(WASHINGTON)—The American Federation of Government Employees today applauded the Senate for recognizing that a fully empowered TSA workforce is essential to the mission of this nation and voted down an amendment to the FAA Authorization bill sponsored by Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), named the Termination of Collective Bargaining for Transportation Security Administration Employees Act, which would prevent more than 44,000 Transportation Security Officers from being granted basic workplace protections and strip those rights from more than 10,000 other TSA employees who currently have them.
“AFGE thanks the members of the Senate who said ‘no’ to this irresponsible amendment,” AFGE National President John Gage said. “Workplace rights improve employee morale, which will improve security, not undermine it. In fact, collective bargaining brings with it improved security for passengers. A bargaining agreement would lead to better working conditions, fair promotion and evaluation practices and safer workplaces, and in doing so, increasing morale.
“It should be made very clear that AFGE does not advocate for, nor is it allowed that we would bargain over security and security issues,” Gage added. “We do, however, advocate for a safe, fair and healthy workplace.”
AFGE has stood up for TSA collective bargaining rights since the agency’s inception. Most recently, thousands of AFGE activists on Feb. 8 hand-delivered messages to their senators, urging them to reject the Wicker Amendment.
“This country’s TSOs are unequivocally dedicated to protecting each and every American, just like the unionized police and firefighters who valiantly ran into the burning buildings on 9/11. It is an absolute insult to say that with a collective bargaining agreement, TSOs couldn’t fulfill the mission of TSA, of DHS and of the United States of America,” Gage said.
AFGE thanks all the senators who voted in opposition to the amendment, and specifically Sens. John Rockefeller, Tom Harkin, Joe Lieberman, Daniel Akaka, Claire McCaskill, and Barbara Mikulski.
AFGE is the only union to represent TSOs since the agency’s inception, and currently has more than 12,000 dues-paying members in 40 AFGE TSA Locals across the country. With more than 264,000 dues-paying members in more than 75 federal and D.C. government agencies, AFGE is the single largest federal employee union in the country.
For more information, visit www.tsaunion.com.