Whatever union is now chosen to bargain for TSA workers—either Mr. Gage’s American Federation of Government Employees, or the National Treasury Employees Union—will have the power to begin transforming the agency into one that puts union priorities first, security second.
Mr. Pistole is insisting that he won’t bargain over security policies, pay and benefits, qualifications or disciplinary measures. But some of this is fuzzy, and there’s plenty for the union to be getting on with, including union rules on shifts, hours and transfers. This will stymie or delay the TSA’s ability to quickly move workers to heightened security risks, to institute new procedures, or to keep terrorists guessing. Aviation experts like Michael Boyd of Boyd International have warned the TSA is already a “60,000 member DMV from Hell.”