(LOS ANGELES)—More than 150 Transportation Security Officers at the Los Angeles International Airport filled the American Federation of Government Employees’ newly-opened office at the Airport Spectrum Building on Sept. 24, enthusiastic to meet with AFGE activists to talk about workplace concerns and the benefits of joining the union.
The TSOs who came to the open house were both members and non-members, about 60 of whom signed up to join AFGE. (Approximately 30 more TSOs have joined since the office opening.) After the ribbon and cake cuttings, AFGE activists talked to TSOs about their workplace rights – especially how limited they are – and what it means to be represented by AFGE, the country’s largest federal employees union. AFGE also raffled off several items including a flat screen TV and an iPod.
“TSOs were very energized and glad that AFGE will be right at the airport,” said Cris Soulia, president of AFGE Local 1234, which represents TSOs in California, Hawaii, Nevada and Arizona.
Many TSOs came to the open house because of workplace concerns, especially health and safety issues such as jet fumes and some TSOs reportedly being made to stand for 10 hours during a shift. An AFGE Health and Safety specialist will address these issues with a training at the LAX office later this month.
With about 2,300 TSOs, LAX employs the largest number of TSOs in the country. AFGE’s stronger presence at this massive airport is an attempt to better serve workers in the Los Angeles area. Within the coming months, AFGE also plans to have an attorney stationed onsite to help with the huge representation load generated by the growing TSO membership.
The Los Angeles TSOs who recently joined the union are part of approximately 6,500 TSOs across the country who, as dues-paying members of AFGE, enjoy the benefits of first rate union representation. As the only labor union to represent TSOs since the agency’s inception, AFGE is the foremost authority on labor issues pertaining to the TSA workforce. Members of Congress most often look to AFGE as the official source of information on TSA matters and the union frequently is invited to testify on such issues. Although TSOs remain deprived of the right to bargain collectively, AFGE regularly represents these employees before the TSA Disciplinary Review Board, EEOC, Congress, and in courts and the media. AFGE remains the strongest advocate for workplace rights at TSA.
AFGE’s LAX office is located at 5757 Century Boulevard Suite 700, Los Angeles, California 90045. More information on AFGE’s efforts at TSA can be found at www.tsaunion.net.