How are those airport grope downs, naked body scanners, thefts and humiliation working out for ya at your local airport? Well, now you can not only feel safer when you fly, but you have the comfort of knowing that those "security professionals" of the Transportation Security Administration are federalized, but now they are also unionized.
On November 9, 2012 the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) issued a press release indicating that "Workers at the Transportation Security Administration made history today when they voted to ratify the first-ever collective bargaining agreement at the agency. The agreement between the American Federation of Government Employees and TSA was ratified with a vote of 17,326-1,774."
The AFGE represents over 650,000 employees of the federal government. It is the largest union for non-postal federal employees and the largest union for D.C. workers who report directly to the mayor.
Brian Koenig writes that the AFGE "coerces members to fork over between $14 and $16 out of each paycheck, providing the organization with up to $16 million more in revenue per year. Portions of this influx of money will go to subsidizing Democratic election campaigns and funding a number of liberal agendas."
Koenig went on to claim that the "union doled out $2 million on lobbying to the government largely to guarantee that federal employees get paid more to work less."
Under the new TSA contract, employees will win annual leave based not on their performance, but how long they’ve held on to the job. They’ll also be able to wear shorts when it’s hot, with the tab for the new wardrobe picked up by the taxpayers. House Transportation Committee Chairman John L. Mica, Florida Republican, blasted the deal for focusing on “tie tacks and tattoos” instead of issues that actually matter. Those tie tacks can’t exceed 1/2-inch in diameter and must be gold or silver in color. Tattoos must be covered by a sports sleeve or band that does not detract from the uniform. TSA must also provide office space for designated TSA union officials to work on union business at taxpayer expense.
In early 2011, TSA administrator John S. Pistole decided to allow bargaining, although over a more limited range of topics than those allowable for other federal employees eligible for union representation. AFGE meanwhile defeated NTEU for the right to represent a national bargaining unit of more than 40,000 workers.
In addition to revising the performance pay system, the three-year contract sets policies in areas including scheduling of shifts and vacation time, uniform allowances and dress codes. "The completion of today's agreement between TSA and AFGE is a milestone in our relationship with our workforce and AFGE," Pistole said in a statement. "Together, we will continue to secure our nation's transportation systems and keep the traveling public safe."
After over a decade of struggling for basic workplace rights, transportation security officers were finally given the opportunity to vote on a contract that ensures that their voice will be heard in the workplace. This contract will improve both morale and workplace conditions," said Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (Miss.), ranking Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee.
With all of this being said, it has been demonstrated over and over just how ineffective the TSA is and how it is constantly infiltrated by illegals, thieves, and perverts. We have witnessed a waste of over $18 billion worth of "X-rated" body scanners with potentially harmful radiation effects upon people, invasion of privacy, and violations of the Fourth Amendment. But has the federal government addressed any of these concerns? No. Instead they are more concerned with making sure to continue a wasteful, unconstitutional program, unionize it, and funnel money into the coffers of lawmakers in order to re-elect Democrats and Republicans who support this nonsense, while at the same time making those unions very rich.
In the end, it's the American citizen that gets screwed.