We've been worried and skeptical about the TSA union proposal since it became a thing two years ago. Whatever else they do, unions shield under-performing employees, which is a problem when "performance" equals "keeping terrorists off airplanes." The political appointees pushing the proposal insisted that union representatives wouldn't be allowed to bargain over performance, a talking point we called "insultingly stupid" on account of how it's insultingly stupid. Of course a union for security employees is going to bargain over security. What else are they going to talk about?
Even before a contract was formally signedwhich is what just happened, which is why the topic is in the newsunion officials had already started bargaining over performance and protecting deadbeat screeners in from Hawaii all the way to Florida.
Now consider that over the weekend Sacramento airport got tentative permission to hire private screeners for checkpoints, following the lead of many other airports. We've long held that hiring private screeners doesn't really change anything because those screeners have to use the same techniques as TSA agents. But that might not be true any more in a world of TSA unions.
Two or three incidents of the union shielding misbehaving employeesas opposed to what would happen in the private sector, where companies get to fire bad applesand it will be remarkable how fast pressure builds for widespread privatization.
[Photo: CEIdotorg / YouTube]