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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Just a reminder – TSA was given to you by George Bush and a Republican Congress!

Enjoy!

HondaV65 on August 6, 2012 at 3:36 PM

I seem to recall that the Republicans agreed to the TSA in the first place with the understanding that there would be no unionization.

In other news, in order to create a friendlier environment for kids the TSA has hired a new consultant: Jerry Sandusky. Yes, I’m that ticked off at this move that I’ll make that “joke.”

rbj on August 6, 2012 at 3:37 PM

“Nice junk you got there. Be a shame of anything happened to it.”

Archivarix on August 6, 2012 at 3:37 PM

A perfect example of the “slippery slope”…

right2bright on August 6, 2012 at 3:37 PM

Great. Now it’ll take eight people to grope me instead of one.

trubble on August 6, 2012 at 3:37 PM

Seriously though, what happens if they strike? Would it shut down every airport in the country?

Meric1837 on August 6, 2012 at 3:38 PM

The TSA will be checking to see if your papers are in order.

tom daschle concerned on August 6, 2012 at 3:38 PM

I seem to recall that the Republicans agreed to the TSA in the first place with the understanding that there would be no unionization.

rbj on August 6, 2012 at 3:37 PM

Yeah, these are grown men…everyone knows that would not happen.

Once they are in place, than they unionize…no one is that naive in Washington.

right2bright on August 6, 2012 at 3:39 PM

I seem to recall that the Republicans agreed to the TSA in the first place with the understanding that there would be no unionization.

rbj on August 6, 2012 at 3:37 PM

Not the first time the establishment GOP got fooled – it’s a pretty regular occurence.

HondaV65 on August 6, 2012 at 3:39 PM

Unionization is perfect for the TSA.

Any “service” which no one would ever think of buying on their own and that has to be forced upon us, should be unionized.

Rounds out the whole buying experience.

NoDonkey on August 6, 2012 at 3:39 PM

Seriously though, what happens if they strike? Would it shut down every airport in the country?

Meric1837 on August 6, 2012 at 3:38 PM

And that my friend is one of the reasons Reagan is so beloved…the air traffic controllers tried that.

And that is why conservatives are afraid of Mitt…would Mitt be able to do the same?

right2bright on August 6, 2012 at 3:40 PM

So how much will AA and United have to charge us for the union coffee break plane delays?

Limerick on August 6, 2012 at 3:40 PM

Seriously though, what happens if they strike? Would it shut down every airport in the country?

Meric1837 on August 6, 2012 at 3:38 PM

They’re federal workers – they can’t strike but they can collectively bargain now and will damn sure pay union dues!

THANK YOU PRESIDENT BUSH !!

HondaV65 on August 6, 2012 at 3:41 PM

Great. Now it’ll take eight people to grope me instead of one.

trubble on August 6, 2012 at 3:37 PM

That’s how they will cost out the task, but of the eight, seven will be on “break” and the one assigned to you will be at lunch.

What’s silly things like gate times when it comes to union rules?

NoDonkey on August 6, 2012 at 3:41 PM

Seriously though, what happens if they strike? Would it shut down every airport in the country?

Meric1837 on August 6, 2012 at 3:38 PM

I’d suggest that the President follow Reagan’s example and fire them all. I doubt the current occupant would do that.

RDH on August 6, 2012 at 3:41 PM

Not the first time the establishment GOP got fooled – it’s a pretty regular occurence.

HondaV65 on August 6, 2012 at 3:39 PM

They must all go.

faraway on August 6, 2012 at 3:41 PM

I seem to recall that the Republicans agreed to the TSA in the first place with the understanding that there would be no unionization.

rbj on August 6, 2012 at 3:37 PM

Not the first time the establishment GOP got fooled – it’s a pretty regular occurence.

HondaV65 on August 6, 2012 at 3:39 PM

What is to prevent the GOP-controlled House from refusing to bankroll the now-unionized TSA? I mean, beside obvious lack of gonads, guts, or spine.

