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calendar   Tuesday - November 28, 2006

Union Games At TSA

If the Democrats can’t destroy this country all by themselves they can always count on the unions to help. The AFGE has been fighting to get TS screeners unionized ever since the group was created - in spite of the fact that Congress decided it was not in national security interests to give them the right to walk off the job or strike.

So the AFGE went to Europe and the Swiss-based ILO seeking assistance. Didn’t work. Now, they’re waiting for the Donks to descend on Washington in January and give them the right to unionize TSA screeners. It will probably happen and the TSA screeners will be protected by union bosses and outrageous contracts and if they decide to walk out during a holiday season we’re all screwed.

Isn’t that just a fine mess we’ll be in then? All flights will be grounded ... except those carrying critical members of Congress back and forth between their district and DC. Count on it.

Union Looks to Democrats on TSA Screener Rights
(WASHINGTON POST) - Tuesday, November 28, 2006

imageimageBaggage and passenger screeners at the Transportation Security Administration are not allowed to bargain over the terms and conditions of their employment, but the largest federal union hopes to get the Democratic majority in the next Congress to take another look at whether that ban is justified.

The American Federation of Government Employees, headed by John Gage, won a favorable opinion from a Geneva-based, U.N. agency, the International Labor Organization, on the issue of screener rights.

The ILO’s Committee on Freedom of Association, in an opinion this month, said that it was concerned that the TSA’s decision in 2003 to invoke national security considerations to block union representation “may impede unduly upon the rights of these federal employees.”

Screeners, the committee said, are not engaged in “making national policy that may affect security” and are not engaged “in the administration of the state.” Under those criteria, the committee said, TSA’s 45,000 screeners should have collective bargaining rights.

The United States is a member of the ILO, which seeks to set worldwide labor standards. But ILO committee opinions are not binding, and the TSA said that the opinion will not change the agency’s stance toward union representation.

In a statement, the TSA said Congress left it to the agency to decide whether to grant bargaining rights. The leeway to ban unions is contained in the 2001 Aviation Transportation Security Act, which created the agency after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

“Given the critical national security mission of our security officers, collective bargaining is not appropriate, and would reduce TSA’s ability to make changes rapidly in response to threats,” the TSA statement said.

Proposals to allow TSA screeners to unionize have not gained traction in Congress, but AFGE officials hope that will change when Democrats take control of the House and Senate next year. Rep. Nita M. Lowey (D-N.Y.), who lost a vote on an amendment that would have let screeners engage in bargaining, plans to push the issue, her spokeswoman said.

Efforts by the AFGE to overturn the TSA ban through litigation also have been rebuffed by the government and in U.S. courts. A key ruling came in 2003, when a regional director for the Federal Labor Relations Authority, which hears labor-management disputes inside the government, found that screeners were not entitled to a vote on union representation and that “Congress intended to treat security screeners differently than other employees of the agency.”


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 11/28/2006 at 11:47 AM   
Filed Under: • Democrats-Liberals-Moonbat LeftistsUnions-Labor •  
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