Theodore's World: Good For Senator Jim DeMint: "Unionizing TSA Hurts Security"

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December 30, 2009

Good For Senator Jim DeMint: "Unionizing TSA Hurts Security"

DeMint on Fox: Unionizing TSA Hurts Security, Dems Should Allow Senate Debate

FOX News

The attempted bombing of a Detroit-bound flight has re-ignited debate in the Senate over President Obama's nominee for chief of the Transportation Security Administration, which has been without a permanent leader since Obama took office. It took the president eight months to nominate someone for the post, but that nomination has since been held up by objections from Republican Sen. Jim DeMint, who fears nominee Erroll Southers will unionize TSA screeners.

Now that the administration is launching a full review of airport security procedures, some lawmakers are putting pressure on DeMint to drop the issue. But the South Carolina senator is standing by his opposition, saying the attempted attack only underscores the importance of preventing screeners from clogging up the works with collective bargaining negotiations.

"The attempted terror attack in Detroit is a perfect example of why the Obama administration should not unionize the TSA and allow our airline security decisions to be dictated by union bosses," DeMint said in a written statement...

He said TSA has the "flexibility" to respond to threats with immediate security changes, as it did in response to Friday's incident, but that Southers "appears ready to give union bosses the power to veto or delay future security improvements at our airports."

Southers apparently has not been clear with DeMint over his position on collective bargaining at the TSA, which prompted a letter from him to Southers in October. DeMint's objection does not prevent Southers from being approved -- but it did trip up any effort to smoothly confirm him without a vote or debate. DeMint's office blamed Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for the delay, saying it's up to Senate Democrats to schedule the vote.

DeMint is concerned that such rights could jeopardize TSA's ability to change procedure and move resources around on a daily basis to prevent attacks, and hinder the agency's ability to fire employees who are underperforming.

"The administration is intent on unionizing and submitting our airport security to union bosses," the South Carolina senator said on "Fox News Sunday." "We have to out-think the terrorists. And when we formed the airport security system, we realized we could not use collective bargaining and unionization because of that need to be flexible. ... We can't have politics as usual in Washington."

Obama's TSA Nominee Abused Power While in FBI

TSA nominee questioned over FBI censure
Erroll Southers had background check run on ex-wife's boyfriend

The Washington Post

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) are the folks in the airports who check your luggage, etc. Honestly they are much more than that, the TSA consists of 50,000 security officers, inspectors, directors, air marshals and managers who protect the nation's transportation systems so we can travel safely.

On first the President's Appointment of Erroll Southers to run the TSA made sense. He's a former FBI agent and the LA Airport Police's Director of Homeland Security and intelligence.

But on second glance there are many concerns for example his stance on Unions. If he is confirmed to run the TSA, Southers would decide whether the organization collectively bargains over security procedures. Collective bargaining--currently forbidden for the TSA--would put traveler's lives at risk by preventing the TSA from responding rapidly to new intelligence and by replacing merit promotions with seniority schedules. Southers has refused to state whether he would change TSA policy on collective bargaining, but union reaction to his appointment can provide hints:

Erroll Southers currently is the department's chief of homeland security and intelligence. His name had been floated for the federal job earlier this year and was warmly received by unions and airport screeners, who say Southers will embrace collective bargaining for screeners.
Now "the question of bargaining rights at TSA is not a matter of 'if' but 'when,' " said John Gage, president of the American Federation of Government Employees, in a statement applauding the choice. "We are confident that the appointment of Mr. Southers as administrator will help put that matter to bed."

Then there was the censure he received when he was an FBI Agent. Erroll Southers had a background check run on his ex-wife's new boyfriend. Can you imagine if Bush nominated someone with that kind of abuse of power in his background?:


Wild Thing's comment...........

THANKS, Senator DeMint!!!!

There are enough Unions and we sure don't need one with TSA people. Oh my gosh what a nightmare that could be.

Posted by Wild Thing at December 30, 2009 04:40 AM


TSA to go Union. This is sponsored by Al Qaeda because once the Air port Screeners are in place and Unionized and Al Qaeda organizes they will get a free pass through any Air Port in this country. Afterall, the SEIU won't hassle brothers from another Union.

I can't believe this is even a consideration but the obama agenda must move forward.

Posted by: Mark at December 30, 2009 07:18 AM

I remember when another government agency that was unionized tried a work slowdown. The air traffic controllers, PATCO. They were all fired by then President Ronald Reagan. That pretty much declawed unions for almost 30 years.

Now we have an administration and Congress that are union friendly. They will support the unions in exchange for votes and campaign funds. We need another Reagan ASAP.

Posted by: TomR at December 30, 2009 12:35 PM

Jim DeMint would rather stick it to the unions than protect our country.

Posted by: Xavier at December 30, 2009 12:40 PM

Oh, great, that's what we need... SEIU running airport security via TSA. Strip-search honky oppressors for fairness, but Abdul can go aboard with his bag unsearched because that might infringe upon his religious rights; all with manadatory coffee breaks, seniority promotions and six-week vacations every year-- and 7% annual cost of living raises auotmatically, or they strike!

Posted by: Anonymous at December 30, 2009 07:13 PM

Xavier, you moron. The Unions hate this country and would rather see it destroyed and brought under the rule of a dictator like obama than protect this country.

So put you poisoned attitude where it belongs Up andy sterns ass. Because you and your punk COMMINIST unions are going down.

Posted by: Mark at December 30, 2009 09:53 PM

Xavier, read what Mark said to you because I agree

Xavier, it is people like you that do not love our
country if you live here and if you don't then you are totally stupid!!!!

Posted by: Wild Thing at December 31, 2009 12:43 AM

Please explain exactly why it is suddenly so obvious that unionizing yet another Federal Government Agency will hurt anti-terrorism efforts?

Police, fire-fighters and most other first-responders in this country are unionized. Many of these first-responders are also in the Military Reserves and have served in Iraq/Afghanistan. I speak with them regularly and do not get bad feedback from them about their unions hurting national security.

Israel's entire airport security system is completely unionized, yet Israel has an exceptionally successful record in airport security matters.

Anti-terrorism measures desperately need to be improved in this country. This unionism issue is being used by both sides to score political points. I suggest we keep our eyes on the job and force leaders in both political parties to pay attention to their real jobs of increased security for Americans.

Posted by: NavyHelo at December 31, 2009 10:39 AM