(DALLAS)—With close to 10,000 TSA members in 22 Locals nationwide, the American Federation of Government Employees added to its reputation as the union for TSA workers with a new Local in Dallas. More than 100 Transportation Security Officers at Dallas/Fort Worth International and Dallas Love Field airports joined Local 1040 after it was chartered in August.
“AFGE has stood behind TSOs in Dallas for seven years, but this new Local means that TSOs will have a voice at home, not just one nationally,” said Local 1040 President Greg Gallo. “As a member of TSA’s first class in 2001, I have seen the ups and downs at the agency. Unfortunately, there are mostly downs so an AFGE presence is imperative to boosting confidence and morale.”
“AFGE is excited to add yet another new Local to its growing list of localized chapters across the country,” AFGE National President John Gage said. “The new Local signifies a growing trend among TSOs that they want local representation, while belonging to the largest—and among the most influential—federal employee union in the nation. AFGE is the only union that can offer that, and will continue its drive to have Locals in every major city in the U.S.”
AFGE’s influence in Dallas is evident. Earlier this year, a TSO was restored to her position as a Lead after AFGE argued that TSA management failed to follow the doctrine of progressive discipline in determining the appropriate discipline in her case and that a demotion was excessive punishment. TSOs in Dallas also have been active in AFGE’s campaign to organize TSA workers and to obtain the same collective bargaining rights available to other national law enforcement officers.
In stark contrast to other employees at the Department of Homeland Security, and most other federal employees, TSOs are denied the basic workplace rights they so rightly deserve. Since TSA’s inception, AFGE has fought for these employees and sees a renewed opportunity in President-elect Barack Obama, who has outwardly shown his support for TSOs and AFGE and its efforts.
Obama wrote directly to AFGE on Oct. 20 and stressed that “it is unacceptable for TSOs to work under unfair rules and without workplace protections … Collective bargaining rights ensure that federal agencies run as effectively as possible and are able to focus on protecting our national security … agreements also provide an excellent structure to address issues such as a fair promotion system, the scheduling of overtime, shift rotation, health and safety improvements …”