(WASHINGTON)—The American Federation of Government Employees today applauded President Barack Obama for his intent to nominate Erroll Southers as the new Transportation Security Administration Assistant Secretary.
“We are very pleased that the administration has heard AFGE on the dire need for a TSA administrator to be appointed,” AFGE National President John Gage said. “We look forward to working with Mr. Southers to turn this agency around to one that its employees and the American public can be proud of.
“The question of bargaining rights at TSA is not a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when,’” Gage said. “We are confident that the appointment of Mr. Southers as administrator will help put that matter to bed.
“This is a great day for Transportation Security Officers across the country. For nearly eight years, TSOs have had to deal with issues of health and safety, discrimination, selective hiring practices, nepotism, management intimidation, and reports of lax oversight at the agency with only AFGE to stand between them and an arbitrary and capricious management. With a new administrator and full workplace protections, they will have the full weight of civil service due process rights and labor law to add to the union protections AFGE has secured throughout the past years,” he added.
AFGE has represented the TSA workforce since the agency was created in 2001. The union currently has approximately 11,000 dues-paying TSA members in 33 Locals nationwide.
“AFGE is the only union that can truthfully and proudly say that it has been fighting for collective bargaining for the entire eight years TSA has been in existence,” Gage said. “This is a battle not just for bargaining rights, but for the respect and dignity long overdue to TSOs.”