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Posted at 5:15 PM ET, 02/15/2011

Senate defeats measure that would have denied TSA workers collective bargaining rights

By Felicia Sonmez

Updated: 5:45 p.m.

The Senate on Tuesday rejected an amendment that would have blocked Transportation Security Administration employees from having collective bargaining rights, handing a victory to Democrats and labor groups.

The amendment, which had been sponsored by Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and was attached to a Federal Aviation Authority funding bill, was defeated on a straight party-line vote, with all 47 Republicans voting in favor and all 51 Democrats present voting against the measure. Two Democrats, Sens. John Kerry (Mass.) and Mark Pryor (Ark.), did not vote.

The measure would have denied more than 40,000 TSA employees right to negotiate over topics normally negotiable by federal employees who are represented by unions. Wicker and other supporters of the amendment had argued that granting TSA employees full collective bargaining rights could endanger national security by forcing the agency to negotiate with unions before being allowed to move screeners or change its methods.

Opponents of the amendment criticized it as "irresponsible" and urged that granting workers collective bargaining rights would improve their morale and, in turn, national security.

Last November, the Federal Labor Relations Authority announced that TSA personnel would be allowed to vote on whether to have a national bargaining unit. Those votes are scheduled to take place this spring, from March 9 to April 19.

Earlier this month, TSA administrator John Pistole decided to allow limited collective bargaining rights for transportation security officers on issues not related to national security.

-- Eric Yoder contributed to this story

By Felicia Sonmez  | February 15, 2011; 5:15 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Comments

good new for a change...the right to strike for decent wages and benefits...everyone should have that right...

Posted by: kmdyson | February 16, 2011 11:47 PM | Report abuse

good new for a change...the right to strike for decent wages and benefits...everyone should have that right...

Posted by: kmdyson | February 16, 2011 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Clearly no one including the author watched TSA Administrator Pistole testify to Congress last week. 1. He WILL FIRE any employee that engages in a work stoppage or slowdown. 2. The agency will NEVER negotiate on security. 3. The Administrator merely granted workers the right to VOTE on whether they want representation by 1 of 2 unions OR to vote against either union. Get your facts straight.

Posted by: SailorMac | February 16, 2011 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Clearly no one including the author watched TSA Administrator Pistole testify to Congress last week. 1. He WILL FIRE any employee that engages in a work stoppage or slowdown. 2. The agency will NEVER negotiate on security. 3. The Administrator merely granted workers the right to VOTE on whether they want representation by 1 of 2 unions OR to vote against either union. Get your facts straight.

Posted by: SailorMac | February 16, 2011 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Clearly no one including the author watched TSA Administrator Pistole testify to Congress last week. 1. He WILL FIRE any employee that engages in a work stoppage or slowdown. 2. The agency will NEVER negotiate on security. 3. The Administrator merely granted workers the right to VOTE on whether they want representation by 1 of 2 unions OR to vote against either union. Get your facts straight.

Posted by: SailorMac | February 16, 2011 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Clearly no one including the author watched TSA Administrator Pistole testify to Congress last week. 1. He WILL FIRE any employee that engages in a work stoppage or slowdown. 2. The agency will NEVER negotiate on security. 3. The Administrator merely granted workers the right to VOTE on whether they want representation by 1 of 2 unions OR to vote against either union. Get your facts straight.

Posted by: SailorMac | February 16, 2011 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Clearly no one including the author watched TSA Administrator Pistole testify to Congress last week. 1. He WILL FIRE any employee that engages in a work stoppage or slowdown. 2. The agency will NEVER negotiate on security. 3. The Administrator merely granted workers the right to VOTE on whether they want representation by 1 of 2 unions OR to vote against either union. Get your facts straight.

Posted by: SailorMac | February 16, 2011 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Clearly no one including the author watched TSA Administrator Pistole testify to Congress last week. 1. He WILL FIRE any employee that engages in a work stoppage or slowdown. 2. The agency will NEVER negotiate on security. 3. The Administrator merely granted workers the right to VOTE on whether they want representation by 1 of 2 unions OR to vote against either union. Get your facts straight.

Posted by: SailorMac | February 16, 2011 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Clearly no one including the author watched TSA Administrator Pistole testify to Congress last week. 1. He WILL FIRE any employee that engages in a work stoppage or slowdown. 2. The agency will NEVER negotiate on security. 3. The Administrator merely granted workers the right to VOTE on whether they want representation by 1 of 2 unions OR to vote against either union. Get your facts straight.

Posted by: SailorMac | February 16, 2011 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Clearly no one including the author watched TSA Administrator Pistole testify to Congress last week. 1. He WILL FIRE any employee that engages in a work stoppage or slowdown. 2. The agency will NEVER negotiate on security. 3. The Administrator merely granted workers the right to VOTE on whether they want representation by 1 of 2 unions OR to vote against either union. Get your facts straight.

Posted by: SailorMac | February 16, 2011 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Clearly no one including the author watched TSA Administrator Pistole testify to Congress last week. 1. He WILL FIRE any employee that engages in a work stoppage or slowdown. 2. The agency will NEVER negotiate on security. 3. The Administrator merely granted workers the right to VOTE on whether they want representation by 1 of 2 unions OR to vote against either union. Get your facts straight.

