House Democrats Push for TSA Workers’ Rights – CQ Homeland Security

Nearly a third of the House’s Democratic membership asked newly confirmed Transportation Security Administration head John S. Pistole last week to “strongly consider” granting his agency’s security workers collective bargaining and other workplace rights.

The letter signed by House Homeland Security Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., and 87 other Democrats, including his committee’s leadership, came with strong support from organized labor: Both of the unions competing to represent TSA’s transportation security officers had urged lawmakers to sign the request. The letter contained no Republican names.

Many of the Democratic signatories had cosponsored 2009 legislation (HR 1881) introduced by Nita M. Lowey of New York that would have granted the transportation workers broader employee rights, but the bill never came to a vote on the House floor. The Democrats’ letter called on TSA to stop treating its workers “like replaceable parts,” and blamed high turnover at the agency on the current policies.

  • Bruce Seibert

    As a six year veteran of the TSA I saw many inequities in promotions. Reverse discriminatory practices were routine, bypassing older white males almost entirely. Pay scales are not GS rated and a resumes buy very little for new recruits. That said, collective bargaining, or the threat of work stoppages, would be a disaster for the air transportation system. The job is stressful and demoralizing at times. Pay should be the same as for other government employees, but strikes should be handled like the Air Traffic Controllers were under Reagan.

  • Jadoe213

    Just in case you were unaware, strikes are not permitted by federal employees–Union or not! This would not be an issue at the agency. I also work for the Administration and I know without Collective Bargaining Rights we will continue to maintain high attrition rates, low morale, and poor work performance. A contract would only improve the way things are at an agency that so desparately needs it!