Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) says the attempted bombing of Northwest Flight 253 is really the fault of TSA union employees, and justifies his hold on the TSA director nominee as such. Seriously.
The post remains vacant because Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., has held up President Barack Obama’s nominee in opposition to the prospect of TSA workers joining a labor union.
DeMint said in a statement that the attempted attack “is a perfect example of why the Obama administration should not unionize the TSA.” He wants Southers to clarify his stand on unionizing the TSA, a shift that Democrats support.
Without collective bargaining, DeMint said, the TSA has “flexibility to make real-time decisions that allowed it to quickly improve security measures in response to this attempted attack.”
If organized labor got involved, DeMint said, union bosses would have the power “to veto or delay future security improvements at our airports.”
He urged Obama to “re-think” supporting unionizing the TSA “and put the interests of American travelers ahead of organized labor.”
This is, quite obviously, ludicrous.
Do the unions of pilots and flight attendants not allow airlines to make “real time decisions” or negatively impact security? No. Is there any evidence that allowing TSA employees to bargain for better wages and workplace conditions would have caught or stopped Abdulmutallab? No. Would AFGE, the union that would represent the 50,000 TSA employees, ever consider vetoing or delaying security measures at airports? No. Does any of that stop DeMint from being a blowhard and saying this anyway? No.
TSA employees deserve to have a voice at work, just like any other person who works for a living. Collective bargaining is key to giving employees a voice at work, to improve the experience for passengers and to improve safety. Study after study shows that workplace safety and product or service quality improves when workers have a union, because they have a voice to speak up and share what works and what doesn’t .
Of course, Jim DeMint would rather use an attempted bombing to take a dump on the very employees in the United States who protect our airports, and leave the country without a Director of Transportation Safety in the process.
So who, exactly, is “delaying future security improvements at our airports” again, Senator DeMint?