Airport security screeners for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) have formally ratified a union contract that will add some 45,000 members to the ranks of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), a labor union representing over 650,000 employees of the federal government. Affiliated with the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), the AFGE is the largest union for non-postal federal employees and the largest union for District of Columbia workers who report directly to the mayor.
Passenger screeners and other associated employees voted 17,236 to 1,774 in approval of a contract settled to in principle by the TSA and AFGE in August, and made a formal agreement on November 9. AFGE president David Cox said the union is proud that TSA employees finally have union protection that will enhance their professional lives while offering stability to the workforce.
The massive public-sector conglomerate 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.
In 2012 alone, AFGE members funneled about $1 million to Democrats, including lawmakers like Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia and Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan — while a meager three percent of those funds went to Republican candidates. The union doled out $2 million on lobbying to the government largely to guarantee that federal employees get paid more to work less. The Washington Times reported on the contract:
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.
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Photo of TSA screener at airport: AP Images