WASHINGTON, D.C.—The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) today took its case to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, challenging the recent District Court ruling denying the constitutional right of airport screeners to organize and bargain collectively.
“Surely in this country we have not become so fearful as to deny federal employees the same rights enjoyed by other Americans,” stated the union’s National President John Gage. “TSA is using its highly questionable personnel authority to thumb its nose at the U.S. Constitution and its professional workforce, to the detriment of the flying public.”
In its appeal, AFGE argues that TSA chief James Loy’s directive prohibiting screeners from collective bargaining violates the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and the Aviation and Transportation Security Act.
“As a result of TSA’s ‘make-it-up-as-you-go-along’ personnel system, screeners are being unfairly disciplined and even fired for their efforts to protect the public,” Gage added. “Without management accountability, many screeners are being forced to ignore, or make exceptions to, potentially dangerous situations for fear of losing their jobs.”
The union is also filing a complaint with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, charging TSA with violating the U.S. Constitution when it fired Jim Ferace—the union’s named plaintiff in its original suit—for his union activities. AFGE is asking the court to reinstate Ferace with back pay and interest.
To learn more about AFGE and its efforts to represent TSA screeners, log onto www.screenersunion.org.
The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union, representing 700,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia.