(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.