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January 10, 2003

Airport Screeners Forbidden to Unionize

It's official.

Bush's head of the Transportation Security Administration has declared that labor rights are incompatible with the war on terrorism.

The lamest line by the administration is this one: "When it comes to responding to new intelligence or terrorist threats on a moment's notice, we don't have time to check with a shop steward,'' the TSA head said.

There is a level of snobbery here, as if the idea that consulting lowly workers might actually improve security is a ridiculous thought. But let's remember, it was the lower-level whistleblowers in the FBI and corporate criminal enterprises who figured out what was wrong.

As I wrote last summer when this issue first came up in the Homeland Security debate:

The retaliation that has occurred against whistleblowers at the non-union FBI just shows why union security is not just a workers rights issue but a key to assuring competent government. Coleen Rowley, the FBI agent who revealed the incompetence of the agency leading up to 911, testified before Congress and identified the "risk aversion" by agents and "micromanagement" by top level supervisors as a key source of the problem. Agents are so afraid of retaliation that they are unwilling to "rock the boat...We have a culture in the FBI that there's a certain pecking order."
But retaliation and pecking orders are what this administration is all about.

God help the security of the nation.

Posted by Nathan at January 10, 2003 03:15 AM

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I agee with your aticle as a screener for the tsa in Atlanta Ga we are teated like dogs we have no say so in nothing our shifts are changed with 3day notice no parking is avalible we have to pay 8 dollars aday to park or take a chance on the rail system getting you there on time they started everyone with the same pay regardless if you have experence or not I am a vet with prior screening iwas a trainer and i was made towait till all the screeners had been hired and there was no supervisor positions leftthere are so many horror storys out there we need a VOICE the supervisor treats you like you are 8 yrs old and talk to you any way

Posted by: screener@atl. at January 28, 2003 10:33 PM

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