Union Calls on TSA to Protect Workers from Abuse over ‘Pat-Down’ Searches

The union said its Transportation Security Officer members have reported instances in which passengers have become angry, belligerent and even physical with TSOs. In Indianapolis, for example, a TSO was punched by a passenger who didn’t like the new screening process, the union said.

AFGE called on TSA to provide an educational pamphlet to each passenger on the new procedures and what passenger rights are, AFGE President John Gage said.

“TSA must do a better job explaining these measures to the flying public,” Gage said. “This absence of information has resulted in a backlash against the character and professionalism of TSOs. TSA must act now—before the Thanksgiving rush— to ensure that TSOs are not being left to fend for themselves.”

Passengers have not been the only ones to complain. Rep. John Duncan, R-Tenn., blasted TSA for what he called “embarrassing, intrusive pat-down” searches. And, he questioned the wisdom of spending up to $300 million to install 1,000 high-resolution scanners in airports around the country. “The American people should not have to choose between having full-body radiation or a very embarrassing, intrusive pat-down every time they fly, as if they were criminals,” Duncan said.

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