Last week TSA Administrator John Pistole bestowed very limited collective bargaining rights on the nation’s 40,000 Transportation Security Officers. Even if the TSOs vote to unionize, they will be barred from negotiating on basic issues like disciplinary standards, ostensibly in the interest of “national security.”
This week, I interviewed Ron Moore, a former TSO and union activist. When Moore complained about racism in his workplace, and published controversial op/eds in the Washington Post, his protests set off a chain of retribution that ultimately destroyed his career and left him temporarily homeless. His story illustrates why the rights to bargain over disciplinary standards are so important.
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As a matter of national security, TSOs should be protected for speaking out against mismanagement in their agency.