Saying there is no evidence that replacing the trained airport screeners of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) with a private, for-profit corporate workforce would be safer or more efficient, the Sacramento (Calif.) County Board of Supervisors withdrew on Wednesday its request from last year to contract out its screener security operations. Said Supervisor Phil Serna:
There was very little evidence produced...that there is any advantage to privatizing the screeners.
AFGE President J. David Cox said the board recognized “the value in a federal workforce at TSA” and that the privatization request made by a since-retired airport director to “abandon its public servants in favor of corporations with only profit in mind was short-sighted at best.”
There simply are some functions too important to be left to companies that would be unaccountable to the American people, and securing American skies is definitely one of them.
Several other airports are considering privatizing their screener operations and congressional Republicans are pushing privatization schemes. Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), the ranking Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee, applauded the decision to keep the Sacramento TSA screeners on the job.
This decision was made after reviewing the U.S. Government Accountability Office’s recently released report that called into question the claims of superior performance by privatized screeners. I commend the board for making this fact-based decision and urge other airport operators considering a switch to a privatized contractor screener workforce to consider the findings.