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Tag: labor union

Union Representing TSA Employees Asks Biden Administration to Delay Vaccine Deadline

By Steve Neavling

A labor union that represents federal workers, including TSA employees, is urging the White House to postpone the COVID-19 vaccine deadline until Jan. 4. 

The current deadline is Nov. 22. 

The request by the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) comes after the Biden administration delayed the Nov. 22 deadline for federal contractors to Jan. 4. 

The AFGE said its members should not be held to a different deadline. 

“This double standard has caused confusion and distress among federal employees due to disparate treatment and incongruent deadlines for people who perform the government’s work in the same settings,” Everett Kelley, AFGE’s president wrote Tuesday to Shalanda Young, acting director of the Office of Budget and Management, Kiran Ahuja, acting director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management and Jeff Zients, the White House’s coronavirus response coordinator, CNBC reports.

“The effect upon morale of federal employees being subject to possible discipline at this time of year cannot be overstated,” Kelley wrote.

Employees who aren’t vaccinated face possible termination or suspension. 

TSA Workers to Receive Full Collective Bargaining Rights, Better Pay

By Steve Neavling

The TSA’s 46,000 officers are set to receive full collective bargaining rights and better pay, the Department of Homeland Security announced Thursday. 

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas issued an order that boosts the rights of TSA officers.

“TSA employees are outstanding public servants who work on the frontlines, including throughout the pandemic, to keep the traveling American public safe,”  Mayorkas said in a news release.  “They deserve the empowerment of collective bargaining and a compensation structure that recognizes and rewards them for their contributions to our safety and security.”

The directive is aimed at improving the morale and retention of TSA employees. 

For a decade, TSA officers have lacked the same protections that are afforded to other unionized government employees. 

President Biden’s administration has called for extending workers’ rights to unionize. 

TSA Officers Would Receive Expanded Protections Under Passed House Bill

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

TSA officers would receive expanded protections like other federal employees under a bill passed by the U.S. House on Thursday.

The Rights for Transportation Security Officers Act, which passed on a 230-171 vote, would give full collective bargaining rights and whistleblower protections to TSA workers, who are among the lowest paid federal employees, The Hill reports.

Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon, D-Pa., said when the TSA was established following Sept. 11, 2001, “its administrator was given broad authority over its workforce with respect to setting up pay and workplace conditions. As such, transportation security officers, T.S.O.’s, have been unable to benefit from fair labor standards act protections or fall under the general schedule pay scale.”

But opponents of the bill said the additional protections would compromise public safety.

“TSA has repeatedly told us that [these changes] would tie the agency’s hands related to national security policy, workforce management, and collective bargaining,” Rep. Debbie Lesko, R-Ariz., said on the floor. “Specifically, TSA would not be able to continue a one-step removal process for employees found to have committed serious security breaches or misconduct such as allowing unauthorized access to secure areas or allowing threat items and illicit contraband through the security checkpoints.”

Justice Department Criminally Charges Five Chinese Military Officials with Hacking

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department has charged five Chinese military officials with cyber-espionage after allegedly hacking into American companies’ computers in an attempt to steal trade secrets.

BBC reports that the army officials are accused of stealing trade secrets and internal documents from five U.S. companies and a labor union.

China quickly denied the charges, saying the accusations threaten to sour relations between the two countries.

Attorney General Eric Holder said the charges were the first against “known state actors for infiltrating U.S. commercial targets by cyber means.”

The victims have been identified as Westinghouse Electric, US Steel, Alcoa Inc, Allegheny Technologies, SolarWorld and the US Steelworkers Union.

“The alleged hacking appears to have been conducted for no reason other than to advantage state-owned companies and other interests in China, at the expense of businesses here in the United States,” Holder said.

Former Union Boss for Border Patrol Accused of Stealing Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars

courtSteve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

T.J. Bonner, who led the labor union for Border Patrol agents for two decades, is accused of defrauding the union out of hundreds of thousands of dollars, U-T San Diego reports.

Bonner, known for his fearless criticism over government policy, has filed numerous pretrial motions in an attempt to get the case dismissed.

For one, Bonner claims the search warrants used against him were invalid. He also says the agents who handled the probe had no authority to do so, U-T San Diego wrote.

Bonner, 59, who led the National Border Patrol Council from 1989 to 201, has pleaded not guilty to charges of wire fraud and conspiracy.

U-T San Diego reports that Bonner is accused of filing false claims for reimbursements for wages, meals and travel. In some cases, investigators said, Bonner was visiting a mistress instead of doing union work.

Ex-Border Patrol Union Leader Accused of Fraud

istock file photo

 
Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A retired president of the union representing U.S. Border Patrol Agents is accused of using hundreds of thousands of dollars in labor funds for personal use beginning in 2007, New American reports.

Terrence J. “T.J.” Bonner, who is accused of 12 counts of conspiring to commit fraud, was indicted by a federal grand jury in San Diego late last week.

Authorities said Bonner used dues-paying funds to visit a mistress in Chicago, store pornography and attend hockey games, according to New American.

“Siphoning hundreds of thousands of dollars from hard-working fellow Border Patrol agents, many of whom put their lives on the line every day to protect this country, is a particularly troubling form of corruption that must be addressed,” U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy said.