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Special Interest Politics, Democrat style
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, January 09, 2007

If you believe the era of "special interest politics" is dead, let me just assure you it isn't, and, instead, has just shifted it's focus a bit:

As part of a bill to follow through on recommendations of the 9/11 commission, House Democrats have included a provision that would give union rights to about 43,000 airport screeners at the Transportation Security Administration.

Of course what should be kept in mind is this move has absolutely nothing to do with the commission's recommendations in regard to TSA screeners:
The 9/11 commission did not address union rights or personnel rules but urged improvements in airport screening operations. AFGE maintains that collective bargaining rights help smooth agency operations because labor-management contracts provide a structure for addressing employee issues, including job performance.
So based on that assertion by AFGE, compliant Democrats inserted a provision into their bill as requrested by the union:
Peter Winch, an organizer with AFGE, said the union had asked Democrats to put bargaining rights for TSA screeners "on the agenda for the first 100 hours." He continued, "It does not make sense to keep these employees from collective bargaining rights when other Department of Homeland Security employees have those rights."
Well, actually it does make sense:
The TSA has said that collective bargaining is not appropriate for airport passenger and baggage screeners because of their national security mission and because the agency requires the ability to make personnel staffing changes rapidly in response to threats. In the law creating the TSA, Congress left it to the Bush administration to determine such issues as union rights for screeners.
Security or a political bone to a powerful constituency?

No suprise at the choice made, is there?
 
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AFGE maintains that collective bargaining rights help smooth agency operations because labor-management contracts provide a structure for addressing employee issues
I have to wonder how any other groups of employees without collective bargaining agreements manage to get their operations running smoothly now!
Bring on the grievance, bidding, and seniority rules! I feel safer already.

 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Regardless of one’s politics, one should check this out.
I "got it" in one click (bragging). Apologies if this has been done before and I missed it. Clever.
 
Written By: notherbob2
URL: http://
Any wonder when the top 6 donors (since 1989) have been unions...

http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/index.asp
Top 10 donors:
American Fedn of State, County & Municipal Employees $37,721,752

AT&T Inc $36,526,165

National Assn of Realtors $29,558,673

Assn of Trial Lawyers of America $26,617,656

National Education Assn $26,549,920

Intl Brotherhood of Electrical Workers $25,217,166

Laborers Union $24,137,957

Service Employees International Union $24,055,443

Goldman Sachs $23,989,207

Communications Workers of America $23,823,512
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://inactivist.org/blog/keith_indy
TSA = Thousands Standing Around.

AFAICT, they’re no more on a "national security mission" than the guys who collect my garbage (actually, I should say they are no more accomplishing a national security mission than the guys who collect my garbage - which is actually unfair to the garbage guys who manage, most weeks, to actually take it away, whereas, IIRC, the TSA screeners missed some rather large percentage of fake bombs/guns the last time the gov’t ran a test).

And I loved the fact that after I landed in Atlanta from an overseas flight that I got to be screened again by the TSA before continuing to my connection. Apparently, the screening I had in the foreign country was good enough to allow me and my fellow passengers onto the jet that landed in Atlanta, but not good enough to continue on a domestic flight. WTF?
 
Written By: Ugh
URL: http://
The arguments against unionizing the TSA are quite similar to the reasons we have no union for the military. Maybe long-term they’re not just hoping for 43,000 workers whose voting trends haven’t been studied for very long. Maybe they’re hoping for a much larger group whose real-world experience leads us to consistently vote against Democarats.
 
Written By: Ted
URL: http://
The arguments against unionizing the TSA are quite similar to the reasons we have no union for the military.
And the police and firefighters, oh wait.
 
Written By: Ugh
URL: http://
IT ALWAYS WAS ABOUT UNIONIZING!
THE AMERICAN VOTERS ARE SUCKERS
 
Written By: d
URL: http://
I laughed at the part where the screeners were part of some serious national security mission securing the airports.

I’m more upset they don’t fire the lot. Waste of time and taxpayer money. When I travel, I’ll either accept the risk, or I’ll not travel.
 
Written By: Rick Day
URL: http://goplobby.org
To play something of a devil’s advocate, Rick, one might point out that the risk involved in an airline hijacking isn’t purely to those on-board the aircraft.

Even setting aside the secondary economic and other effects of plane hijackings of whatever sort, the events of a certain September morning 6 years ago ought to be reasonably fresh in one’s memory, no?

(And while I think that a repeat of such an outcome is unlikely under current circumstances and awareness - even without airport security - that’s not an excuse to discount it entirely without even a consideration.

Even if highjackers can only cause a plane to crash more or less without aim, doing so in an urban area would be an effective terror tactic, and a danger to many people who voluntarily assumed no risk at all.)
 
Written By: Sigivald
URL: http://
Oh, for crying out loud! This is so petty. Really, it should be beneath you. I remember a week or so ago a post on this site about how great it was that the Democrats were saying that they would impliment the 911 proposals but how unlikely it was that they really would. Now the House goes out and votes the implimentation and your response is to be pissed because the workers might get a living wage!
What have you got against your fellow citizens? It’s surreal to see a list of union endorsements posted as if the endorsements were evidence of bad conduct or bad company. Would you feel more comfortable if the friends of Halliburton annd Enron were still running the government?
 
Written By: laura
URL: http://
I remember a week or so ago a post on this site about how great it was that the Democrats were saying that they would impliment the 911 proposals but how unlikely it was that they really would.
Laura ... cool off and read carefully ... this has nothing to do with the 9.11 commission as noted in the post. They never recommended "the TSA should have a union".

That’s the point.

It is, however, something the unions want and is being inserted in the bill which is supposed to implement the 9.11 commission recommendations (well, all except the one that says the committee with intel oversight should also have budgeting power). And, of course, it is being inserted without debate.

Because, you know, this has all been debated before.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://qando.net
Laura, do you mean that the TSA is NOT making a living wage now, when they have to put up with everybody’s bad attitude towards them? How do they ever find anybody to fill the positions? If they’re getting chump change, wouldn’t flipping burgers be more attractive?
 
Written By: Jeffrey Quick
URL: http://

 
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