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

Thu, Apr 18, 2019

Retaliation is ongoing in the port of Newark. Nothing short of cruel and inhumane treatment. I was in great standing until I reported a supervisor for illegal activity. Management sends out memos of how whistleblowers will be protected but I have been persecuted beyond my wildest imagination. There is no one to turn to for help. My personal computer and phones are tapped. Everyone is afraid in NJ. There is no telling what will happen to me next. Managers are the ones who are being protected at all costs. Truth should prevail but does not.

Wed, Apr 17, 2019

Contact the inspector general's office, give them names of individuals and send written notice to those causing the harassment to cease such activities. Unfortunately the offices set up to protect individuals are the ones who leak such information back to the management minions. In the outfit in Bethesda, managers get bonuses and time off perks for the numbers of people they demoralize and professionally destroy. a good management cleaning and firing would increase morale and set notices to any management minion they are next in line for dismissal.

Wed, Apr 17, 2019

Bullying is rampant in the big outfit in Bethesda. Managers go out of their way to denigrate older employees, males and individuals who may have different disabilities. They will write up an individual at a drop of a hat while they do not take annual leave and pretend they are teleworking. They also hire from outside their social and drinking buddies while the employees who have done excellent work are demonized when they question such adverse personnel actions. This will never stoop because in fact it is endorsed by other management minions.

Wed, Apr 17, 2019

It happens at most airports including LA, Oakland and Sacramento

Tue, Apr 16, 2019

Bullying and retaliation exist in ALL federal agencies—some greater than others. Employees who file complaints get the worse treatment while their complaint slowly winds its way thru the process. Then the employee has to continue to amend & add to the complaint. Sometimes waiting years. Even if successful & management is found to have violated ALL rules the particular managers get to continue in their jobs without ANY repercussions. The injured employee cannot even transfer to another officer. Meanwhile the offending mgr/supervisor gets to bully & retaliate against another victim. Change the way complaints are handled and offer relief to stop employee suffering.

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Edward A. Zurndorfer Certified Financial Planner
Mike Causey Columnist
Tom Fox VP for Leadership and Innovation, Partnership for Public Service
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