Bennie Thompson Intros Bill to Provide TSA Officers Same Worker Rights as Federal Employees
Approximately 51,000 Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employees were deemed “essential” and forced to work without pay during the latest shutdown. Congressman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) last week reintroduced legislation to ensure that TSA screening workforce employees -- or Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) -- have the same worker rights and protections afforded to other federal workers. The Rights for Transportation Security Officers Act, which Thompson introduced with Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY), would offer TSOs full collective bargaining rights, opportunities to effectively raise issues in dispute to an independent third party, and subjection to the General Services wage system. During the last government shutdown, TSOs -- who are considered “essential” employees -- went without pay for 35 days. Many had to take second jobs, rely on charities or food banks, or consider leaving the TSA for paid work. “Our frontline TSOs keep our skies safe every day, while receiving some of the lowest pay and barebones workforce rights in the Federal government,” said Thompson. “This last Trump Shutdown put on sharp display the incredible amount of stress our TSOs are under. It’s time to bring TSA’s personnel and labor management systems in line with the rest of the federal government under Title 5. By improving TSO workforce protections, we will be improving frontline workforce morale and improving our national security.” More here.