Last night, on a purely partisan 47–51 vote, the Senate rejected an amendment that would have stopped government unions from organizing Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employees. The vote was made possible by an announcement two Fridays ago by President Barack Obama political appointee and TSA Administrator John Pistole. Pistole rejected TSA’s original policy that collective bargaining’s inherently adversarial process would impair TSA’s ability to protect American air travelers. Pistole’s decision, coupled with Democratic control of the Senate, will net the labor movement—a majority of whom already work for the government—45,000 new members and $18 million a year in dues that are ultimately paid for by you, the taxpayer.
Pistole’s order would initially allow the TSA union to collectively bargain over work rules but not wages and benefits. But that will surely change. Already the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) and the American Federation of Government Employees are fighting over the $18 million in government union dues TSA employees will soon be paying. To win this battle, and keep their new union members happy, these government unions will use this money to campaign for and lobby politicians to grow the TSA and expand the permissible subjects of negotiation.
This has already happened. The government unions that already exist spent hundreds of millions of dollars electing President Obama so he could appoint Pistole to run the TSA. Now that investment is paying off. This will only continue. More government unions breeds more campaign cash for liberals, which breeds more government spending and agencies, which breeds more collective bargaining for those government employees, and the cycle continues…
Government unions are the backbone of the Obama dependency economy. Every time unions organize a new group of government employees, a brand new special interest in favor of endless government growth is born. If the left insists on allowing government unions to exist, at a bare minimum taxpayers should not have to subsidize their union campaigns, much less those that call for tax increases. And at the very least Congress should end the automatic payroll deduction of union dues. Politics don’t belong in our airport screening lines, and thus President Obama should stop trying to pay his union benefactors with taxpayer money at the expense of our national security.