Great news: TSA to unionize [Update]

posted at 3:31 pm on August 6, 2012 by Dustin Siggins

From The Right Scoop, initially blogged by PJ Media:

As of Thursday, August 2, 2012, the Transportation Security Administration has agreed to unionize. The agency, best known for groping and offending Americans as we attempt to fly from one part of the country to the other, has agreed to allow the American Federation of Government Employees to unionize its workers.

From the Facebook page of the American Federation of Government Employees, the official announcement:

“For 10 long years AFGE has fought hard so that Transportation Security Officers would have collective bargaining rights. We have often looked back and wondered why it was taking so long,” said AFGE National President John Gage. “Today we begin to look forward.”

“This collective bargaining agreement will better the working lives of 45,000 hard-working, dedicated employees, and that’s a fantastic feeling,” AFGE TSA Council 100 President Kim Kraynak-Lambert said. “TSOs come to work every day in the face of intense public and congressional scrutiny and, to the best of their ability, protect this nation from terrorist attacks. Now we can look forward to new rights and new working conditions, and a chance to form a true labor-management partnership. And, contrary to some of the misinformation circulating about TSA, an agreement will not adversely affect security – security related matters were strictly excluded from negotiations. In fact, this agreement will strengthen our ability to carry out TSA’s vital mission of protecting the American people.”

“What this contract will do is provide for increased uniformity on fair treatment and the other issues important to employees across the nation’s airports,” Gage added. “Both parties believe the agreement will also provide much needed schedule flexibility. Improvements in working conditions will also benefit both TSA and the officers by fostering a family-friendly workplace where the employees have greater job satisfaction and feel supported in performing their important security work.”

Of course, the TSA workforce will have to vote on whether or not to ratify the collective bargaining agreement. According to the aforementioned Facebook announcement, that process will be taking place in the coming months. In the meantime, so many jokes can be made about this. Off the top of my head…

1. Fostering a family-friendly workplace. Does that mean no mothers, grandmothers, and children will be groped?

2. Does the TSA’s “important security work” include protection from sexual harassment by federal employees?

3. I’m curious about these “new rights” that TSA employees will get. Will those new rights be given in exchange for giving law-abiding Americans our rights back?

4. “New working conditions,” huh? Given that at least one estimate has said the TSA at one point had failed screening tests 70% of the time, perhaps those new working conditions could include actually finding at least one person who is a potential terrorist threat?

5. From my buddy Nick R. Brown, who is far more clever than I am: “If they strike, do we get to opt out of gropings?”

In all seriousness, the TSA needs significant reform, but this isn’t it. We really don’t need further complications or expense within an agency that continually and unnecessarily violates too many constitutional rights to keep track of. I personally support eliminating its existence entirely, though I admit to not having a cohesive replacement strategy in mind. Last year Ed suggested the TSA continue to look at how Israel conduct its airport security, though a former co-worker with expertise in the airline industry told me that what Israel does would not work for America. Any suggestions in the comments as to how to phase out the TSA and replace it with something better? Or should the TSA stay, and merely be significantly modified?

[Update] A number of comments are talking about the unionization, and asking how it came to be, since the Bush Administration hadn’t allowed unionization. I called James Sherk of The Heritage Foundation to ask him about this, and he explained that the decision to collectively bargain or not has been left up to the Administrator of the TSA. James pointed out that while workers have a right to join a union because of free association, the question always remains as to whether the employer will bargain with that union. Obviously, under Bush, no Administrator was going to do so. Once President Obama got his pick for Administrator through the Senate, however, he instituted collective bargaining in the agency.


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Comment pages: 1 2

So now they will still s*ck but it will cost us twice as much and we’ll never be able to fire any of them?

magicbeans on August 6, 2012 at 5:00 PM

…I didn’t have any concrete data to back up an argument.

preallocated on August 6, 2012 at 4:34 PM

Try to think of any federal institution or agency besides the military that is better at providing service that is duplicated in the private sector. If you can’t then you have your concrete data.

We have many private run prisons in Texas and even provide incarceration for out of state prisoners for a nominal fee. The big dust-up in Texas right now is the prisoners are demanding air conditioning. Haven’t heard of that? You’re not alone. Word is it keeps them from fighting as much.

