Commentary

Unionize Airport Security? Yeah, That Will Help . . .

The Washington Post examines the debate over whether TSA airport security workers should be allowed to unionize.

The article does not present the strongest argument against TSA unionization. The problem with the system now, the reason behind its recent spectacularly failure, is lack of accountability and a focus on bureaucratic rule making rather than on results. Unionizing will increase the focus on bureaucratic rule making, decrease the flexibility of the system, and hinder efforts to make if focus on a performance-driven and risk-based approach.

Head need to roll when the system fails. Procedures need to focus on developing skills for identifying risky people and behaviors. Right now TSA inspectors practically could be robots–they simply order people to follow the latest security inspection rules. They exercise very little judgement and they sure as heck don’t try to pick out risky people to examine more closely. Unionizing will make them even more automatons and take us in exactly the wrong direction.

Adrian Moore

Adrian Moore, Ph.D., is vice president of policy at Reason Foundation, a non-profit think tank advancing free minds and free markets. Moore leads Reason's policy implementation efforts and conducts his own research on topics such as privatization, government and regulatory reform, air quality, transportation and urban growth, prisons and utilities.