In 2003, as Transportation Security Administration (TSA) workers at several airports were readying to vote on joining AFGE, the Bush administration, citing so-called “national security” concerns, terminated the screeners’ collective bargaining rights.
Today, after a nearly 10-year battle, AFGE and the TSA have reached their first-ever labor contract that covers the TSA’s 45,000 workers. Says AFGE President John Gage:
For 10 long years, AFGE has fought hard so that Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) would have collective bargaining rights. We have often looked back and wondered why it was taking so long. Today, we begin to look forward.
Over the decade-long fight, the Bush administration and congressional Republicans used veto threats,filibusters, holds on nominations and other maneuvers to block efforts to restore the workers’ bargaining rights.
In February 2011, TSA workers won their collective bargaining despite Republican efforts to block the move and in June, workers at more than 450 airports voted to join AFGE.