TSA officers should get bargaining rights, congressman says
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.
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| December 7, 2010; 7:34 PM ET
Categories: Congress, Workplace Issues
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