Wicker Statement on Administration’s Decision to Proceed with TSA Collective Bargaining Agreement
Friday, February 4, 2011
Washington, DC – Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), today made the following statement after the Obama Administration allowed Transportation Security Administration (TSA) personnel to begin the process to collectively bargain.
“The Obama Administration’s actions today to move forward on unionizing our TSA workforce with collective bargaining rights could hamper our national security,” said Wicker. “Earlier this week, I offered an amendment, which is currently being debated in the Senate, that would prohibit collective bargaining for TSA security screeners. Despite the fact that the Senate is considering this very issue, the Administration decided to move forward with this ill-advised policy.”
Wicker introduced an amendment to the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization bill (S.223) that would exclude more than 40,000 TSA personnel from collective bargaining. The 2001 law that created TSA gives the administrator authority to decide whether or not unionizing is allowed. The Bush-era administrator issued a memorandum stating that unions could not collectively bargain on behalf of TSA employees. A vote on the Wicker Amendment could occur as early as Monday.
The Obama Administration has allowed collective bargaining to move forward. On November 12, 2010, the Federal Labor Relations Authority decided that TSA employees will be allowed to vote on union representation. Balloting is tentatively scheduled for March 9 through April 19, 2011.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports 14.7 million workers were a member of a union in 2010. Of these, 7.6 million work in government jobs while 7.1 million work in the private sector.
# # #