AFGE Presses Ahead With Efforts To Win Collective Bargaining For Airport Security Screeners

The runway has yet to be cleared giving airport screeners the right to collectively bargain, but that isn’t stopping the American Federation of Government Employees from moving forward. When the Department of Homeland Security was created under the previous administration, collective bargaining rights were disallowed for airport screeners. On Monday, the union filed a petition with the Federal Labor Relations Authority seeking the right to be the exclusive representative union of the workers. AFGE is in competition with the National Treasury Employees Union over representation of the workers. Both labor organizations have signed up workers as they wait for the right to collectively bargain. President Barack Obama pledged on the campaign trail that he would support efforts to unionize the screeners; however, his nominated appointee to the head the agency recently withdrew as a candidate due to the inability of Congress to break a block put in place by Rep. Jim DeMint of South Carolina. DeMint has held up efforts to provide leadership at the top Transportation Security Administration because he believes granting collective bargaining rights will be a threat to national security.

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