Unions diverge on new immigration rules

by Duane Campbell

English: Eliseo Medina, Executive Vice Preside...

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The Obama Administration acted on Friday to permit the husbands, wives, and children of U.S. citizens to adjust their status and to allow them to gain Green Cards or permission to become a resident alien.   This is a return to the policy before the 1996  Republican sponsored Immigration Act.

The primary beneficiaries of the  Obama administration’s move are families in which some members are US citizens and some aren’t.  At present some family members must return to their home country for up to 10 years while they apply for U.S. residency as a 1996 law – approved by a Republican-led Congress – mandates.

The proposed change will undergo a review but doesn’t require congressional approval. Under the so-called “hardship waiver,” illegal immigrants who are married or otherwise related to US citizens would be able to pick up the waiver before leaving the United States and then be allowed to return almost immediately after picking up visas in their home countries.  This policy used to be known as advanced parole. Continue reading

AFGE Moves Forward To Represent TSA Workers

by Ron Moore

Ron Moore

Since the very beginning the American Federation of Government Employees has supported TSA’s Transportation Security Officers as they serve while working under onerous conditions made possible by the lack of collective bargaining rights. Today is a step forward to a better TSA.

The Federal Labor Relations Authority has moved forward with AFGE’s petition for an election at TSA by directing the agency to provide the FLRA with documents needed to make a decision on whether a union election should be held.

In a letter to TSA Assistant Administrator for Human Capital Richard Whitford, FLRA Acting Regional Director Peter Sutton asked Whitford to provide a list of employees described in AFGE’s petition, which are non-supervisory Transportation Security Officers in pay bands D, E, F, and G. Sutton also asked for a list of employees who won’t be part of the bargaining unit, including supervisors and TSA headquarters staff. Sutton further asked for TSA’s position on AFGE’s petition, which seeks to determine whether TSOs wish to be represented by a union for the purpose of collective bargaining.

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Transportation Security officers file to make AFGE their union

by Ron Moore

After 9/11 Americans faced a dilemma; namely how to get the airplanes off the ground while the nation was still shaken by the attack. A decision was made to take aviation security from the patchwork for-profit system and establish one unified agency. That agency was the Transportation Security Administration established in November, 2001.

Americans stood up to serve by the thousands; leaving behind jobs, going through an exhaustive clearance and training regimen and showing up at the nation’s airports to report for duty under still difficult and evolving circumstances. But they didn’t count on one thing; as soon as they took an oath to uphold the Constitution and reported for work they discovered they were serving under a personnel system stripped of even the most basic workplace rights including collective bargaining.

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DeMint rails against TSA collective bargaining

Ron Moore

Once again TSA is in the headlines as an aviation-related terror attempt on an international flight returns the issue of security after 9/11 back on the front pages. Once again TSA’s Transportation Security Officers are inundated with news cameras describing the attack on traveler’s peace of mind and sense of security creating the impression that something needs to change. They are right.

When TSA was created President Bush was adamant that this new security workforce be relegated to workplace conditions not seen in the last half century all in the name of ‘national security’. In other words, Bush and his advisors saw an opportunity to bust federal unions and open the door to re-privatize most of the public sector even transportation security. This fell under the myth that ‘if only government was run like a business’ it could be more efficient. Nonsense.

Since the beginning TSA has been a virtual case study on the detrimental effect of running a vital government program for profit. Today’s business culture that encourages union-busting considers every regulation imposing safety and employment standards as unreasonable costs. What is the result? A demoralized workforce, record high attrition and injury rates and a backlog of employment discrimination cases. For this reason, many TSA officers leave the service if they can and the Agency’s mission is undermined by low staffing and irregular training.

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