Archivarix on August 6, 2012 at 3:41 PM

And that is why conservatives are afraid of Mitt…would Mitt be able to do the same?

right2bright on August 6, 2012 at 3:40 PM

Hell … Willard didn’t even have the gonads to fire the illegal aliens doing his lawnwork when he was running for President! LOL

HondaV65 on August 6, 2012 at 3:42 PM

Not the first time the establishment GOP got fooled – it’s a pretty regular occurence.

HondaV65 on August 6, 2012 at 3:39 PM

Reagan and “amnesty”, a perfectly good working policy, supported by the dems with a promise of never “touching” it…as soon as they had control, they took it apart, and now we have our immigration problem.

Reagan learned, and he never trusted them again…and every elected Republican knows that, and still….

One thing we agree on…the problems we have now are caused by both Republicans and democrats…

right2bright on August 6, 2012 at 3:43 PM

Not the first time the establishment GOP got fooled – it’s a pretty regular occurence.

HondaV65 on August 6, 2012 at 3:39 PM

Totally disproves the theory that you can’t get fooled again.

BobMbx on August 6, 2012 at 3:44 PM

Seriously though, what happens if they strike? Would it shut down every airport in the country?

Meric1837 on August 6, 2012 at 3:38 PM

Um… do you remember PATCO? Make my day, TSA.

rhombus on August 6, 2012 at 3:44 PM

Great.
One set of government employees negotiating with another set of government employees over other peoples’ money.
What could possibly go wrong?

Dexter_Alarius on August 6, 2012 at 3:44 PM

Just eliminate TSA and allow private firms to handle as used to be the case — it’s not like TSA makes it safer now.

Anyway, soon enough some terrorist will take down a lumbering passenger jet with a shoulder-launched missile (MANPAD) while on a rooftop well outside an airport.

There’s thousands of them missing from Libya alone.

Uncledave on August 6, 2012 at 3:45 PM

What is to prevent the GOP-controlled House from refusing to bankroll the now-unionized TSA? I mean, beside obvious lack of gonads, guts, or spine.

Archivarix on August 6, 2012 at 3:41 PM

You’re leaving out the inability to frame the issue. If the GOP can’t even defund public broadcasting because they’re afraid of Elmo, then I don’t have much hope of any real change.

rbj on August 6, 2012 at 3:45 PM

One thing we agree on…the problems we have now are caused by both Republicans and democrats…

right2bright on August 6, 2012 at 3:43 PM

I don’t agree with that – the problems are caused by out of touch elitists in both parties. There are some perfectly good GOP lawmakers and even a few Dims that are okay – but they don’t LEAD anything.

There’s not a damn bit of difference between Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid in my mind except for the fact that Reid has a balz while Mitchy don’t.

HondaV65 on August 6, 2012 at 3:46 PM

Romney Presidency

Day 1: Abolish Obamacare

Day 2: Abolish the EPA

Day 3: Abolish the Tsa

Days 4 through the end of his Presidency he could take off and STILL have done more for the country than Barak Hinsane Obama will ever do.

HotAirian on August 6, 2012 at 3:47 PM

Hell … Willard didn’t even have the gonads to fire the illegal aliens doing his lawnwork when he was running for President! LOL

HondaV65 on August 6, 2012 at 3:42 PM

Well, if you think that is a big deal, the worker of an employee doing yard work…okay.

And using “Willard” reminds me of the guy who posted his video on YouTube while he drove though Chic-Fil-A and forced them to give him a free water to make them profitable. About the same amount of class and intellect.

But I guess if you have weak arguments, you use whatever you think is valid and demeaning…but it does reflect on the depth of your knowledge.

right2bright on August 6, 2012 at 3:47 PM

Not the first time the establishment GOP got fooled – it’s a pretty regular occurence.

HondaV65 on August 6, 2012 at 3:39 PM

NEVER trust a Democrat. Correct ?

