AFGE to TSA: End ‘culture of bullying’

The American Federation of Government Employees—the largest federal employee union—is calling on the Transportation Security Administration to end a culture of workplace bullying and retaliation that may have contributed to a TSO’s death.

According to AFGE, new reports indicate that bullying and retaliation from supervisors at Orlando International Airport last month may have caused the TSO to jump to his death at the airport.

Several TSA officers blew the whistle about the bullying, but TSA management failed to address the problem, according the union.

“Our union strongly condemns workplace bullying in any and all forms, and we are calling on TSA to take action to end the pattern of bullying and retaliation, which, some officers report, is pervasive at airports across the country, an April 15 press release states.

Last month, a Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector report found that the agency, also fails to hire, recruit and retain the TSOs, which has that have resulted in high turnover rates.

The report cited poor management, such as disrespect, promotion of negative work environment, and lack of trust as reasons TSA officers leave their jobs.

Hydrick Thomas, president of AFGE’s TSA Council, which represents more than 44,000 TSOs throughout the nation, said in the release: “It is never ok for an employee to be bullied at work. To hear that bullying may have contributed to this TSA officer’s tragic and untimely death shows a failure of leadership at TSA.

“TSA must take action to address the culture of bullying that has taken root at Orlando International Airport,” he added.

Reader comments

Tue, Jun 25, 2019

I worked at two DHS agencies -ICE and Legacy INS/USCIS as well as ATF. I was bullied at all three. I was hit and knocked into a cubicle by a male Legacy INS supervisor. Threats, physically violence, retaliation were on-going. I was nit the only female emplouee subjected to these things. Some men were also victims. Nothing was done by the Federal Protective Services, Intetnal Affairs, or the OIG's. We all filed EEO and OIG complaints. All cases were covered uo and our careers were destroyed. Nobe if us could afford an attorneys. Attorneys are not the answer and are only out to bill their clients into bankruptcy.All of those managers involved are still making their six figure salaries, or retired with big benefits. It is time to fire these people and clean out their oversight divisions so that no one else is hurt. No attorney really 8wants to take on law enforcement agencies in DHS/DOJ.

Tue, Jun 25, 2019

It's very hurtful and sad that no one cares about the abuse that has been created by management. I work for DHS ICE and work in an environment that is very toxic and detrimental to my health and the employees around me. I'm a supervisor with a pending EEO. I'm mentally drained and tired because there is NO ONE available to protect us in the work place. OIG and the agencies attorney's work for management. I agree with all of the comments except for the one from the upper Midwest. My heart and prayers are with each of you and the family of the deceased TSA employee. Thank you TSA employees for speaking out. To all that posted your comments I feel and share your hurt.

Tue, Jun 25, 2019

Find yourself the best attorney you can find (do your research) if you are being bullied. I know a federal employee who was a whistleblower and his supervisor and all his co- workers turned on him and made work a living hell. He found a superstar attorney and sued the crap out of them. At the end it was his supervisor, yes his supervisor who ended up being forced to resign. I wil never forget that case -my good friend was the only person that was supportive of him. Workplace bullying is prevalent and disgusting. Document everything. Trust nobody. Speak softly and keep a powerhouse attorney’s name nearby in case you need it. Also know your rights! Go in OPM and study and know all your rights as a federal (or whatever government level) employee.

Tue, Jun 25, 2019

It is very sad to read the comments and hear how widespread this problem is. I know from personal experience that bullying and harassment in the Federal workplace is all too real, having experienced it myself. The outrageous aspect is how the bullied and harassed are treated by management after it is reported. That treatment is almost worse than the bullying and harassment itself. 'Management' always 'circle the wagons' and protect each other while enjoying promotions. Their inaction serves to bolster the bully and the behavior becomes worse. It is untenable and ruins peoples lives.

Tue, Jun 25, 2019

It does happen everywhere. I am a female and I was a witness of another female attempt to destroy the career of a male coworker. I believe the truth was is that she did it at the request of management. The female in the story was a temp employee and was leaving.

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