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Bill Would Let Airport Screeners Unionize

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Posted on Mar 6, 2007
airport checkpoint

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.

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By Pete, March 7, 2007 at 7:49 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If cops can unionize, why not Airport Screeners?Here in the Northeast, cops make a hell of a lot more money than teachers, accountants and other college grads and myth to the contrary, their behaviour is deplorable. If memory serves me correctly, the republicans didn’t want screeners organized because it was unpatriotic and dangerous. And yet these same “patriots” have no problem selling off America’s ports, water supplies and air space to just about anybody provided they can squeeze another buck out of the vanishing blue collar middle class.

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By PatrickHenry, March 7, 2007 at 4:07 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

All workers should be allowed and even encouraged to join a “union” of their fellow peers sharing the same trade or skill, organization or fraternity.  By doing this minimum and maximum qualifications are established for each job, rate or position.  Retirement and health care are addressed as a condition of employment, which would reduce social security and medicare entitlements.

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By Alejandro, March 7, 2007 at 7:29 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is a tough one for me. I am strongly pro union but I am not so sure that people that are charged with such a public safety task should be unionized. How do you insure quality control? Can a Suporvisor fire any one on the spot for dereliction of duty or incompetance? Will the threat of a strike be allowed to be a negotiating tool? There are a lot of questions that have to be answered before I can endorse unionization of such an important public safty industry. ????.

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By trantieungoc, March 6, 2007 at 6:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Everything would threaten security and safety but not unionize. The most threatened act is Bush/Cheney are still on their damned throne with blinded eyes and phantom glories !

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