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Posted at 7:12 PM ET, 11/12/2010

TSA employees can vote on union representation, labor board rules

By Joe Davidson
Post Editor

In a significant victory for federal employee unions, the Federal Labor Relations Authority decided Friday that Transportation Security Administration staffers will be allowed to vote on union representation.

The decision clears the way for a campaign by the government's two largest labor organizations, the American Federation of Government Employees and the National Treasury Employees Union, to represent some 50,000 transportation security officers.

"It is no secret that the morale of the TSO workforce is terrible as a result of favoritism, a lack of fair and respectful treatment from many managers, poor and unhealthy conditions in some airports, poor training and testing protocols and a poor pay system," said AFGE President John Gage. "The morale problems are documented by the government's own surveys. TSOs need a recognized union voice at work, and the important decision of the FLRA finally sets the process in motion to make that right a reality."

Even as the unions gear up their bidding to represent a large block of workers, labor leaders continue to press the administration to grant collective bargaining rights for the officers and to push legislation that also would do that.

"We will redouble our continuing efforts to win for TSA employees the right to bargain a contract before an election is concluded," said NTEU President Colleen M. Kelley. "That will be the best path to significant improvements in their work lives."

TSA employees have already joined both unions, but the workers do not have collective bargaining rights. The election, which Gage said may be held early next year, will allow the employees to decide which of the two labor organizations will be the employees' exclusive representative.

"We are ready for an election, and we expect to win it," Kelley said.

AFGE has made similar declarations.

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below

By Joe Davidson  | November 12, 2010; 7:12 PM ET
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, Workplace Issues  
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God I hate TSA employees. My only satisfaction is knowing that they have such a crappy job.

No union, no way.

Posted by: BO_____Stinks | November 12, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Another sell out by the appointees of the socialist President. First thing the next Republican President should do is issue an Executive Order decertifying any Public Employee Unions at the Federal Level.

Posted by: twoeagle | November 12, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

A union won't fix the TSA's morale-busting culture of nonsensical made-for-TV "security" rules.

TSA's "security" rules are really "job security" rules for our elected officials and career bureaucrats, so that if/when an incident happens, they can say "don't blame us, we were really trying hard: don't you remember all the over-the-top 'security' restrictions we imposed on you?"

If you want to improve TSO morale, stop using them as mere security theater props, enforcers of silly "just for show" policies that gut America's hard-won civil rights without making travelers one iota safer.

For example, it's humiliating and pointless to write policies mandating that TSOs grope traveler's genitals, in a showy effort to thwart the dreaded "underwear bomber", when it's obvious that anyone serious about hiding something will just use a convenient body cavity.

There are countless other examples: the "everybody take off your shoes" rule (no other country does this), the "no water" rule (a simplistic over-reaction to a scientifically discredited threat), the "you have to let us see you naked" rule (ignores eons-old body cavity smuggling techniques), the "you can't fly without government ID" rule (assumes terrorists are dumber than thirsty college students), the "you can't fly if you have the same name as a terrorist" rule (again, assumes evildoers have never heard of fake ID), etc, etc, etc.

As long as TSOs see that they're stepping all over their fellow Americans' civil rights for no good reason, their morale can hardly be expected to improve.

Posted by: vfr2dca | November 12, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Union TSA employees on strike, and what?

They close down the airlines?

Cut federal retirements in half and see how many want to join their union!

Posted by: dskiff | November 12, 2010 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Union TSA employees on strike, and what?

They close down the airlines?

Cut federal retirements in half and see how many want to join their union!

Posted by: dskiff | November 12, 2010 8:44 PM | Report abuse

A union is both well needed and well deserved.

Posted by: L1125Organizer | November 12, 2010 9:15 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe that this collection of incompetents, thieves, and useless federal employees wold ever be given a job let alone a union. We have really sunk pretty low. If you think I am wrong bring your kid on your next trip and watch some TSA pervert molest them in the name of "security"...

Posted by: steve4 | November 12, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

The lack of union representation has not worked well. I realize that knee jerk anti-union extremists don't want to admit that it hasn't worked well, but those are the results. It comes as no surprise that the people who oppose this don't want to own their results. They're pretty much all about shirking responsibility for their failures.

