Even as the right to join a union is under attack across the country, more than 40,000 Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employees in 450 airports today made a strong statement for workers’ rights by electing AFGE as their exclusive union representative. The 8,903-8,447 vote came in a runoff with the National Treasury Employees Union.
AFGE President John Gage said:
We are obviously thrilled with the election results, but more importantly are delighted that the transportation security officers (TSOs) now will have the full union representation they rightly deserve. AFGE thanks the TSOs for their support and faith in our union.
In April, nearly 85 percent of the TSOs who voted chose to join a union. AFGE led the voting in that election but did not garner an outright majority.
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said in a statement:
Today’s victory affirms the deep-seated desire of working people across the country for a voice on the job and a seat at the table in solving workplace problems when given a free choice.
Although the TSOs did not have collective bargaining rights until now, more than 12,000 TSO members had joined 40 AFGE local unions across the country. It took 10 years before the TSOs finally gained the right to bargain. The Obama administration restored the TSO’s legal right to bargain collectively after George W. Bush took it away.
The TSA workforce has proven itself time and time again to be dedicated to the mission of the Department of Homeland Security, and one that cares about the work it does, Gage said. He added that AFGE has long argued that “only a professional and highly motivated workforce can provide the security this country needs.”
Flight Attendants-CWA President Veda Shook congratulated the TSOs on their decision.
The training and expertise of the thousands of TSOs across the country play a vital role in aviation security. As safety professionals, Flight Attendants count on TSOs every day to ensure a secure work environment and safe travels for passengers.