(PITTSBURGH)—American Federation of Government Employees Transportation Security Administration members Shawn Williams and Kim Kraynak today sat down with U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis and discussed with her working conditions at the agency. The meeting took place at the AFL-CIO convention, at which both Solis and Williams spoke.
Williams and Kraynak shared with Solis their experiences as Transportation Security Officers, and expressed the need for collective bargaining rights at the agency.
“We only want what other federal employees—including those in the rest of the Department of Homeland Security—already have,” Williams told Solis. “We are not looking for special treatment; we only ask for the basic workplace protections that have been stolen from us.”
“Secretary Solis was very receptive and seemed open to learning more about the working conditions at TSA,” Kraynak said.
TSOs currently are denied collective bargaining rights, but AFGE has been working for eight years to change that.
“For eight long years, TSOs have dealt with issues of health and safety, discrimination, intimidation, and lax oversight at the agency with only AFGE to stand between us and an unpredictable management,” Williams told the AFL-CIO convention. “But AFGE secured a promise from President Obama to ensure collective bargaining rights would be granted at TSA, and we will not rest until that happens.”
Kraynak and Williams are the president and women’s coordinator, respectively, of AFGE Local 332.
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.