fbpx Skip to content

TSA Union Formation Faces Scrutiny

Long security lines and TSA agents have become an integral part of modern air travel in America. It’s hard to believe that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was only formed after the September 11th attacks in 2001. The familiar agents in blue uniforms, guiding passengers through security checks, seem like they’ve always been a part of the air travel experience. 

Unions, however, have not always been a part of life for TSA agents. 

The union that represents TSA agents was put into place via a series of administrative actions undertaken by the Obama Administration. This has led some labor experts to wonder if the union representing these tens of thousands of workers was properly instituted.  

To address these concerns, Americans for Fair Treatment (AFFT) sought answers through a series of requests made under the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). 

In September 2023, AFFT filed a FOIA request seeking information on the decisions that led to allowing TSA screeners to collectively bargain. The government responded to our request with the following documents: 

Through this process, AFFT aims to shed light on the origins and legitimacy of the TSA agents’ union, ensuring transparency and proper representation for all involved. 

Elisabeth Messenger

Elisabeth Messenger is CEO of Americans for Fair Treatment, a community of current and former public-sector workers offering resources and support to exercise their First Amendment rights. Prior to joining Americans for Fair Treatment in 2020, Elisabeth was in the publicity department at Atlantic Records in Los Angeles, CA. From there, she learned how to build organizations that would impact culture through positions in operations and business development at Universal Music Group, VEVO, and Beats Music.