An airport screeners union?

Marketplace Staff Mar 5, 2007


MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: Should airport security screeners have the right to collective bargaining? That’s the question today before a Senate subcommittee. Pat Loeb reports the issue could decide the fate of a larger bill aimed at fighting terrorism.

PAT LOEB: The bill would give $6 billion to local governments to improve emergency communications and train first responders, but it would also give some 40,000 airport screeners union rights.

President Bush has threatened to veto the bill because of that.

The Senators will hear today from the president of the federal employees union.

Beth Molton is the union’s legislative director. She says the union would bargain for better working conditions. That would stop the huge turnover rate among screeners, which would improve airport security.

BETH MOLTON: The longer you’re engaged in this work, the better you get at it. It’s a lot easier to figure what’s on that screen as people’s suitcases are going through if you have had a lot of experience.

The head of the Transportation Security Administration also testifies, today. He opposes letting screeners unionize.

I’m Pat Loeb for Marketplace.

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