(WASHINGTON, D.C.)--Several unions, representing both private and public sector employees, are sending a letter
to House and Senate conferees urging full federalization of airport screening.
The letter asserts that, "The best way to restore the confidence of Americans in the nation's air transit system is to ensure that the important work of screening passengers is performed by reliable and experienced federal employees."
Refuted in the letter are misinformed contentions that it is difficult or time-consuming to suspend or fire federal employees in the context of public safety or national security. "Federal employees can be suspended immediately, particularly in cases involving public safety and national security," the letter states.
The signatories urge conferees to ensure that federal employee screeners would be real federal employees, "… there is no plausible justification for denying federal employee screeners the rights and benefits afforded generally to similarly-situated federal employees, such as health insurance, life insurance, retirement benefits, workers' compensation, veterans preference, equal employment opportunity rights, rights to organize collectively and be represented by unions, and whistleblower protections. Such benefits and rights would ensure that the federal government recruits and retains the best possible screener work force."
The letter is signed by the Transit Workers Union, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, the Association of Flight Attendants, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, the National Treasury Employees Union, the United Auto Workers, the International Association of Machinists, the Professional Airways Systems Specialists, and the American Federation of Government Employees.Full Text of Letter