[As posted by Keith Laing of The Hill]
The unions for Transportation Security Administration (TSA) airport security screeners and Amtrak concession workers have joined the AFL-CIO’s Transportation Trades Department, the labor groups said Thursday.
The TTD, which bills itself as the largest coalition of transportation unions, said the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) and UNITE HERE unions would become its 32nd and 33rd members.
The AFGE, which represents TSA workers, is joining the TTD for the first time. UNITE HERE, the Amtrak concession workers union, is rejoining the coalition.
TTD President Ed Wytkind said Thursday that the additions of TSA and Amtrak unions will add new voices to the group’s collective bargaining for transportation workers.
“This organization exists to give voice to millions of transportation workers whose jobs and livelihoods are directly linked to what happens in Washington,” Wytkind said in a statement. “Our newest member unions make us that much stronger in fighting for middle-class transportation jobs and the right to form and join unions.”
Wytkind said AFGE would add the voices of TSA workers to the TTD for the first time.
“We look forward to working with AFGE in its continuing battle to demand fair treatment and safe and quality jobs for the TSOs who help make our skies safe,” Wytkind said. “We welcome them to transportation labor’s table.”
He added that UNITE HERE would help the TTD stave off cuts to Amtrak funding that have been proposed repeated by Republicans in the House of Representatives.
“We categorically reject those who believe we should run Amtrak on the cheap and use the legislative process to sell-off Amtrak’s network and fire the rail carrier’s onboard professionals,” Wytkind said. “UNITE HERE members and all onboard employees are skilled first responders whose jobs should not be outsourced to fast food chains as some have proposed.”