PARIS, EARTH — As she promised at her State of the Federation address, President Bacco and the Federation Transport Union have come to an agreement, bringing an end to the strike that began nearly eight months ago.
“This is a day of celebration across the Federation and beyond,” said Bacco from her office at the Palais de la Concorde in Paris, Earth, as Transport Union leaders stood next to her, along with business tycoon Tyson Holt.
Holt, CEO of Holt New Alliance, whom insiders have said was crucial in swaying the Transport Union to agree to the deal, made some additional remarks.
“Thanks to the President’s leadership, today marks the moment when the Federation economy returns to warp speed,” he said. “I know I for one am looking forward to getting my convoys running again.”
Transport Union official Akilah Kalu agreed, thanking both Bacco and Holt.
“This has always been about saving lives,” she said. “Our members want to get back to work, but they want to know they’ll come home to see their families. That they don’t have to worry about piracy and other attacks on their livelihood.”
The agreement marks an experiment in Federation policy as it calls for private contractors such as New Alliance Defense, a division of Holt New Alliance, to supplement existing Starfleet efforts that provide protection along trade routes such as Operation Safe Harbor, an anti-piracy effort begun by Starfleet last year. New Alliance Defense will be providing security for transport convoys along major routes as a deterrent against attacks.
However, some have expressed doubts about the new plan, including those in the Colonial Coalition that have been most affected by both increased piracy and the Transport Union strike.
“I’ll believe it when I see it,” said Yaline Troa, a shopkeeper on a trade station near Avaris IV. “We’ve heard these kind of promises from Bacco and the Federation Council before. Just look at Operation Safe Harbor. I certainly don’t feel any safer.”
Contentious Vote Ahead
The deal still must be voted on by the Federation Council, and though President Bacco has many allies on the council, other council members have expressed their concerns, including Terra Novan councilman and presidential candidate Kevin Steiner.
“The key to a strong defense is not outsourcing our obligations but on rebuilding a stronger Starfleet,” said Steiner to cheers from his supporters while making a campaign stop on Trillius Prime. “Don’t be fooled by this president’s love for theatrics. This is nothing more than a band aid for a crisis her policies have brought us.”
Another member of the Federation Council was concerned about oversight for New Alliance Defense and other private contractors.
“Starfleet operations are strictly governed by protocols set forth by this council,” said Antasa Dros of Peliar Zel II. “Furthermore, Starfleet officers undergo rigorous training to become the professionals they are. Will these private operators be following a similar structure? I’d like to think so, but I don’t know because the president hasn’t given any specifics.”
FNS commentator Lixa Dansha, who has called for convoys to answer the threat of piracy, echoed those concerns.
“While I am relieved to see Starfleet Command and the Federation take this seriously, I hope the oversight is robust,” he said.
Still, most political analysts expect the vote to pass given the devastating effect the Transport Union strike has had on the economies of many council members’ worlds. For those hit hardest by the strike, the news of the agreement was met if not with cheers then at least sighs of relief.
“Finally, something’s being done,” said Jaev’i, a farmer on Niwa IV whose farm had been shut down by the Niwa Department of Agriculture since stardate 239202. “First the strike, then the drought. It’s been a tough year for us.”
He sighed, looking at his fields for a moment.
“I want to work.”
Reporting for the Federation News Service from the FNS Paris Bureau, with additional reporting from Sol Sector FNS correspondent T’Vas.
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