(WASHINGTON)- After an eight-year battle to secure full workplace protections for Transportation Security Administration employees, the American Federation of Government Employees today received word from the White House that collective bargaining rights at the agency soon will become a reality. AFGE National President John Gage spoke this morning to a senior White House official who said that xxx.
Gage today issued the following statement:
“This is a great day for Transportation Security Officers across the country. For nearly eight years, TSOs have had to deal with issues of health and safety, discrimination, selective hiring practices, nepotism, management intimidation, and reports of lax oversight at the agency with only AFGE to stand between them and an arbitrary and capricious management. Now they will have the full weight of the civil service due process rights and labor law to add to the union protections AFGE has secured throughout the past years.
AFGE is proud and overjoyed that TSA collective bargaining rights soon will become a reality. We thank President Obama and his administration for trusting in AFGE that granting these rights is a necessity if TSA is going to progress from one of the lowest ranking places to work in the federal government to a high performance, high morale workplace. AFGE pledges that the improvement of TSA’s service to the public and its workforce will be our number one goal.
We have worked diligently with the White House and with the Department of Homeland Security to make this happen and continue to fully support any legislation that repeals the ATSA, which places in the hands of the TSA administrator the option of granting full collective bargaining rights to the TSA workforce. The law must be changed so that the basic rights of employees are never left to the whim of any one person.
AFGE never waivered in our support for the TSA workforce, even going so far as to file a successful workers’ rights complaint with the International Labor Organization against the Bush administration. We never gave a second thought to the amount of fight it would take to gain bargaining rights there. AFGE is proud to be the only union to stand with TSOs since the agency’s inception and the only union to get a pledge from President Obama to provide basic workplace protections that have for years been afforded to all other DHS employees. We knew it would be an uphill battle, but also knew that this workforce was worth every drop of sweat and tears. AFGE thanks the dedicated TSA workforce for believing in the union and our efforts.
AFGE is prepared to file a petition seeking an election for sole representation of the TSA workforce the instant the rights are granted, and has the utmost confidence that TSOs will join the tens of thousands of other DHS employees already represented by AFGE.”