Soto Votes to Improve TSA Working Conditions
Today, Rep. Darren Soto (FL-09) voted to pass bipartisan legislation to ensure that Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screening workforce employees – or Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) – are afforded the same worker rights and protections afforded to other Federal workers under Title 5 of the U.S. Code. H.R. 1140, the Rights for Transportation Security Officers Act of 2020, will offer TSOs full collective bargaining rights, opportunities to effectively raise issues in dispute to an independent third party and subjection to the General Services wage system.
During last year’s government shutdown, TSOs – who are considered “essential” personnel – went without pay for 35 days. Many TSOs had to take second jobs, rely on charities or food banks or consider leaving TSA for paid work. This extraordinary strain served to magnify the pressures on the TSO workforce, which is already vulnerable to high turnover and low morale.
To make matters worse, in February of 2019, Central Florida suffered a tragic loss with the death of Robert Henry, a TSA worker at the Orlando International Airport whose suicide is thought to be a result of poor working conditions and bullying.
“For far too long, our TSO workers have been denied basic worker rights and protections, while fighting to keep our skies safe and our Central Florida community free from harm,” said Rep. Soto. “A year after the tragic death of Robert Henry, I am proud to join my colleagues in passing Chairman Thompson’s bill that would grant TSOs the rights they deserve and enhance our nation’s security by improving workforce morale. While the Rights for Transportation Security Officers Act won’t bring Robert back, it can certainly help prevent future tragedies.”
Congressman Darren Soto represents Florida’s 9th District in the U.S. House of Representatives, which includes Osceola County, as well as parts of Orange and Polk counties.
Twitter/Instagram: @RepDarrenSoto | Facebook: CongressmanDarrenSoto | Website: https://soto.house.gov