The Union Gap


Back in January the Transportation Security Administration decreed that its federal workforce couldn't unionize. Now that is being challenged by 13 airport screeners who have gone ahead and joined the American Federation of Government Employees.

This conflict could get very interesting as the Bush administration asserts that a unionized workforce cannot provide security. Yet the workers claim—in the first of many claims, no doubt—that TSA's security is rife with holes. Among the gapers, bomb-detecting equipment is operated by untrained staff and, as anyone who has flown recently can attest, the utterly random "wanding" of passengers.

In the near term, the flying public will be caught in the middle.