Interfaith Worker Justice
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Transportation Security Agency Campaign

The Transportation Security Agency (TSA) is the agency charged with protecting our airports, railroads and trucking ports. More than 40,000 Transportation Security Officers (TSO) work in this important sector.

When the agency was formed under George W. Bush, its workers were excluded from collective bargaining. Workers rights advocates are urging the new TSA administrator, Mr. John Pistole, who was confirmed by the Senate on June 25, 2010, to allow the security officers to decide for themselves whether or not they want to be represented by a union.

Currently, more than 12,000 TSOs are dues-paying members of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) and thousands of others have signed cards with AFGE indicating their desire to be represented by a union.

For those of us who fly and ride trains regularly, we are grateful for the service of these officers, albeit occasionally inconvenienced. We recognize the important roles these officers play in keeping us safe. Therefore, we support their right to join a union and engage in collective bargaining.

 

What You Can Do

1) Place a TSA support tag on your luggage. Order one of these bright yellow tags (with attachment cord) and put it on your luggage with which you travel. These tags demonstrate community support to the officers. To get a free tag, send an e-mail to bvalenta@iwj.org requesting one and giving him you name and mailing address.

2) Talk with off-duty officers. Talk with officers about their interest in joining a union when they are off-duty - on breaks or going to and from their jobs. Do not bother the officers when they are on duty. Express your concern for their right to have a union if they so choose.

3) Urge TSA Administrator John Pistole to allow collective bargaining. Administrator Pistole can issue an administrative order that would immediately allow the officers to decide for themselves whether or not they want to be represented by a union. Interfaith Worker Justice believes that these workers, like most workers, deserve that right. Send a short letter or postcard to Administrator Pistole, TSA-1, Transportation Security Administration, 601 South 12th Street, Arlington, VA 20598. Simply say something like:

  Dear Administrator Pistole,

  I believe that government workers, such as the TSA workers, should have the right to be   
  represented by a union of their choice. You have the ability to restore this important right to 
  these workers. I urge you to do so.

  Sincerely,

4) Offer meeting space for the officers. Officers have been meeting to discuss their interest in joining a union. Sometimes it is difficult for officers to find a quiet space where they can meet. If you serve as an airport chaplain or a pastor, rabbi or imam of a congregation near an airport or a train station, offer your space as a possible meeting space. To offer space for the meetings please e-mail Kim Bobo at kbobo@iwj.org.

More Information
AFGE's TSA website
FLRA Grants Union Request for Appeal in TSO Election Case
"The Union is Coming," airport security officers told
Transportation Security Officers file to make AFGE their exclusive union representative