DanMan on August 6, 2012 at 5:00 PM

If there’s anything I hate worse than an overpaid, lazy government loafer-it’s a grossly overpaid, unfirable, ineffably incompetent, government union dickhead.

What union will they belong to-the Bangkok Hand Job and Massage Parlor Union Local 69?

MaiDee on August 6, 2012 at 5:37 PM

I wrote a blog and it disappeared. Try again.

TSA–What union would these incompetents belong to, I wonder–The Bangkok Massage Parlor Union International-Local 69?

MaiDee on August 6, 2012 at 5:43 PM

Abolish this insane agency.

Abolish the DHS down to its components, and remove the extra layer of bureaucracy.

Abolish the DNI since it can’t figure out that an organization called the ‘Muslim Brotherhood’ has a religious tone and tenor to it that isn’t secular.

These are failures of the Bush Administration and they must go.

ajacksonian on August 6, 2012 at 5:48 PM

I personally support eliminating its existence entirely, though I admit to not having a cohesive replacement strategy in mind.

It doesn’t need a replacement. We Americans can take care of ourselves.

LET’S ROLL!

the_souse on August 6, 2012 at 5:49 PM

In all seriousness, the TSA needs significant reform, but this isn’t it.

Still waiting for a blogger here – anyone – to correctly call the TSA unconstitutional instead of believing that it’s existence is acceptable and perfectly fine.

Dante on August 6, 2012 at 5:51 PM

Great.

Now these serial gropers will make 75k a year and retire after 20 years with a 80K a year pension for life and who will pay for all this?

Every taxpaying citizen and most will never make that kind of coin and never receive that kind of retirement package.

Opposite Day on August 6, 2012 at 5:58 PM

Well, at least now between their hand and my junk there will be a doughnut.

Odysseus on August 6, 2012 at 6:08 PM

THANK YOU PRESIDENT BUSH !!

HondaV65 on August 6, 2012 at 3:41 PM

The legislation that created TSA was sponsored by a Democrat and a Republican.

Del Dolemonte on August 6, 2012 at 6:20 PM

W…the gift that keeps on giving.

The legislation that created TSA was sponsored by a Democrat and a Republican.

Del Dolemonte on August 6, 2012 at 6:20 PM

So? Bush could have vetoed it. Some of us called BS on ‘TSA won’t be allowed to unionize’ as soon as he said it.

blindside on August 6, 2012 at 6:25 PM

Once the goon squad unionizes they will have government civil service protection that means they can’t be fired. Same problem we will have with the thousands hired by Field Marshal Sebelius to force Obamacare on us. How do we get rid of that many people?

slickwillie2001 on August 6, 2012 at 6:29 PM

These buffoons are generally surly, impatient, arrogant and demanding, now that they are virtually un-fire-able how affable will they be?

Many times I have exchanged unpleasantries with some condescending, overbearing lardass now they will be able to try to assualt me.

I guess we shall see how that works out for em.

ConcealedKerry on August 6, 2012 at 6:36 PM

This is a terrorist’s dream come true.

jediwebdude on August 6, 2012 at 7:03 PM

All we need is an EO to do away with all federal unions as FDR has once said.

tarpon on August 6, 2012 at 7:08 PM

Ok!

Everyone fess up.

Is anyone suprised by this?

I wish I would have put money down on this, I was as sure of this as the turning of the earth.

itsspideyman on August 6, 2012 at 7:27 PM

Once the goon squad unionizes they will have government civil service protection that means they can’t be fired. Same problem we will have with the thousands hired by Field Marshal Sebelius to force Obamacare on us. How do we get rid of that many people?

slickwillie2001 on August 6, 2012 at 6:29 PM

You’re not taking into account the saving we will experience when the Obamacare Czar combines your business flight with our annual colonoscopies, GYN visits, prostate exams, breast exams, dental visits…

Laura in Maryland on August 6, 2012 at 7:40 PM

Perfect illustration of obamao’s hopenchange…..

ultracon on August 6, 2012 at 8:00 PM

Teachers, TSA, same same. Great, arent we glad that we will have a workforce of EXPERTS who cant teach someone how to read, as WELL as someone who cant tell the difference between a muslim and a christian!

TX-96 on August 6, 2012 at 8:16 PM

I am a prophet: These goons will get firearms and roam the Interstate hiways at will. Look for this in Oct.

T(he )SA.

