution operations in two centers, located in Burlington, New Jersey, and Stockton, California. The consolidation will require closure of the Distribution Centers located in Fort Worth, Texas and Palmetto, Georgia, and the Forward Supply Points located in Franconia, Virginia; Chicago, Illinois; Denver, Colorado; and Auburn, Washington.

"We realize this decision will be painful for many of our employees and their families. Our objective is to give early notice to affected employees and explain their options so each person can make the best decisions for themselves.

"Implementation of the Decision and Order means actual closures will not occur before October 1, 2001. The FSS Office of Supply (FL) will coordinate all implementation activities. Planning details will be provided as soon as possible, including information about buyouts, early outs, and dates for major events in this process.

"Throughout the planning, consolidation, and closure process, FSS will work to minimize adverse effects on employees who will be affected by the consolidations. Our planning will focus on several related areas:

Project Plan - establish key events and dates with status tracking and reporting
Communications - provide essential information to employees, customers, contractors, and other interested parties
Employee Support Services - provide assistance to impacted or displaced FSS employees to help them find, prepare for, or move to new jobs or retirement
JWOD Coordination - the Javits, Wagner, O'Day program helps blind and severely disabled people lead productive lives. Special planning assistance will be provided to NIB and NISH workshops to ensure a smooth transition in their support of FSS' programs
Contract Actions - modify contracts for stock replenishments based on consolidation of distribution operations into the Burlington and Stockton Distribution Centers

"FSS' objective for restructuring its Supply Program is to provide customers with the most efficient and effective supply chains possible. The goal is to provide the lowest total cost price to customers while meeting or exceeding their performance requirements. Consolidating distribution operations will allow us to meet our Governmental responsibilities, to adapt to continuing changes in the marketplace, and restore the value - pricing and quality support our customers need and expect."


NOTE TO EDITORS:

FSS provides a worldwide Federal link to acquisition, supply and distribution, fleet management, excess property disposal, travel, and transportation services. It provides other Federal agencies billions of dollars worth of supplies and services each year with savings going to both customers and taxpayers. FSS will continue to be the dependable source of these services and supplies both during and after this transition is complete. In fact, customers will be offered new and better products and services from FSS based on enhancements underway for GSA's award-winning e-commerce system, GSA Advantage!, and new commercial partnerships.

Maintaining two supply depots will provide a continuous distribution system for individuals with disabilities as outlined in the Javits-Wagner-O'Day (JWOD) Act.