Union strengthens bid to recruit airport screeners

The American Federation of Government Employees is intensifying its campaign to unionize tens of thousands of airport security workers.

The nation's largest federal workers union Monday will officially announce the formation of a new local chapter specifically for passenger and baggage screeners. Instead of creating locals at each airport though, the new AFGE unit will be national and based in Washington. AFGE President Bobby Harnage will act as interim head.

"There are serious problems facing these workers," said AFGE spokeswoman Diane Witiak. "There are constant shift changes without notice. People don't know what hours they are going to work one day to the next."

AFGE has been embroiled in a unionization fight with the Transportation Security Administration for several months. Since last November, the union has filed seven petitions with the Federal Labor Relations Authority to represent TSA employees at a number of airports including Baltimore-Washington International, New York's LaGuardia, Pittsburgh International, Chicago Midway, those in Greensboro, N.C., Port Columbus, Ohio, and three smaller airports in southern Texas-Brownsville, McAllen and Harlingen.

TSA officials did not return phone calls about this story.

In January, TSA Administrator James Loy issued an order prohibiting federal baggage and passenger screeners from unionizing. "Collective bargaining is not compatible with the flexibility required to wage the war against terrorism," he said.

AFGE has filed suit challenging Loy's position. Whether or not the union wins the right to negotiate a labor contract for screeners, Witiak said federal employees have a constitutional right to form a union.

"We can go to court for them. We can represent them at EEO [Equal Employment Opportunity] hearings. We can go to Capitol Hill. We can raise these issues with the public," she said.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.