(SACRAMENTO)—After close to one year of lobbying efforts and a public campaign, the American Federation of Government Employees—the union for TSA workers in Sacramento and nationwide—today applauded the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors for voting to rescind its approval for Sacramento International Airport to be allowed to privatize, or use corporate airport screeners in place of federal employees.
“AFGE is very pleased that the Sacramento Board recognizes the value in a federal workforce at TSA and has revoked its previous approval for privatization,” AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. said. “The Sacramento airport authority’s attempt to abandon its public servants in favor of corporations with only profit in mind was short-sighted at best. There simply are some functions too important to be left to companies that would be unaccountable to the American people, and securing American skies is definitely one of them.”
“Today, the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors voted to withdraw Sacramento International Airport’s application to replace its federal screener workforce with privatized contractors through TSA’s Screening Partnership Program,” said House Homeland Security Committee Ranking Member Bennie Thompson. “This decision was made after reviewing the Government Accountability Office’s recently released report that called into question the claims of superior performance by privatized screeners. I commend the Board for making this fact-based decision and urge other airport operators considering a switch to a privatized contractor screener workforce to consider the findings of GAO’s report.”
“Our officers lived with the threat of this over their heads for an entire year and can now go back to doing what they do best—protecting American skies,” said James Mudrock, president of AFGE Local 1230, which represents TSA workers at Sacramento airport. “We are very grateful for the work by AFGE’s national staff and the Sacramento County Labor Council, both of whom were instrumental in getting this vote turned around. We also would like to thank the Association of Flight Attendants [AFA-CWA] for their continued support and speaking out on our behalf.”
“The dedicated federal screening workforce at TSA is a crucial part of defending our nation from a repeat of the horror of 9/11,” AFGE TSA Council 100 President Hydrick Thomas said. “Proponents of a private screening workforce are misinformed about costs and labor issues and should instead be working to empower federal screeners to do their jobs.”
The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors in January 2012 voted to allow the Sacramento County Airport System to apply to TSA’s Screening Partnership Program, which allows commercial airports to apply to use private sector screeners. Of the nation’s 450 airports, only 16 use private contractors. Upon learning of the Sacramento airport plans, AFGE, working with the Sacramento County Labor Council, took immediate action to stop the privatization efforts. At AFGE’s urging, the California Labor Federation passed a resolution opposing outsourcing at TSA, and members of the general public and the Sacramento City Council signed a constituent letter opposing the measure.