(WASHINGTON)—The American Federation of Government Employees today stressed the urgent need for an administrator to be put in place at the Transportation Security Administration.
“Not having an administrator has certainly had a negative impact on the already low morale of the TSA workforce,” AFGE National President John Gage said
AFGE urges the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation to put TSA Administrator nominee John Pistole through with no delay.
“No senator should let an anti-labor bias interfere with the urgent need for a top Homeland Security official to be put in place,” Gage said. “Facts do matter. It is untrue that any collective bargaining agreement would impede national security. It is untrue that TSA personnel would have to first check with their union reps before acting in an emergency situation. And it is untrue that TSA officials would not be able to deploy employees as needed in an emergency.
“It is true, however, that federal agencies have the right to take whatever personnel actions may be necessary to carry out the agency mission during emergencies,” Gage added. “It is true that even in a non-emergency situation, federal agencies have the right to staff checkpoints and assign work. It is true that is illegal for any federal employee to strike. And it is true that the 9/11 police and firefighters are among the most highly unionized emergency responders in the country, and not one of them hesitated to respond.
“The dedicated men and women who make up the TSA workforce were hired to protect this nation,” Gage said. “It is an insult to each and every one of them to suggest that they would not act accordingly in any situation—emergency or not.”
AFGE is the only union to represent Transportation Security Officers since the agency’s inception, and currently has more than 12,000 dues-paying members in 38 AFGE Locals across the country.