Jabberwock on August 6, 2012 at 3:48 PM

Seriously though, what happens if they strike? Would it shut down every airport in the country?

Meric1837 on August 6, 2012 at 3:38 PM

They’re government union employees. They’ll work 8-5 Monday thru Friday, no weekends or holidays.

BobMbx on August 6, 2012 at 3:48 PM

“This collective bargaining agreement will better the working lives of 45,000 hard-working, dedicated employees, fill the coffers of the AFGE overlords, and that’s a fantastic feeling,”

More accurate.

iurockhead on August 6, 2012 at 3:48 PM

If the GOP can’t even defund public broadcasting because they’re afraid of Elmo, then I don’t have much hope of any real change.

rbj on August 6, 2012 at 3:45 PM

Hey, the mommies defrended Elmo. Who is goig to defend TSA? Privatize them.

rhombus on August 6, 2012 at 3:49 PM

Waiting for Obama to publicly endorse this, if he hasn’t already.

farsighted on August 6, 2012 at 3:49 PM

yet another indicator that the Public Employees Union smells blood in the water WRT the National Golf Pro losing….

harlekwin15 on August 6, 2012 at 3:51 PM

I don’t agree with that – the problems are caused by out of touch elitists in both parties. There are some perfectly good GOP lawmakers and even a few Dims that are okay – but they don’t LEAD anything.

There’s not a damn bit of difference between Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid in my mind except for the fact that Reid has a balz while Mitchy don’t.

HondaV65 on August 6, 2012 at 3:46 PM

Pal, you disagree while agreeing?

I said Republicans and dems are responsible, you said no way, and than you say McConnell (Republican) and Reid (dem) are the same…

Of course there are some good GOP leaders, I pointed out Reagan…but the problems are from Republican’s not being conservative, and giving into liberal ideas…but then you disagree, except you gave us an example where you agree.

The debt was caused by Republican’s going along with the spending of dems…it wasn’t from dems going along with spending cuts of fiscally conservative Republicans…as you pointed out.

Pal, before you start an argument, at least frame your debate properly…it’s embarrassing to watch you debate yourself and lose.

right2bright on August 6, 2012 at 3:51 PM

Not the first time the establishment GOP got fooled – it’s a pretty regular occurence.

HondaV65 on August 6, 2012 at 3:39 PM
NEVER trust a Democrat. Correct ?

Jabberwock on August 6, 2012 at 3:48 PM

I’ll worry about the “Establishment” later. Right now I’m focusing on the bigger pack of liars, tax theives and control freaks.

rhombus on August 6, 2012 at 3:52 PM

Thought DHS was a bad idea back then and I’m sticking to that opinion even more.

lucyvanpelt on August 6, 2012 at 3:53 PM

Great. Now it’ll take eight people to grope me instead of one.

trubble on August 6, 2012 at 3:37 PM

Nope. Still just one. The other seven will just watch.

CurtZHP on August 6, 2012 at 3:54 PM

Ah,groping and a union label.

docflash on August 6, 2012 at 3:54 PM

Apparently the legislation that established the agency 9/11, states that the decision on whether to allow collective bargaining rests with the TSA administrator. Obama appointed the current TSA administrator, thus now we have a unionized TSA. Game, set, and match.

LibertarianRepublican on August 6, 2012 at 3:56 PM

Great.
One set of government employees negotiating with another set of government employees over other peoples’ money.
What could possibly go wrong?

Dexter_Alarius on August 6, 2012 at 3:44 PM

THIS !!!
All it will take is a stressed out traveller, spending his/her own, hard earned money, getting abused by some overpaid, power hungry TSA person. Over a small issue. Then BLAM !! All hell will break lose.

Jabberwock on August 6, 2012 at 3:56 PM

established the agency after 9/11

LibertarianRepublican on August 6, 2012 at 3:56 PM

The TSA is a big joke to the Israelis. Their method is quick and sure and no one gets groped in the process.

