An amendment offered by Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) to the FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act (S. 223) has been defeated by a vote of 47-51. Under a unanimous consent agreement it needed 60 votes for adoption.
According to a press release, this amendment would “exclude more than 40,000 TSA personnel from collective bargaining.”
The 2001 law that created TSA gives the administrator authority to decide whether or not unionizing is allowed. The Bush-era administrator issued a memorandum stating that unions could not collectively bargain on behalf of TSA employees.
The Obama Administration has allowed collective bargaining to move forward. On November 12, 2010, the Federal Labor Relations Authority decided that TSA employees will be allowed to vote on union representation. Balloting is tentatively scheduled for March 9 through April 19, 2011.