After over 18 months of tireless efforts to push back against unnecessary security privatization, AFGE Local 556 members at Orlando Airport have finally seen the fruits of their labor. This week, the TSA Committee of the Greater Orlando Airport Authority (GOAA) chose to maintain federal security screeners at the Orlando International Airport checkpoints rather than hiring private, for-profit contractors.
“Air safety is about protecting people, not profits, and we believe the recommendation presents GOAA with an alternative that is more likely to keep Orlando Airport passengers and the Orlando community safe,” said AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr.
TSA officers have done an outstanding job protecting the flying public in Orlando and around the country. Close to 98,000 passengers travel through Orlando International Airport every day, and over 35 million do so annually.?TSA’s record of excellence in securing the safe operation of Orlando International Airport for over 13 years speaks for itself.
AFGE is concerned, however, about the new series of screening standards recommended to the Airport Authority by the Committee in its announcement.
“Congress created TSA to achieve a high standard of security for all U.S. airports,” said Cox. “Now, it is suggested that GOAA create its own standards for security screening, which put a premium on speed over diligence. Our TSOs can meet any standard that is set for them as long as they are not set up to fail by short staffing and restricted checkpoint operations.”
AFGE applauds Local 556 members on their hard-won victory. We will continue the fight for professional security screening provided by dedicated TSOs all across America.