(WASHINGTON)—American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. issued the following statement regarding a change in the Transportation Security Administration’s Prohibited Items List.
“Any knife, regardless of blade size, can be used as a weapon. TSA has created a situation where TSOs will be required to discern the length and width of a knife blade in a very short period of time. Disagreements over the TSOs’ determination as to whether the knife will be allowed through checkpoints may result in a confrontation. Far too often, TSOs are threatened and even assaulted by irate passengers at the checkpoint; this ambiguous new policy will only escalate those incidents. In addition, TSOs face possible discipline from an increasing number of checkpoint disputes surrounding the new policy.
“AFGE TSA Council 100 also opposes the changes in PIL allowing small, toy or“novelty” bats to pass through checkpoints. TSOs have been assaulted and injured at checkpoints by items smaller than a 24”bat.
“Although duly-elected as the exclusive representative of more than 40,000 TSOs nationwide, AFGE TSA Council 100 was not included in the committee TSA established to “review the Agency’s Prohibited Items List.” The policy was changed without any input from the employees responsible for implementing the changes at checkpoints at airports across the country. If representatives of AFGE had been included in the committee, TSA would have heard firsthand the risks to both TSA employees and the flying public.
“AFGE TSA Council 100 joins the Flight Attendants Union Coalition, the Coalition of Airline Pilot Associations and the Federal Law Enforcement Officer Association in opposing the change in policy and urges TSA to meet with the union as the agency reconsiders its decision.
“AFGE encourages those who share our concerns about the new policy to go to www.noknivesonplanes.comand sign the petition asking the White House to rescind the new policy.”