No one.

As to why it wouldn’t work here I can’t think of a single good reason. We should follow their example.

Of course, overpaid bag stealing granny molesters would be out of a job but would that really be so bad?

HotAirian on August 6, 2012 at 3:57 PM

On a bright side, this will make the TSA even worse. Public outrage may finally get to a point that we turn it over to private screeners.

On the not-so-bright side, the union will now make it impossible for many airports to transition to private screeners like San Fran and Orlando.

weaselyone on August 6, 2012 at 3:58 PM

game, set, and match.

LibertarianRepublican on August 6, 2012 at 3:56 PM

Yep! Obama wins another one – and just like TARP and the AUTO-Bailout – this victory is courtesy of a forward pass from the GOP!!

HondaV65 on August 6, 2012 at 3:59 PM

45,000 new union members prolly translates to another half million $ in dem campaign donations minimum. I too recall they were not allowed to unionize. Who allowed the change?

“Both parties believe the agreement will also provide much needed schedule flexibility.

Only AFGE and the TSA are mentioned, is that both parties? What the hell?

DanMan on August 6, 2012 at 3:59 PM

Apparently the legislation that established the agency 9/11, states that the decision on whether to allow collective bargaining rests with the TSA administrator. Obama appointed the current TSA administrator, thus now we have a unionized TSA. Game, set, and match.

LibertarianRepublican on August 6, 2012 at 3:56 PM

Reagan had an interesting solution. Time to go PATCO on their sorry scanners. Make the liberals talk about the rights of TSA. It’ll be something to think about while their groping your junk or making copies of your nude photos. Sure, unionize TSA, make our day.

rhombus on August 6, 2012 at 4:00 PM

Can my groin file a grievance?

forest on August 6, 2012 at 4:00 PM

and he explained that the unionization was left up to the Administrator of the TSA.

So the GOP never thought that a Democrat would win the White House?

Yeesh!

rbj on August 6, 2012 at 4:00 PM

When does the Secret Service get to unionize?

jnelchef on August 6, 2012 at 4:02 PM

and he explained that the unionization was left up to the Administrator of the TSA.
So the GOP never thought that a Democrat would win the White House?

Yeesh!

rbj on August 6, 2012 at 4:00 PM

GOP Senate did NOT have fillibuster proof numbers.Jumpin’ Jim Jeffords decided that wasn’t such a good idea.

rhombus on August 6, 2012 at 4:02 PM

Once unionized, will TSA and other union thugs have right to picket airports that have opted-out in favor of private security firms?

Liam on August 6, 2012 at 4:03 PM

They will have a no strike clause in their contract like the Air Traffic Controllers. Remember what happened when they went on strike, circa 1981?

Akzed on August 6, 2012 at 4:03 PM

Will they be part of the PipeFitters Union?

faraway on August 6, 2012 at 4:03 PM

Oh yeah. This is good news……….. Not!

KMC1 on August 6, 2012 at 4:03 PM

So the GOP never thought that a Democrat would win the White House?

Yeesh!

rbj on August 6, 2012 at 4:00 PM

As I recall, unionization was the big sticking point that the Dems were using to keep the bill that created TSA (and DHS) from passing. Looks like the GOP rolled on this provision to get it passed. Love how that “reaching across the aisle” works out, don’t you?

Bitter Clinger on August 6, 2012 at 4:04 PM

I cringed when I first read this last week and posted on Facebook for my liberal friends to remember this day.

“In the you heard it here first category, TSA plans on unionizing its workforce. Be sure to remember this day when they decide to strike before Christmas over perceived labor injustices and you are stuck in an airport trying to entertain your kids during a sleepover in LaGuardia/O’Hare/DFW/LAX.”

TheLoudTalker on August 6, 2012 at 4:05 PM

They will have a no strike clause in their contract like the Air Traffic Controllers. Remember what happened when they went on strike, circa 1981?

