Union makes move to get TSO's collective bargaining rights

UnionmakesmovetogetTSO'scollectivebargainingrightsByLeischenStelter-02.23.2010

WASHINGTON—Inanefforttofacilitategiving40,000transportationsecurityofficerscollectivebargainingrights,theAmericanFederationofGovernmentEmployeesannouncedduringapressconferenceonMondaythattheyarefilingapetitionseekinganelectiontoestablishwhowillrepresentTSOs.


TheAFGEandtheNationalTreasuryEmployeesUnionarebothvyingtorepresentairportscreenersastheirofficialunion.

ThisannouncementwaslargelymadeoutoffrustrationstemmingfromafailuretoelectaheadoftheTransportationSecurityAdministration,saidJohnGage,presidentofAFGE.“Wehavebeenpatientwaitingforatransportationadministratortobenamedandwe’redisappointedwithErrollSouthersbackingoutofthenomination,”hesaid.“We’regoingtocontinueforcollectivebargainingrightsandknowwe’regoingtogetitandwehavetogetit.”

EstablishingwhichunionorganizationwillrepresentTSOsatthispointintimewillhopefullyfacilitateandspeeduptheprocessinwhichcollectivebargainingrightsaregranted,hesaid.“Bysettlingthequestionofrepresentationfirst,AFGEwillbereadytobeginnegotiationsassoonasthebargainingrightsareestablished,”hesaidinastatement.

However,thisisnotanidealsituationforTSOs.ColleenKelley,presidentoftheNationalTreasuryEmployeesUnion,whoisalsocompetingtorepresentairportemployees,toldtheWashingtonPostthatherorganizationswouldwinanyelection.Butshetoldthepublication,“Itwouldbeafarbetterscenarioforemployeesiftheadministrationwouldgrantthemcollectivebargainingrights.Itisunclearwhatanexclusiverepresentativewouldmeanunderthisstructure.”

TheAFGEfiledtheirpetitioncallingforanelectiononMonday,butthereisnoguaranteethattheFederalLaborRelationsAuthoritywillgrantthemthepetition.


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