Unionized TSA Employees

Here is a post that, frankly, isn’t going to apply to a lot of us.  But, I am posting it as sort of an “FYI” in an effort to keep all of you up to date on what is in the works for labor law under the Obama administration.

 

Obama promised to revitalize the effort to organize Transportation Security Administration workers, but TSA argues that a unionized workforce would limit the country’s safety because a collective bargaining agreement would prohibit shifting workers, altering procedures, or changing schedules as needed.  In fact, the head of TSA, Edmund “Kip” Hawley testified that collective bargaining “would not provide the flexibility required to wage war on terrorism.”

 

Arguing in favor of organizing the TSA workers, supporters point out that other workers responsible for public safety, i.e. police and firefighters, are heavily unionized and border patrol agents and customs officers have the right to collectively bargain.  Furthermore, strikes – which are one of the big worries of critics – would be illegal.

 

Public safety employees are not governed by the National Labor Relations Act.  In Ohio, unionized government employees are governed by the Ohio Public Employees Collective Bargaining Act, and the Board that interprets that Act is the State Employment Relations Board consisting of three members all of whom are appointed to six year terms by the governor with advice and consent by the Ohio Senate.  But, TSA workers are federal employees and thus would be organized by the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) and not be subject to the Ohio Public Employees Collective Bargaining Act or the State Employment Relations Act.

 

I will keep this line of posted updated as events occur, but for the meantime, this blog will go back to focusing on labor issues that pertain to the private sector.