Akzed on August 6, 2012 at 4:03 PM

I call it an opportunity! I can’t believe the general public is sympathetic to TSA. That may stiffen some GOP spine.

rhombus on August 6, 2012 at 4:05 PM

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.

The whole damn lot of them could walk off the job with no adverse affect on security.

Trafalgar on August 6, 2012 at 4:05 PM

GOP Senate did NOT have fillibuster proof numbers.Jumpin’ Jim Jeffords decided that wasn’t such a good idea.

rhombus on August 6, 2012 at 4:02 PM

Who cares, their position in the Senate and the House was a lot better than the Dims was. But of course, that IS the GOP way is it not? Avoid a Dim filibuster by giving the Dims everything they want! LOL

HondaV65 on August 6, 2012 at 4:06 PM

‘Crony capitalism’?

faraway on August 6, 2012 at 4:07 PM

All it will take is a stressed out traveller, spending his/her own, hard earned money, getting abused by some overpaid, power hungry TSA person. Over a small issue. Then BLAM !! All hell will break lose.

Jabberwock on August 6, 2012 at 3:56 PM

But this has happened dozens of times already and nothing has changed. This is purely a financial play by the unions.

TheLoudTalker on August 6, 2012 at 4:07 PM

I call it an opportunity! I can’t believe the general public is sympathetic to TSA. That may stiffen some GOP spine.

rhombus on August 6, 2012 at 4:05 PM

Jelly fish have no spines.

HondaV65 on August 6, 2012 at 4:07 PM

There is a silver lining here.
This is a sign that Obama thinks he will likely lose this election so it’s a preemptive strike to get TSA unionized before the GOP takes over.
I’m with Dustin, simply abolish the agency altogether and give screening back to the airlines.

Curmudgeon on August 6, 2012 at 4:07 PM

We do not need these jokers, they are typically less qualified and able than mall cops. This is a candidate for outsourcing as is a lot of the DHS monster that Dubya and a willing congress puke up on an ungrateful nation.

These monkeys have not saved a single life.

CorporatePiggy on August 6, 2012 at 4:08 PM

From the linked article:

When TSA was originally created in the aftermath of the 9-11 terrorist attacks, President Bush and the Congress agreed that the new agency should never unionize. That agreement lasted until 2011, when President Obama and the Senate Democrats pushed a unionization approval through.

That 2011 date tells me it was done after they lost the house too. Game set match was 2008, suck it HondaV65. You were close LibertarianRepublican but this is all Obama and the dems.

DanMan on August 6, 2012 at 4:10 PM

TSA needs to be abolished and let the private sector take over….

The private sector can do it cheaper and much better…..

redguy on August 6, 2012 at 4:15 PM

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

More along the lines of being able to breast feed while doing the groping.

Happy Nomad on August 6, 2012 at 4:16 PM

According to Howard Portnoy the dem controlled senate voted on Tuesday Feb. 15, 2011 to change the original unionization ban. Shouldn’t the house have their say as well? Both houses created the TSA.

DanMan on August 6, 2012 at 4:17 PM

You, taxpayer, are going to be held up by the union for increased pay for these people, and then that increase in pay is going to fund dues which in turn fund the election of Democrats.

The system is being rigged to ensure distribution of benefits will solidify support for Democrats. It is ultimately what Obamacare is about. All the little juicy tidbits The One is illegally throwing in are just to sweeten the pot. Just look at all the ways government is creating entitlement demands.

We are quickly approaching the day when the net-beneficiaries of state-provided programs are going to demand the involuntary surrender of assets to the government to keep their gravy train rolling.

Democrat leadership completely endorses this course of action, and it won’t be long before the net benefactors are going to enslaved by this ravenous process. Get ready. it could happen very soon.

theosdad on August 6, 2012 at 4:19 PM

Great. Now it’ll take eight people to grope me instead of one.

trubble on August 6, 2012 at 3:37 PM

No, it will still only take one person to do the groping. Now you’ve got seven people watching it happen.

