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Posted at 7:34 PM ET, 12/ 7/2010

TSA officers should get bargaining rights, congressman says

By Joe Davidson
Post Editor

The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee is urging the Obama administration to allow collective bargaining for transportation security officers.

In a letter to John S. Pistole, head of the Transportation Security Administration, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.) said that George W. Bush's administration used the unusual amount of authority Congress granted it when the Homeland Security Department was created to issue "a blanket prohibition preventing collective bargaining without legal rationale or factual support."

Gaining collective bargaining rights for the officers who screen airline passengers and baggage has been a top priority of the two largest federal employee unions. They have recruited members among the TSO workforce, in advance of an election next year that will determine which union will represent the workers. The unions have pushed legislation granting TSOs collective bargaining rights, while also pressuring the administration to use its authority to reverse the current prohibition.

"I urge you to issue a policy that expands the ability of TSOs to engage in meaningful representational activities and assures collective bargaining rights," Thompson said in his letter.

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below

By Joe Davidson  | December 7, 2010; 7:34 PM ET
Categories:  Congress, Workplace Issues  
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If you think TSA is bad now just wait. Once they are all union hacks they will be much worse. This is a crazy idea.

Posted by: bnichols6 | December 8, 2010 7:35 AM | Report abuse

On 9/10/01, 11,000 contract security guards were doing a good job of providing airline security. Remember: The 9/11 Islamist Hijackers had box-cutters because they were not prohibited by Federal Regulations. There was no failure of airline security. The Islamists succeeded in their damnable plot only because of wimpy policies that forbade airplane crew from resisting. Only the heroes of Flight 93 saved our Capitol or the White House.

Instead of the obvious response of arming pilots and profiling passengers, the Government created a bureaucracy: 11,000 security guards became 16,000 TSA police. The total is now 60,000+ and we are no safer. We are however inconvenienced and humiliated and forced to witness searches of elderly women and little boys and girls, and now TSA has unlimited power to grope our bodies. Once proud citizens, we are now cowed subjects.

I used to fly a lot before 9/11, but highly unpleasant experiences, both to myself and witnessing how our new TSA Gestapo treated those around me, has brought my flying to a halt. Only an emergency will get me on a plane again.

Unionize the TSA and 60,000 will quickly become 120,000 un-fireable, un disciplinable, surly agents of subjugation.

That jerk Pistole said if given a choice of flights not screened by his thugs, and one screened, almost everyone would fly the screened. Let’s accept his challenge: operate two simultaneous flights from Washington to NYC, one screened as now, the other you just walk right on to but with the pilots armed. I’ll bet that 90%+ would choose to walk right on.

“Public safety is always the first cry of the tyrant.” - Lord Gladstone (the greatest of 19th Century British Prime Ministers)

Posted by: jamestapes | December 8, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

A unionized work force would be a marked improvement over the current TSA administration. By having the workers have the ability to have power in their lives, the use of arbitrary power would have some opposition. We see the results of a non unionized work force. Let's see what a unionized one looks like.

Remember the oft misquoted saying of Lord Action, "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." A counter force is necessary for equalirium.

Posted by: renodbpd | December 8, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

I'm tired of all you union bashers. If it wasn't for unions you wouldnj't have an 8 hour day or any health insurance. A union working with the TSA would strengthen or security not diminish it.

Posted by: RalphE2 | December 8, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Unionize the TSA? Really? Jamestapes said it perfect. It's not the workers or the job they were doing that was the issue, it was the policies. A unionized TSA will not improve safety, we are continually one-step behind the terrorist. Our security measures are reactive and not proactive. A union will not improve the process or safety, just employ too many people that can never be disciplined or fired.

Posted by: azguy | December 8, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Unions can do to airport security what they've done to DC's Metro system.

Posted by: getjiggly1 | December 8, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: itkonlyyou414 | December 8, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Unions had their use and did a wonderful job of ensuring workers were safe and were not unduly harrassed. Their usefulness is done. They have become a tool to fund corruption. They only get raises for their members just to turn around and raise their dues. They should not be allowed to fund elected officials of either side. They don't allow employers to fire bad workers and this reduces the productivity of good workers.

Posted by: Nonofmybiznez | December 9, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Let's take a look at the "I won't work but for a Union Wage" success story shall we?
*Eastern Airlines - Can you say Frank Borman and mountains of fraud? FAILED
*United Airlines - Ponzi Scheme Pension Fund raped by Unions and Management - FAILED
---- I'm sorry, I could go on for days on this. We shouldn't distrust the like of I don't know... say Jimmy Hoffa?


Posted by: Wingman | December 9, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

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