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Thu, Aug 14, 2003

Union Sues TSA

If There's Anything More Complicated Than Bureaucracy, It's Unionized Bureaucracy

The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) has charged the Transportation Security Administration with illegally trampling on the rights of our nation's veterans and other professional federal employees.

In a class action suit, AFGE charges TSA with violating the Aviation and Transportation Security Act, the Veterans' Preference Act, the Administrative Procedures Act and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, as well as the First and Fifth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution.

AFGE points out in its complaint that TSA is ignoring veterans' preference in its reduction-in-force (RIF) decisions, RIFing older employees and union activists, many with spotless performance records. Retention registers have not been established, re-employment rights have been denied to employees who have been let go, and no consideration is being given to employees' length of federal service.

"The bottom line is TSA management is using its staff reduction to remove employees they don't like, despite their performance record," said AFGE National President Bobby L. Harnage, Sr. "It's not what you know, but who [sic] you know that lands you a job with TSA and the same criteria is [sic] being used to determine who goes and who stays."

AFGE is asking the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to enjoin TSA Administrator James Loy from hiring new security screeners who have not previously been laid off and from laying off further security screeners. "There is a clear public interest in having a security screening force that can focus itself on maintaining aviation security and is not distracted by concerns of a future RIF that is not in accordance with law," AFGE stated in its suit.

"AFGE intends to continue filing lawsuits until TSA realizes that the laws of our nation apply to all citizens-even TSA screeners," Harnage concluded.

FMI: www.afge.org

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