Seriously, TSA screeners have a thankless job made worse by stupid rules, bad supervisors, and the absence of common sense approches like treating a young male from a Muslim country with a one-way ticket purchased 3 hours ago differently than a 68-year-old woman on the way to see her grandkids.

Happy Nomad on August 6, 2012 at 4:20 PM

This is indeed good news. Now I can be groped at the security line and then physically assaulted if I dare to complain. Good times.

Bishop on August 6, 2012 at 4:22 PM

i knew that the TSA would be unionized then. i know that romney will support obamacare now.

let romney grope your healthcare 2012

renalin on August 6, 2012 at 4:22 PM

First demand: Personal copies of the nude scans of hot chicks/guys!

Axeman on August 6, 2012 at 4:22 PM

We are quickly approaching the day when the net-beneficiaries of state-provided programs are going to demand the involuntary surrender of assets to the government to keep their gravy train rolling.

theosdad on August 6, 2012 at 4:19 PM

The other part of that is we are ALSO quickly approaching the day that the producers (taxpayers) quit sending the parasitic government any more money.

They can’t arrest 150 million people after all.

wildcat72 on August 6, 2012 at 4:23 PM

As I recall, Bush was opposed to creating the TSA in the first place, and only agreed to it because 1) the 9/11 Commission rather foolishly suggested it, and he was under pressure to adopt everything in the 9/11 Commission and 2) it was established that the TSA would not be unionized.

Please tell me the legislation creating the TSA specified that it would not be unionized, rather than leaving it up to someone’s option whether or not to unionize.

Surely the Republicans were not so gullible as to rely on an “understanding.”

tom on August 6, 2012 at 4:23 PM

No one will be allowed to grope their loved ones at the airport as it takes away TSA jobs.

Axeman on August 6, 2012 at 4:24 PM

-Excuse me, TSA agent, there is a guy about ten people back with what looks like a sawed-off shotgun under his coat. He’s all sweaty and fidgety.

“Sorry, I’m going on break, you take care of it.”

Bishop on August 6, 2012 at 4:25 PM

This is a sign that Obama thinks he will likely lose this election so it’s a preemptive strike to get TSA unionized before the GOP takes over.
I’m with Dustin, simply abolish the agency altogether and give screening back to the airlines.

Curmudgeon on August 6, 2012 at 4:07 PM

Excuse me for being the pessimist. This is a sign that Obama thinks he needs to shore up support among the organized crime syndicate known as public sector unions. It’s a preemptive strike before they demand more of the jug-eared Kenyan before giving him their endorsement and access to their massive PAC funding.

President Romney needs to seriously consider getting rid of the DHS. Each of the agencies still have their own budgets. There is no real coordinated effort among those agencies. And the current Secretary has so politicized the decision making process (targeting vets instead of terrorist funders like CAIR) that the whole organization needs to go.

Happy Nomad on August 6, 2012 at 4:25 PM

If fondling of genitals on a national scale is constitutional then surely unionization can’t be a stumbling block. After all, TSA security has foiled–I forget, how many terror attacks have they foiled?

spiritof61 on August 6, 2012 at 4:25 PM

As I recall, Bush was opposed to creating the TSA in the first place, and only agreed to it because 1) the 9/11 Commission rather foolishly suggested it, and he was under pressure to adopt everything in the 9/11 Commission and 2) it was established that the TSA would not be unionized.

tom on August 6, 2012 at 4:23 PM

This has some of the same members as the 2007 Congress which “amended” a 100-year-old logging law so they could raid Gibson Guitars.

