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.

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