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Solidarity Rally w/ TSA Employees at Charlotte Airport

Jeremy Sprinkle
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Fight is for collective bargaining rights

The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), the largest union of federal workers, has been with employees at the Transportation Security Administration since the department was created in 2002.

Workers at TSA, who are the first line of defense at the nation's airports against terrorist attacks, are not allowed to bargain a contract over pay, benefits, and - perhaps most importantly - fair and equitable working conditions and dignity on the job.

The law creating TSA gives the agency unprecedented authority, and TSA has been exercising it. Management acts with impunity, disciplining and reassigning workers as it sees fit, and using favoritism and discrimination to determine promotions, overtime, and health and safety.

For eight years, Transportation Security Officers (TSO's) have joined AFGE, which has been able to fight unfair work rules on Capitol Hill and in court, and winning important victories (opens PDF).

On Wednesday, May 5, 2010, workers from AFGE and other unions and community allies rallied at Charlotte Douglas International Airport to show support for TSO's and their union. James Andrews, President of the NC State AFL-CIO, told those gathered he can't imagine the kind of pressure workers at TSA are under every day:

"They can't afford to make a mistake because the safety of the country is in their hands when they're on the job. Now it seems to me it would be common sense to say that you want those workers not to have to worry about wages and working conditions and benefits."

Watch the video from the TSA rally in Charlotte:

Andrews commended TSA workers at the Charlotte airport and across the country who are standing together in AFGE "because it takes courage to stand up against an employer like TSA." He pledged that we will stand with them:

"I've got a clear message I want to send to those who are in the way of collective bargaining: 'One day longer.' That is that the workers, the community, the national AFL-CIO, unions across this country will stand together one day longer than you will be able to stand in the way."

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