(WASHINGTON)—Since the inception of the Transportation Security Administration five years ago, the American Federation of Government Employees has been the only union to represent Transportation Security Officers (TSOs). Today, the NTEU announced it will charter a TSA chapter, which AFGE called “amusing and appalling.”
“While imitation is flattering, TSOs must be careful not to mistake imitation for innovation,” AFGE National President John Gage said. “For the past five years, AFGE has been the only union to stand behind TSOs. AFGE has been the only union to represent TSOs before TSA’s Disciplinary Review Board, before the EEOC and before Congress.
“AFGE is amused by NTEU’s propensity to follow in our footsteps,” Gage said, “but they are misrepresenting themselves as a TSA union. They have been nowhere in sight for five years of workplace abuse. Now that Congress is moving forward on AFGE’s bill to allow TSOs collective bargaining rights, NTEU has decided to take an interest in TSOs?
“After five years of arduous lobbying, it was AFGE that insisted that TSA collective bargaining language be included in the House and Senate bills,” Gage added. “It was AFGE that influenced Congress to vote to allow TSO workplace rights. It was AFGE alone that believed TSOs deserved to work in an environment in which they would be treated fairly. Only AFGE believed TSOs had the right to the basic worker rights they were deprived of.
“NTEU should be ashamed,” Gage said. “NTEU is using TSOs as pawns in its ploy to get attention. It is demeaning and offensive, and AFGE has no doubt the TSOs will see right through this pitiful farce.”
“AFGE remains confident in its position not only as the TSA union, but as the Homeland Security union, representing employees at every DHS agency,” Gage said.
###AFGE is the largest federal employee union representing 600,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia, including the largest constituency of DHS employees, comprising Customs & Border Protection, Border Patrol, Citizenship and Immigration Services, Immigration & Customs Enforcement, and Federal Law Enforcement Training Center officers; FEMA workers; TSA officers; and civilian U.S. Coast Guard employees.