Axeman on August 6, 2012 at 4:27 PM

They can’t arrest 150 million people after all.

wildcat72 on August 6, 2012 at 4:23 PM

Funny, those were the exact words used in Moscow in 1937.

spiritof61 on August 6, 2012 at 4:27 PM

Who cares, their position in the Senate and the House was a lot better than the Dims was. But of course, that IS the GOP way is it not? Avoid a Dim filibuster by giving the Dims everything they want! LOL

HondaV65 on August 6, 2012 at 4:06 PM

Says the guy planning to vote for a Dim this fall.

changer1701 on August 6, 2012 at 4:28 PM

That 2/25/2011 vote to authorize unionization was passed only in the senate by a 51-47 vote. That should make it easy to unwind. It says the TSA members will vote within months to unionize and that it should garner $18 million in annual dues. I guess we’re going to be getting many of these stories while everyone is on break.

DanMan on August 6, 2012 at 4:28 PM

2/15/2011 vote

DanMan on August 6, 2012 at 4:29 PM

The good news is that the groping should be almost eliminated; the government union members will all be asleep at their desk.

PattyJ on August 6, 2012 at 4:29 PM

Funny, those were the exact words used in Moscow in 1937.

spiritof61 on August 6, 2012 at 4:27 PM

That was a fine rejoinder.

Bishop on August 6, 2012 at 4:30 PM

“Sorry, I’m going on break, you take care of it.”

Bishop on August 6, 2012 at 4:25 PM

What makes you think that doesn’t happen now. I’m standing in line at DCA between a decidedly “Arabic” group ahead of me and another group who are clearly foreign nationals behind me. Guess who got “randomly” selected for being swabbed for nitrates? Since the line was so long I got to watch just how this “random” process worked. The screener was clearly only approaching people for which there was going to be no chance of a positive (false or otherwise). And there was absolutely nothing “random” about who was picked other than avoiding anybody that remotely looked like the 9/11/01 terrorists.

Happy Nomad on August 6, 2012 at 4:30 PM

2/15/2011 vote

DanMan on August 6, 2012 at 4:29 PM

You didn’t have to correct it, you could just have said that someone told you that it was the 25th. And since I don’t know you to lie, it’s truth-y.

Axeman on August 6, 2012 at 4:31 PM

Who cares, their position in the Senate and the House was a lot better than the Dims was. But of course, that IS the GOP way is it not? Avoid a Dim filibuster by giving the Dims everything they want! LOL

HondaV65 on August 6, 2012 at 4:06 PM

Wait a minute, now you are agreeing with me?

I get it, you were against it before you were for it…

right2bright on August 6, 2012 at 4:31 PM

When TSA was originally created in the aftermath of the 9-11 terrorist attacks, President Bush and the Congress agreed that the new agency should never unionize. That agreement lasted until 2011, when President Obama and the Senate Democrats pushed a unionization approval through.

Did the House agree to this? How else could it become the law?

tom on August 6, 2012 at 4:32 PM

The TSA is a big joke to the Israelis. Their method is quick and sure and no one gets groped in the process.
No one.
As to why it wouldn’t work here I can’t think of a single good reason.

It’s because the Israelis put security before political correctness.

We don’t have the spine to do what needs to be done: Profile.

Dexter_Alarius on August 6, 2012 at 4:33 PM

Hey, I’m just curious. I was in an airport last week arguing with a bartender about how much better private security would have been. His general argument was that there are just some things that it’s NOT better to do in the private sector.

His argument wasn’t based on how well it worked, but how much it cost. His main example were privatized prisons. I don’t recall exactly what his multiplier was, but I’m fairly sure it was more than 5 times as much.

Do any of you have any insight into if that is remotely true? I didn’t really think it held water, and at the same time, I didn’t have any concrete data to back up an argument.

preallocated on August 6, 2012 at 4:34 PM

wuz privatized priunzz.

preallocated on August 6, 2012 at 4:35 PM

The issue of TSA unionization was the main controversy during confirmation of Pistole– remember, Obama had 2 other nominees that got torpedoed before because of this.

Of course the Dems, media, etc ranted that we were blocking having a TSA head because of politics, but this was the issue

I can’t recall how Pistole finally made the cut, but of course all the RINO’s let him slide on the union issue.

