July 30, 2008

TSA Union Charters 15th Local

WASHINGTON, July 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Federation of Governments Employees (AFGE), the only union to represent and stand behind Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) since the agency's inception, recently chartered its 15th local, Local 615, at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. AFGE now has as dues-paying members more than 6,000 TSOs at airports across the country.

Since the passage of the Airline Transportation Safety Act (ATSA) in 2001, AFGE has worked aggressively with Congress in pursuit of agency reforms and legislation that would give TSOs workplace rights. The union also has taken on TSA in the courts, before the International Labor Organization and with the Federal Labor Relations Authority over issues including the failure to grant collective bargaining rights, unfair personnel systems, subjective performance-based pay and promotion policies, and unreasonable shift scheduling.

"The chartering of these Locals represents a growing movement amongst TSOs to have a strong voice within the workplace," said John Gage, AFGE national president. "In our seven-year organizing campaign, AFGE has gone from working with a couple hundred TSOs in a few major airports to empowering TSOs stateside, as well as in Puerto Rico and Guam, to organize themselves into AFGE Local Unions."

Over the next few months, AFGE anticipates that the growing call for collective bargaining rights and a voice in the workplace will lead many other TSOs at the nation's busiest airports to with the 6,000 TSOs who have already chosen to be members of AFGE. So far, AFGE has chartered TSA Locals as follows:

   Local 1 - Nationwide   237 -  Rhode Island   441 - Charlotte   444 - BWI   445 - Dulles   555 - Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, South Carolina   556 - Florida   557 - Puerto Rico   777 - Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin   778 - Detroit   1039 - Houston   1120 - Salt Lake City   1121 - Seattle   1234 - California, Hawaii, Nevada, Arizona   2222 - New York, New Jersey   615 - Cleveland   

"While we will continue to fight for whistleblower protection and full collective bargaining rights for TSOs, we will do so while simultaneously building union structures at key airports as a way of giving these workers a powerful voice at the jobsite," Gage added.

AFGE is the largest federal employee union representing 600,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia, including the largest constituency of DHS employees. AFGE has been the only union to represent TSA employees since the agency's inception and with members in 129 airports nationwide, is widely recognized as the TSA union.

American Federation of Government Employees

CONTACT: Enid Doggett of AFGE, +1-202-639-6419

Web Site: http://www.afge.org/