Now all they need are some BrownShirts.

orbitalair on August 6, 2012 at 9:02 PM

Any suggestions in the comments as to how to phase out the TSA and replace it with something better? Or should the TSA stay, and merely be significantly modified?

You don’t get it. The TSA is a unregulated militia or brute squad run by the Feds. They are not ‘law enforcement’, and so get around all the regs regarding proper ‘law’.

TSA, DHS, ATF, ICE, NBPP – quite a large armed force you have there…reporting only to the executive branch.

orbitalair on August 6, 2012 at 9:08 PM

I wrote a blog and it disappeared. Try again.

TSA–What union would these incompetents belong to, I wonder–The Bangkok Massage Parlor Union International-Local 69?

MaiDee on August 6, 2012 at 5:43 PM

I would have thought they’d fall under the umbrella of teachers’ unions.

I guess since the TSA gropes adults as well as children that changes things, though.

malclave on August 6, 2012 at 9:10 PM

The TSA farce will continue until the public votes with their feet and REFUSE to fly.

Should take about 1 week for Washington to get the point.

GarandFan on August 6, 2012 at 9:18 PM

Just gives me another reason not to fly.

We already don’t fly, even cross country. My wife’s family lives in Phoenix, and it would cost us over $800 dollars round trip (not even counting taxes and baggage fees) to fly there. Even at gas being $4 per gallon, and staying overnight in a hotel there and back, its almost $300 cheaper for us to drive.

We are expecting our first child in February. Once the non-baby fare kicks in, we’d be looking at over $1,200 to fly.

italianguy626 on August 6, 2012 at 9:50 PM

I’m gonna join the Free Persons Union and Consumer Association…then collectively bargain with government, my only demand will be for them to obey the limitations We have already limited them by.

John Kettlewell on August 6, 2012 at 9:59 PM

The TSA will by in the AFLCIO union which will have 37,000 additional members filling up the coffers of liberal democrat politicians. It’s a disgrace–one of too many over the last 3.5 years.

SheVee on August 6, 2012 at 10:19 PM

I will never fly again. Ever.

Wolfmoon on August 6, 2012 at 10:20 PM

Last year Ed suggested the TSA continue to look at how Israel conduct its airport security, though a former co-worker with expertise in the airline industry told me that what Israel does would not work for America.

The Israeli security agents are highly trained professionals who use their abilities of observation, questioning, and weighing the answer to determine who is a person of interest. You could say they are the equivalent of our college grads with a degree in Psychology. Our agents on the other hand have been hired from ads on pizza boxes with the enticement of getting x-ray vision and unemployment offices where they had no other viable skills. They are often people that possess the skills that traditionally we would attribute to being a night watchman, mall security, or janitor, only without the morals we expect from people in those positions. That essentially means that for the majority of the TSA work force, they do not possess the skills or the understanding or the ability to perform the professional duties of an Israeli agent. So sure they want to unionize now so they can keep their jobs no matter how badly they do it now and later.
Just imagine a unionized TSA. If they don’t get what they want, just strike and no one flies anywhere, or a slowdown where everyone gets the personal touch and prod pat down and or naked rape scan because they have a reliable, but unnamed source that says a terrorist is trying to fly through that airport.

Just to repeat my 24 year old daughter’s experience earlier this year. She was flying out of Chicago’s O Hara airport. She was placed the naked scan line. She observed that a man was observing the scans. When a women was being scanned two other agents leaned in close, when it was a man, they did something else. She was lucky and the scanner was closed before she had her turn at arousing the men. Then, while waiting to board she observed two men who obviously were a couple. One sat next to her on the flight. He told my daughter that his boyfriend wanted to be with him until he boarded the plane, so he just slipped in behind him past TSA. Now you know what that means, aside from the usual screw up; they have to make up for the missed closing of the airport and canceling a hundred flights. Just because the person TSA should have stopped has already flown and landed does not matter, as recently demonstrated.

Franklyn on August 6, 2012 at 10:27 PM

Which means every airport that opts to go contract security will have to first bargain with the Union to get rid of them. Under Obama, impossible. With Romney? Possible.

kens on August 7, 2012 at 6:06 PM

Under Obeyme things just get worse. Down with him & the unions he rode in on.

Olo_Burrows on August 8, 2012 at 4:11 AM

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