Friday, December 4, 2009

Fwd: Rally Dec. 16 to support SeaTac security officers

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: David Groves, WSLC <>
Date: Fri, Dec 4, 2009 at 10:00 AM
Subject: Rally Dec. 16 to support SeaTac security officers
To: Chad Lupkes <>

Washington State Labor Council


Rally Dec. 16 to support SeaTac TSOs
Show solidarity with Transportation Security Officers organizing with AFGE

The American Federation of Government Employees is engaged in an historic campaign in support of tens of thousands of Transportation Security Officers organizing at some 450 airports across the nation. December 13-19 is TSO Solidarity Week to support their efforts! 

The Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO and the M.L. King County Labor Council, AFL-CIO are demonstrating our local union movement's support for the TSOs and their effort to gain a voice at work with AFGE.  All union members are urged to attend a rally on Wednesday, Dec. 16 from noon to 1:30 p.m. in SeaTac Airport's Summit Room in the public area of the Central Terminal, behind Ticketing and adjacent to Seattle's Best Coffee. (Please download, post and distribute the event flier.)

BACKGROUND: Every year, more than 600 million people travel by air in the United States. Transportation Security Officers are the workers who staff security check points at our nation's airports and are responsible for screening all luggage and passengers. TSOs are the front-line defenders of our air safety in this country.

When the Transportation Security Administration was created in 2001, the Bush administration denied TSOs the right to bargain collectively. TSOs are not covered under the General Schedule System that regulates pay for other federal employees. Instead, they have an evaluation-based "pay-for-performance" system that many of the TSOs consider to be arbitrary, punitive and unfair, and that does not contribute to the improvement of TSO skills.

TSOs have virtually no whistleblower protections and are in constant fear of management retaliation. They are subject to unfair hiring practices, inconsistent agency regulations, and unjust leave restrictions and policies. Because of concerns about the low pay, discrimination and management harassment, TSOs suffer from low morale and the Transportation Security Administration has the worse attrition rates in the entire federal government.

But now, the Obama administration is committed to restoring TSOs' right to organize and bargain collectively. And the one union that has been there, organizing TSOs from the beginning has been the American Federation of Government Employees. Today, more than 11,000 TSOs are already members of the AFGE, which has been fighting to improve their pay and working conditions despite their lack of bargaining rights. 

As TSOs at SeaTac International Airport and other airports around our nation organize their union with AFGE, solidarity from other union members working at the airports and members using the airports will be crucial to their efforts!

TAKE ACTION!  What can YOU do to support the TSOs' effort to gain a voice at work with AFGE?

  • Attend the Dec. 16 rally at SeaTac Airport! And bring a friend or co-worker with you.

  • Talk to the TSOs. If you are a union member who works at the airport or for an airline -- or if you are planning to travel -- during National TSO Solidarity Week, December 13-19, talk to the TSOs about the benefits of union membership. Encourage them to get involved in AFGE's campaign and find out how the union can improve their pay and working conditions.

  • Check out the AFGE TSA web site -- -- to stay informed about the campaign, the election process and future opportunities to show solidarity with the TSOs.

David Groves
Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO
206-281-8901 x19  cell: 206-434-1301

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