Posted by: Nymous | November 12, 2010 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Hummm .... congress has a union, dems and rep, so why not the TSA?

Posted by: knjincvc | November 12, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Its too bad Reagan isn't in office yet.

He knew how to keep entitled public employees in line.

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | November 12, 2010 11:15 PM | Report abuse

There's a good deal of ignorance in these posts. Please don't waste our time if you have no idea what you're talking about.

Posted by: ajlerner1 | November 12, 2010 11:15 PM | Report abuse

An idea that should have been buried with Jimmy Hoffa.

Posted by: whocares666 | November 12, 2010 11:26 PM | Report abuse

Bolshevik China makes it illegal for working people to form independent unions. No freedom of association, dissent or anything else. I see there are fans of Bolshevism who want to adopt the system of the current Chinese regime in the US.

Posted by: twm1 | November 13, 2010 5:33 AM | Report abuse

obama will not help anyone that is not a union member...
he has already sent the rest of America to hell...

Posted by: DwightCollins | November 13, 2010 5:39 AM | Report abuse

Aah, just what we needed - another public employee union with a stranglehold on a bottleneck in the economy. I predict great things. For them anyway.

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Posted by: fd7safdash | November 13, 2010 6:11 AM | Report abuse

Just what this country needs, a union for TSA workings! How' this going to work when they threaten to strike? Remember Patco and the mass firings?

Posted by: fstrimper | November 13, 2010 7:51 AM | Report abuse

Voting for a union would require the little perverts to forego groping the public's genitals for a short while. Hmmm, tough choice here.

Posted by: jpost1 | November 13, 2010 7:52 AM | Report abuse

TSA should unionize.

We need this important organization to be as efficient as the Post Office.

Posted by: llrllr | November 13, 2010 8:40 AM | Report abuse

While I am not a fan of unions, in this case I wonder if it would help. I mean, I can't imagine the TSA folks _like_ groping airline passengers. A union voice may stop this ridiculous ( and probably pointless) practice.

Posted by: mallemployee | November 13, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Government unions are destroying the country. TYhey only exist to protect the incompetent. They should all be abolished.

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Posted by: itkonlyyou382 | November 15, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

We can thank JFK for this mess.

Posted by: Kansasgirl | November 15, 2010 8:17 PM | Report abuse


Great ! We now have could now have unionized gropers

Quo warranto, B.O.?

Posted by: SlovenianWonder | November 16, 2010 7:30 AM | Report abuse

The enabling legislation that created The Stupid Academy specifically specified that they not be allowed to unionize.

Therefore, as soon as the union is certified, the TSA becomes invalid, and no longer exists. They can all go home.

Yeah I know [Passing along the joint].

Posted by: MannieP | November 16, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Why do writers call TSA employees officers? They are NOT law enforcement officers and NOT military officers. They are federal employees, not officers.

"to represent some 50,000 transportation security officers."

TSA has no authority to arrest/detain. TSA are not officers!

Posted by: observers | November 17, 2010 1:07 AM | Report abuse

Unions kill anything they touch. They have bankrupted CA and many other states. They have destroyed our car industry.

They are destroying this country. Why would ANY American want another government employee union???

Posted by: fourtunato | November 19, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

"In a significant victory for federal employee unions" will turn out to be a NIGHTMARE FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. The only thing worse than an INCOMPETENT TSA is a UNIONIZED INCOMPETENT TSA! My God, has this country lost its mind. Unionized federal workers with UNION THUG representation? Maybe SCUM-BAG andy stern could be their first president! How I long for the good old days of Ronald Reagan! He would have fixed this a while ago!

Posted by: AmericanVet123 | November 19, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

The thought that these folks are soon to be unionized and producing big campaign contributions should chill all decent Americans to the marrow. De-fund TSA and go to private contractors before this debacle occurs.

Posted by: masonjahr | November 19, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

It is pay back time for the unions and the democrats.

Posted by: nono524 | November 19, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

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