DeMint: Unions are already hurting Border Patrol -- TSA next? 

Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., makes the case on Redstate that unionization of Transportation Security Administration employees would be damaging to national security. He answers with some detail the counterargument that unionization has worked fine for Customs and Border Protection, so why not the TSA as well? DeMint writes:

CBP has had numerous problems with collective bargaining. Take these four recent examples of the agency being forced to negotiate with unions that took months to resolve:

  1. Arbitration with unions over how and whether CBP can discipline employees who fall asleep on the job. (CBP lost)
  2. Arbitration with unions over whether CBP has to negotiate with the union on how much training an officer who fails the firearm exam needs. (CBP lost)
  3. Arbitration [with] unions over whether CBP can investigate (just investigate, not discipline) officers who get into an off-duty fight. (CBP eventually won)
  4. Arbitration over whether CBP has to negotiate with Unions on the re-assignment of personnel, an issue that would likely arise as TSA as well. (CBP lost)

Consider, for a moment, the TSA employee who was supposed to be guarding the breached security exit in Newark, whose apparent neglect resulted in the entire airport being cleared out. Would you like to see a public-sector union fighting before a review board right now to prevent disciplinary action or even an investigation? Perhaps not so much.

DeMint has placed a hold on President Obama's nomination of Erroll Southers to head the TSA because Southers refused to say whether he would support TSA unionization. As we have noted, Southers has deeper problems that should disqualify him from such a position of authority. The mere fact that as an FBI agent he once used a government database to spy on his wife's boyfriend should be enough to prevent the promotion of Southers. That he also lied about the decades-old incident recently before Congress only adds to the problems with his nomination.

Surely Obama can at least find a more trustworthy nominee without a history of abusing access to Americans' personal data, even if it has to be a liberal.

 Democrats have responded by pointing out that the Customs and Border Protection agency (CBP) allows collective bargaining, and if it works for the border agents, why not TSA? The answer is that collective bargaining is not working for CBP, its weakening their ability to keep us secure. Setting aside the obvious, that this agency has struggled to fulfill its mission as there are 12 million illegal aliens in the U.S., CBP has had numerous problems with collective bargaining. Take these four recent examples of the agency being forced to negotiate with unions that took months to resolve:

  1. Arbitration with unions over how and whether CBP can discipline employees who fall asleep on the job. (CBP lost)
  2. Arbitration with unions over whether CBP has to negotiate with the union on how much training an officer who fails the firearm exam needs. (CBP lost)
  3. Arbitration unions over whether CBP can investigate (just investigate, not discipline) officers who get into an off-duty fight. (CBP eventually won)
  4. Arbitration over whether CBP has to negotiate with Unions on the re-assignment of personnel, an issue that would likely arise as TSA as well. (CBP lost)

About The Author

David Freddoso

Bio:
David Freddoso came to the Washington Examiner in June 2009, after serving for nearly two years as a Capitol Hill-based staff reporter for National Review Online. Before writing his New York Times bestselling book, The Case Against Barack Obama, he spent three years assisting Robert Novak, the legendary Washington... more
Pin It
Favorite

More by David Freddoso

Latest in Nation

Saturday, Jul 21, 2018

Videos

© 2018 The San Francisco Examiner

Website powered by Foundation