(WASHINGTON)—The American Federation of Governments Employees (AFGE), the only union to represent and stand behind Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) since the agency’s inception, recently chartered its 16th local, Local 615, at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. AFGE now has as dues-paying members more than 6,000 TSOs at airports across the country.
Since the passage of the Airline Transportation Safety Act (ATSA) in 2001, AFGE has worked aggressively with Congress in pursuit of agency reforms and legislation that would give TSOs workplace rights. The union also has taken on TSA in the courts, before the International Labor Organization and with the Federal Labor Relations Authority over issues including the failure to grant collective bargaining rights, unfair personnel systems, subjective performance-based pay and promotion policies, and unreasonable shift scheduling.
“The chartering of these Locals represents a growing movement amongst TSOs to have a strong voice within the workplace,” said John Gage, AFGE national president. “In our seven-year organizing campaign, AFGE has gone from working with a couple hundred TSOs in a few major airports to empowering TSOs stateside, as well as in Puerto Rico and Guam, to organize themselves into AFGE Local Unions.”
Over the next few months, AFGE anticipates that the growing call for collective bargaining rights and a voice in the workplace will lead many other TSOs at the nation’s busiest airports to with the 6,000 TSOs who have already chosen to be members of AFGE. So far, AFGE has chartered TSA Locals as follows:
Local 1 – Nationwide 237 - Rhode Island 441 - Charlotte 444 – BWI 445 – Dulles 555 – Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, South Carolina 556 – Florida 557 - Puerto Rico 777 – Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin 778 – Detroit 1039 – Houston 1120 – Salt Lake City 1121 – Seattle 1234 – California, Hawaii, Nevada, Arizona 2222 – New York, New Jersey 615 - Cleveland
“While we will continue to fight for whistleblower protection and full collective bargaining rights for TSOs, we will do so while simultaneously building union structures at key airports as a way of giving these workers a powerful voice at the jobsite,” Gage added.
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.