Yet ANOTHER reason why having ABO, even Romney, in the WH matters so much– not to mention 2-3 SCOTUS nominations, but being able to renominated all the heads of agencies like the TSA, EPA, Homeland, Interior, etc to prevent crap like this from happening…

thurman on August 6, 2012 at 4:41 PM

Question, how many would be terrorist has the TSA stopped from boarding planes?

Just curious.

We have to stop tax payer money funding union political contributions first and then individual union dues towards political contributions.

plutorocks on August 6, 2012 at 4:42 PM

Whatever. I don’t fly anywhere domestically unless I have no other options. I really enjoy the road trip drives.

But I sure as heck am going to enjoy watching what happens when the TSA union decides to go on strike. In fact, I can’t wait for the TSA to have their first full blown work-stoppage strike when they get refused their obligatory union foisted grandiose contract demands that are sure to come in the near future. The union has to justify its existence to their dues paying members and that’s how they always do it in every union in America — make outrageous demands of the employer then go on strike when the demands aren’t met, and then settle for the last best offer when enough time has elapsed. Of course, it will be during the uber busy holiday season too in order to really put the hurt on. Shutting down busy airports due to lack of security staff that are instead walking picket lines because their far-flung union demands aren’t met ought to make every airline traveler in America awfully joyful during any time of the year much less during the holiday season.

Although, this is also fantastic incentive for airports to stop mulling it over and just go with private security instead of Unionized TSA security. No airports are required to contract with the TSA after two years — they’re only required to provide security that adheres to federal standards and answers to federal oversight. Every airport in America will no longer have to worry about being shut down over a Union backed work stoppage if they just dump the TSA service. Then when the pink slips start rolling out to large numbers of TSA employees due to lack of funds and available positions — they’ll be grousing about organizing their union instead of reveling in it.

Hmmm — this actually also seems like a potential opportunity to start up companies specializing in airport security. They just need to remember all too well that they didn’t actually build it when they succeed — somebody else made that happen.

FlatFoot on August 6, 2012 at 4:44 PM

Fantastic. I look forward to better service and quicker security lines.

So how does this impact dismantling the TSA?

John_Locke on August 6, 2012 at 4:45 PM

Great news: TSA to unionize

You mean they aren’t union already? From the poor way they do their job yet remain in it you could have fooled me.

EconomicNeocon on August 6, 2012 at 4:52 PM

There is a vacuum of information on this topic. Glad we got Dewhurst out of the national picture and with how the next legislature is shaping up voting to rid Texas of the TSA should happen this time around. I believe San Francisco is the only large airport with private screening isn’t it?

DanMan on August 6, 2012 at 4:55 PM

His argument wasn’t based on how well it worked, but how much it cost. His main example were privatized prisons. I don’t recall exactly what his multiplier was, but I’m fairly sure it was more than 5 times as much.

preallocated on August 6, 2012 at 4:34 PM

Don’t you remember the pre-9/11/01 airport security? Overweight and not so bright individuals in navy blue Wackenhut blazers. Many could not actually transition to the TSA because of their criminal records that precluded them getting the necessary security clearances to be a TSA employee.

It really boils down to this (and cost is a secondary issue). Is airport screening an inherently government function or can it be privatized? I think it is a government function but reform is needed so that it makes sense. As the system stands, you’ve got individuals of limited intelligence essentially groping passengers in the hope of finding something. What you need is a far more sophisticated system which includes a real intelligence branch monitoring passenger manifests instead of what amounts to a google search in the hope that those wishing to do us harm fly under the name they are known as on the no-fly list. You need profiling. You need common sense procedures not bullies getting over “infractions” to stupid rules. In short, you need a better quality screener and a better system. Neither of these needs is supported by unionizing the individuals currently making their living as gate rapists.

Happy Nomad on August 6, 2012 at 4:55 PM

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