September 05, 2003
Enid Doggett
Diane Witiak
(202) 639-6419

Court Tells AFGE to go Back to FLRA;Union Files Appeal with FLRA

AFGE v. Loy Decision of 9/5/2003

Order resulting from Decision

(WASHINGTON, D.C.)—“We’re not going to abandon these employees,” stated National President John Gage in response to the District Court’s decision today to dismiss the union’s lawsuit against James Loy, Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). The union’s lawsuit alleged that Loy’s decision earlier this year to deny TSA airport screeners collective bargaining rights violated both the U.S. Constitution as well as statutory law.

“TSA screeners desperately need a collective voice at the worksite to help ensure Americans are safe when flying,” Gage added. “We’ll be appealing this decision.”

Today’s court decision dismissed the union’s allegations of Constitutional violations and instructed AFGE to exhaust all statutory remedies with the FLRA (Federal Labor Relations Authority).

Even as the court issued its decision, AFGE was filing its appeal with the full FLRA challenging an earlier decision by the Regional Director of the FLRA’s Boston Regional Office which dismissed the union’s representational petitions.

In its appeal to the FLRA, AFGE argues that it was never Congress’ intent to take from the TSA work force fundamental rights enjoyed by the overwhelming majority of federal employees.

The union emphasizes in its appeal that the war on terrorism is being fought by millions of Americans on a daily basis and many of these employees are union members, including state, local and federal law enforcement officers, airline pilots, flight attendants, mechanics, and air traffic controllers. In fact, the airport screeners working at the five airports that remain under private jurisdiction are all permitted to petition for union recognition.

“It is reckless and capricious to deprive this small group of federal workers from being allowed to form a union and bargain collectively while allowing millions of others also engaged in the fight against terrorism to do so,” Gage added.

AFGE has asked the FLRA to remand the case to the Boston Regional Director and order him to process AFGE’s petitions for union elections.

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