An anti-terrorism bill making its way through the Senate would allow airport screeners to unionize. Republicans in Congress, ever the friends of working men and women, have fought against the provision, arguing that a screener union would threaten security and safety.
The argument falls flat when one considers the police, firemen, nurses, Border Patrol agents and others who manage to safeguard the public and their own working conditions at the same time.
President Bush has threatened to veto the bill, which implements 9/11 commission recommendations, if it grants airport workers collective bargaining rights.
WASHINGTON—The Senate voted Tuesday to give 45,000 airport screeners the same union rights as other public safety officers, despite vigorous opposition by Republicans and a veto threat from the White House.
A broad anti-terrorism bill that would implement the remaining recommendations of the Sept. 11 commission includes a provision that would give airport screeners the right to bargain collectively. An amendment by Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., would have removed that right, but was defeated by a vote of 51-46.
The Senate expects to complete work on the bill by the end of the week.
The House last month passed a similar anti-terrorism bill that had the same union provision for airport screeners, an indication of organized labor’s strength with Democrats now running Congress.