Posted by: SailorMac | February 16, 2011 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Clearly no one including the author watched TSA Administrator Pistole testify to Congress last week. 1. He WILL FIRE any employee that engages in a work stoppage or slowdown. 2. The agency will NEVER negotiate on security. 3. The Administrator merely granted workers the right to VOTE on whether they want representation by 1 of 2 unions OR to vote against either union. Get your facts straight.

Posted by: SailorMac | February 16, 2011 3:46 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans have repeatly shown that they are going to take away workers rights, attack women's rights, and overall reward the rich while balancing the budget on the backs of the middle class. The Republican party has simply moved too far to the right and the voters need to rectify this in the next election.

Posted by: pgmichigan | February 16, 2011 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Reading these comments it seems everybody hates unions. How many of you work eight hour days, get a break for coffee and another one for lunch, have a paid vacation, get fringe benefits like health care, life insurance, paid holidays, paid sick leave, get paid at least minimum wage, get time-and-a-half for overtime, work a five day week? All this is due to unions, and if you don't belong to one you are free-loading on the blood, sweat and tears of others. When will you get that a raise for someone else doesn't mean you will get less? The middle class in this country was created by unions and the GI Bill, and don't you forget it.

Posted by: tughillb | February 16, 2011 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Hurray for the Democrats. Now if the Unions would truly be international maybe the workforces in other countries could improve their lives as ours, in the USA, have been improved through laws supported by Unions and by the bargaining of Unions.
If Unions are viewed by some as having too much power (which they do not), possibly they should look to Management that may have abdicated its responsibilities in bargaining; happy to invest their manufacturing in countries that pay very poorly

Posted by: boudy1 | February 16, 2011 11:04 AM | Report abuse

This is LESS about the nations security as IT IS about increasing the POT of Money Available from the Unions to the Socialist Democratic Party! ObaMao strikes again!

Posted by: NeoConVeteran | February 16, 2011 10:33 AM | Report abuse

What a bunch of eye-dee-otes!!!!

Posted by: texascorvette | February 16, 2011 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Which goes to show why we need to have Republicans control the Senate instead. Democrats always will go with the union leaders.

Posted by: tncdel | February 16, 2011 9:16 AM | Report abuse

ALL 51 DEMOCRATS WHO ARE SO ILL INFORMED ON THIS ISSUE SHOULD BE RETURNED TO GRAMMAR SCHOOL. FEDERAL AND STATE EMPLOYEES SALARIES ARE NOT TO BE NEGOTIATED AND THE UBIONS NEED TO BUTT OUT. ALL GOVERNMENT SALARIES ARE ALREADY ABOUT TWICE THE PRIVATE SECTOR. WHEN WILL WE LEARN?

Posted by: jackwbarnes1 | February 16, 2011 8:26 AM | Report abuse

ALL 51 DEMOCRATS WHO ARE SO ILL INFORMED ON THIS ISSUE SHOULD BE RETURNED TO GRAMMAR SCHOOL. FEDERAL AND STATE EMPLOYEES SALARIES ARE NOT TO BE NEGOTIATED AND THE UBIONS NEED TO BUTT OUT. ALL GOVERNMENT SALARIES ARE ALREADY ABOUT TWICE THE PRIVATE SECTOR. WHEN WILL WE LEARN?

Posted by: jackwbarnes1 | February 16, 2011 8:26 AM | Report abuse

So now we have 40,000 TSA workers that can strike and shut down the American air transportation system.

This is good for America?

Posted by: mjalton | February 16, 2011 7:58 AM | Report abuse

So now we have 40,000 TSA workers that can strike and shut down the American air transportation system.

This is good for America?

Posted by: mjalton | February 16, 2011 7:58 AM | Report abuse

So now we have 40,000 TSA workers that can strike and shut down the American air transportation system.

This is good for America?

Posted by: mjalton | February 16, 2011 7:58 AM | Report abuse

The TSA has come in for a lot of negative publicity of late. Some of it, as demonstrated by videos of horror harassment, has been quite justified. But those dedicated and competent TSA workers must feel like absolute crap when lumped in with their bad apple co-workers (see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3LNxvG1qQM). The right to unionize will not only help morale, but also possibly help the TSA to internally isolate some of the bad apples and make sure their behavior doesn't poison public opinion toward the TSA any more than is necessary. Indeed, it IS a step that is better, not detrimental, to our airport security.

Posted by: Dallas138 | February 16, 2011 7:01 AM | Report abuse

So not we have 40.00 union perverts that want to grope your daughter -

Posted by: gwolfpack

Because 40,000 non-union perverts groping your daughter is soooooo much better

Posted by: 3isepick | February 16, 2011 6:59 AM | Report abuse

So not we have 40.00 union perverts that want to grope your daughter

Posted by: gwolfpack | February 15, 2011 6:47 PM | Report abuse

So not we have 40.00 union perverts that want to grope your daughter

Posted by: gwolfpack | February 15, 2011 6:46 PM | Report abuse

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