written by bendygirl at Thursday, December 31, 2009
Crossposted on UnionReview
When I heard South Carolina Republican Senator say that Collective Bargaining threatens US security, I thought I'd actually fall off my chair.
We cannot allow them by unanimous consent, to move ahead with the unionization and collective bargaining of our Airport Security.
And there it was, coming out of the mouth of a sitting US Senator, working Americans are a hindrance to National Security. National Security. Come on, repeat that with me, NATIONAL SECURITY.
Again, from the mouth of the hate mongering idiot:
...we didn’t allow that when the agency was formed because we knew that collective bargaining would slow down the decision process and…and jeopardize security.
I know, everyone here knows what collective bargaining is, but for our wesbite guests, let's talk definition:
Collective bargaining is a type of negotiation used by employees to work with their employers. During a collective bargaining period, workers' representatives approach the employer and attempt to negotiate a contract which both sides can agree with. Typical issues covered in a labor contract are hours, wages, benefits, working conditions, and the rules of the workplace. Once both sides have reached a contract that they find agreeable, it is signed and kept in place for a set period of time, most commonly three years. The final contract is called a collective bargaining agreement, to reflect the fact that it is the result of a collective bargaining effort.
I know, this might seem a little lame, but I'm saying it anyway. I'm tired of having to defend the rights of working folks to form communities to stand up for their rights at work.
That's what we're really talking about.
Unions are communities of workers.
We come together, work together and work to have each others' back so that if something goes wrong like a boss making a pass at me, or a co-worker losing a finger or simply being forced to work over time but not being paid for that time at an OT rate, well, I've got someone to make sure that I'll still have a job the next day.
I joined AFGE this past spring. Until recently, I worked in a position that had been excluded from the bargaining unit. In the summer of 08, I was told that I'd been re-classified and could join the union, then it was rescinded. I started asking around, looking for the names of the union officials in my agency, and after several months, finally found them and started paying dues ASAP.
Since joining, my union has listened to my issues. They've discussed with me options until I can be recognized under the collective bargaining agreement. They've been supportive, helpful and accessible. They've been member based and work toward making my work life a good one. As a dues paying member, I expect that of my union and I've referred a number of co-workers to the union to join. Often, even in Government, workers are afraid to join because it could mean a stop in their career, or at least that's the perception. For me, it's been the opposite.
For me, joining the union has meant much, much more in terms of responsibility and a rise in stature. Skills I have that have gone on used at my agency are now being looked at and I'm moving to a new job. These are skills I have acquired through my blogging on workers issues and my activity in building websites through a community of coders. I credit where I am today to the work I've done on behalf of worker's rights and the work of my AFGE union local.
You see, collective bargaining means that we as employees through our elected representatives set the terms of which we work.
We agree to the over time, compensatory time, the long hours or the short ones, the temporary, the extended or even the types of jobs we might do. We work with our employers to set the standards we can all live by in order to make the workplace work for the folks on the front line to the folks in the ivory towers.
I support the ability of Transportation Security Administration workers to join a union. It will mean that the union can work with the employer to draft better suggestion processes. It will mean that a pregnant woman screening bags can move from one position to the next for the betterment of not only her body and her baby's body, but also for the agency. I mean, come on, who wants a fatigued pregnant woman doing one job all day long? Let them have a hand in making these rules.
A TSA union will not mean millions of American deaths on American soil, no matter how badly Senator Asshat says it will, again, Senator Asshat himself:
Politicizing security is a real problem in this administration. There’s absolutely no good reason to submit security to collective bargaining with union bosses.
Senator, TSA needs the option of collective bargaining. They are American workers doing an important job at American airports. Denying them this basic human right, to join in a community to have their voices heard is Un-American. It's your continued politicization of American workers that's the legitimate threat to American National Security.