(WASHINGTON)—Only days after meeting with American Federation of Government Employees National President John Gage, at which he requested that TSOs be granted workplace rights, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said before the House Homeland Security Committee that she asked the DHS general counsel whether or not she has the authority to grant Transportation Security Officers bargaining rights.
“Secretary Napolitano clearly took AFGE’s concerns to heart,” Gage added. “I was glad to meet with her last week and welcome any advances she makes on the behalf of TSOs.”
AFGE has worked closely with the Obama administration on the issue of TSA bargaining rights. During his election campaign, Obama met with AFGE leaders, including Gage, and in an Oct. 20 letter to AFGE, stressed that “it is unacceptable for TSOs to work under unfair rules and without workplace protections … Collective bargaining rights ensure that federal agencies run as effectively as possible and are able to focus on protecting our national security … agreements also provide an excellent structure to address issues such as a fair promotion system, the scheduling of overtime, shift rotation, health and safety improvements …”
AFGE has approximately 10,000 TSO members at more than 100 airports across the country. The union currently has 24 TSA Locals and is in the process of chartering numerous others.