With TSA Administrator in the Wings, AFGE Renews Call for Bargaining Rights

WASHINGTON — According to news reports, President Obama plans to nominate Robert A. Harding to become the TSA administrator. Multiple news sources say that the retired major general will be announced today, ending weeks of speculation about who the White House would name to the long-vacant post of TSA administrator. Key points about the nominee are:

Harding “has the experience … to make a real difference,” administration official says
Harding, who served 33 years in Army, would be the TSA’s first African-American administrator
He once was Defense Department’s senior human intelligence officer

“We are thrilled that the administration has moved so quickly. This important homeland security post has been vacant for far too long,” said AFGE National President John Gage upon learning of the selection of Harding. “Mr. Harding has an impressive military record with more than three decades of service in the U.S. Army and has an exceptional background in intelligence matters. From what we can see, his credentials to lead the TSA are sound. We look forward to meeting with him after his confirmation.”

Last month, AFGE filed a representation petition with the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) calling for a union election for TSOs nationwide. The petition, which speaks only to the question concerning representation by a union, is seen as one of two parallel tracks the union has been involved in to win collective bargaining and union representation for the 40,000-person Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Many in the labor relations community are speculating that the move by AFGE may have helped to shift the focus back to the quick naming of a TSA administrator.


The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union, representing 600,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia.

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