UNIONS TO GAIN CONTROL OF ALL U.S. AIRPORTS

From the desk of Stephen Cabot: Recently, the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) decided to permit airport security screeners to vote for union representation. And not only can they vote for such representation, but they have a choice of voting for one of two powerful unions, each of which is waging expensive campaigns to win the right to represent the screeners. The two unions are the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) and the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU). In its high priced battle to win the right to represent the security personnel, AFGE has placed a 25-foot advertisement at Boston's Logan International Airport, which features an endorsement from AFL-CIO. AFGE is a member of the AFL-CIO, while NTEU is an independent union and so does not merit AFL-CIO support. There are currently 50,000 transportation security personnel who will be permitted to vote. That will represent the largest single election by federal workers. And all of this comes at a time when the vast number of Americans and their congressional representatives want to control the ever-increasing compensation of federal employees which averages twice the salaries paid to equivalent private sector employees. Regardless of which union wins, the American people will lose, for unionized security personnel will have significant leverage over the economy. If, for example, its members decide to stage a walkout during contract negotiations, they could close down every airport in the United States. The economy would be put on hold, and our current recession would only worsen. One need only recall the effort by the air traffic controls to close down the country’s airports in the 1980s. President Reagan fired the strikers and avoided an economic meltdown. One can hardly expect such decisive action from President Obama who has appointed pro-union advocates to the NLRB.

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