Republicans Threaten to Derail Anti-Terror Bill Over Union Rights



It seems like the Administration is intent on making our front line of human defense against terror at airports and railways are underpaid, overworked, and could care less about protecting us because they both hate their jobs and don’t have the voice to make it better, or are so afraid of being fired or punished by managers that cut corners that they won’t blow the whistle on the warning signs of the next terror plot. I’m all for giving the TSA to be flexible with the hiring and firing of its staff and making sure they have the right people in the right places to do the right jobs, but they shouldn’t deny those workers the ability to collectively bargain for a better workplace just because of that-those two things are not, and never should be considered, mutually exclusive.

Security administration officers are already allowed to join a union. But few do, as current federal law does not permit the union to bargain on their behalf to contest workplace assignments, file grievances or represent them in disciplinary matters. Backers of the measure say giving the T.S.A. workers broader rights does not create security problems.

"There’s no good reason to deny these rights to these people," Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, independent of Connecticut, said Tuesday, as the Senate took up the matter.



“How safe is the public if officers who see security breaches that result from mismanagement cannot disclose that because they fear they could be fired?- said Mark D. Roth of the American Federation of Government Employees.

Under the proposal, the security officers would not have the right to strike, and the union would not have the power to negotiate wages. But it would be authorized to bargain on their behalf to establish work rules to govern overtime and temporary transfers, and to protect them if they file a grievance.

Is that too much to ask, when you’re charged with the some of the highest responsibilities with the lowest appreciation in the country: protecting every man, woman, and child passing through our airport gates, railway stations, and bus terminals?

Filed under: Rights and Freedoms, Inside the Beltway, Culture Wars, The Homefront by - phoenix @ 4:46 pm


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