Thursday, March 08, 2007

Moonbat Does Not Get Tsa Union On Her Birthday

So this morning my boss above my boss had a nice birthday present for me, which was also a consolation prize. First the prize: dried-out day old muffins in a variety of flavors, that crumbled like sawdust when you tried to split them. No butter, no margarine, no "i-can't-believe-it's-not." And what for? Bush has assured the country that he will defend it from the threat of terrorism by making sure we federal airport screeners can't dream of fair pay. Which would be specifically the right to collectively bargain at all, at which Republicans are acting like he just announced the troop surge in Iraq met with success. Democrats in the Senate have only half-chickened out, and stripped the collective bargaining for pay out of the Homeland Security Bill, while leaving in nonpay union activity and whistle-blower protections. I took a great delight in the mere symbolic act of tossing that muffin for a three-point throw.

No one seems to think that federal screeners want collective bargaining, which we do, or that for some reason we interviewed for these jobs for the sheer reason of wanting another 9-11. We are not cashiers denying free water bottles to rescue workers that fateful day. We are the ones who have to stare down that spitting and raving passenger in front of you who thinks his bowie knife should fly. Regardless of our thankless task, Republican lawmakers are sounding the drumbeat, that for some reason, the idea that we shouldn't be worrying about getting evicted will makes us ineffective or fall asleep on the job will encourage Osama bin Laden. They use meaningless propaganda about "9-11" and who remembers it most to imply that there is no possibility that TSA could be so immoral as to mistreat it's workers, because of course, 9-11 matters more than labor costs. Yet in the next breath, we can't have union rights because TSA might end up having to hire more federal screeners and labor costs might go up?

Right now, teachers are trusted more with educating children than federal screeners are trusted with protecting the public. In one breath, TSA is useless. In the next breath, TSA must be unfettered in it's eternal vigilance against the greatest threat of our time. ?? The racket being raised over merely compromising on giving us whistle-blower protection and collective bargaining but not for pay is so equal, that one begins to understand this is about worker's rights period. And why are people such cowards as to be unable to stand before Congress and raise the question... what is so unpatriotic about paying the rent?

Other cons rally around the idea thathappier screeners will want longer relationships with passengers:
And according to TSA, a collective bargaining infrastructure would lead to the closing of an estimated 250 screening lanes at airports (longer lines), poor staffing (even longer lines) and late flight departures (so you’ll be waiting when you’re done with the longer TSA line, too).

Or they are more honest and just say that unionization creates inept, incompetent fools. These con-blogs don't quote actual screeners and give no indication that they know any personally, or have even done anything more than snarl at having to "voluntarily surrender" another cigarette lighter. Let me explain this to them now: TSA managers constantly seeks ways to reduce the cost of labor even if that means reducing the efficiency and amount of screening at airports, and without a union, we screeners seem powerless to halt the slow-bleed. Perhaps moderates have just reason to despair that the American political system is fundamentally impaired, when those who could seek knowledge would prefer to cling to false soundbites instead of really wanting their country defended against terrorism.

So.. are long lines of more concern to you or the fact that you can try to board an airplane with a gun and not get arrested? Heck, you meant well, you can still even fly!

Curious language from the right: TSA managers will be "made passive" by whistle-blower protections, according to Rep. Dent (R.-PA). What does this mean: "made passive." Sounds ominous, but what does this mean? Whistle-blower protection is extended only if a criminal case is pursued against a superior, and the whole point is that a superior should [i]be made passive[/i] to punish those who testify to criminal behavior. So it's a Republican version of victory against the terrorists to protect criminals in federal employment, those easiest to target for corruption and collaboration? An intelligent question of course that doesn't have the [i]scary[/i] sounding appeal as managers "made passive" by the red-shirted workers.

Another tidbit the cons are drooling over, is a release by TSA listing Myths and Facts about what it's like to work as a federal screener. I'd never seen it before a con-blog alerted me to it's existence. I found the first one highly amusing and very personal:

MYTH: TSA does nothing to reduce injuries to screeners or unsafe work conditions. FACT: TSA cares about its workforce and has implemented a robust safety program.

I can attest to the 20.5 days of worker's compensation given for an injury. I have been injured twice on this job requiring medical attention, for the first time in my life, and the first time I missed 104 days of work. Yet my worker's comp pay cut off mysteriously at exactly 20 days. I was referred from work to a local injury medical care center, and the first thing they told me was that they were under contract not to excuse me from work as medically incapacitated under worker's compensation, that such a determination would be made by my employer. (Yeah, because I'm that stupid.) In two days, it will have been a year and my injury has still not healed. I have been waiting three weeks for approval from a private contractor hired to do my injury paperwork "automated" for a cortisone shot that the doctor was able to administer the first day he wrote the prescription. Three weeks. And as for the lifting... there has been no reduction in what is required of TSA screeners since I started in August of 2005, and TSA still may not enforce the airline's set baggage weight limit. But safety first! And I'm the Queen of England.

By the way, how many of you dear readers think a nice dose of Flexeril improves mental alertness?

Speaking of which, an iron fist in a velvet glove has been moving to coordinate all the little con-blogs on this issue: the Wall Street Journal. In a lovely "OpinionJournal" (which my dear readers should remember) article, the WSJ takes the position that TSA checkpoint screeners are trained to do federal paperwork interchangeably with real HR specialists (we are not), which means that whatever employee rights are gained will cause checkpoints to become fewer (they will not). The WSJ also advances the idea that terrorism is a constant "emergency" and is so horribly ignorant as to not even know that, yes, federal screeners are redeployed to cover evacuations through major airports during hurricanes. Screeners at my airport volunteered (and did not have to be ordered) to help in the evacuations before and after Katrina, even though that mean sleeping on Red Cross cots and not showering for weeks. Yet serve they did, no matter how much such service is dishonored by conservatives who now question their patriotism.

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