As soon as he learned he could join a union as a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Officer, James Mudrock submitted his form to become a part of AFGE. He is now the local president for AFGE Local 1230 in California.
“I believe in unions and organizing,” said James. I believe that people in the workplace need to join together to fight for what we deserve.”
Since joining AFGE, Mudrock has become a dedicated political and legislative activist on significant TSA workplace issues. When Sacramento International Airport tried to privatize TSO positions behind closed doors, James and Local 1230 led the coalition with national and local labor affiliates to campaign against privatizing screening security. Thanks to his efforts, the county board rescinded their request to privatize-- saving hundreds of jobs.
Now James is spearheading yet another TSA effort, this time to grant TSOs the same basic workplace rights enjoyed by almost all other federal employees, known as Title 5 rights. Title 5 rights would allow TSA Officers to be paid on the GS scale, appeal adverse decisions to the Merit Systems Protection Board, and finally be included under worker protection laws like the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, and OPM pay and leave guidelines. Lacking these rights, TSOs are often judged by harsher physical and medical guidelines, have been unfairly declared medically unfit, and have even been terminated for pre-existing medical conditions.
“A lot of the basic workplace rights and protections that other federal employees may take for granted, are things that TSA Officers have never had,” said Mudrock. “Our officers work very hard under very stressful and dangerous conditions but we get treated as second-class citizens. We’re not trying to get special treatment—just equal treatment.”
Mudrock has started a White House petition to gain signatures in hopes that the Obama Administration and TSA will grant TSOs the same workplace rights as their fellow federal employees. He, along with other AFGE TSA activists, set up a table at AFGE’s recent National Convention to solicit signatures from their fellow AFGE members. “A lot of people weren’t aware that TSOs lack many of these basic rights. But when they found out, they were very anxious to sign the petition,” he said.
To reach the target of 150,000 signatures (using your home email address), our TSA brothers and sisters will need your help. Together we can continue the fight so our TSA Officers can finally have the same basic rights other federal employees have enjoyed for years.