Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Should TSA Workers Go On Strike?

Julia Reihs/KUT

From Texas Standard:

With the president demanding $5 billion for his border wall and House Democrats refusing to budge, there's no end in sight to the political impasse that has led to the partial government shutdown.

Travelers may be noticing long waits in security lines at airports in Dallas, Houston and other parts of the U.S. as large numbers TSA screeners call in sick with the so-called blue flu, as they're forced to work without pay.

But this might be a moment of opportunity for those TSA workers, so says Barbara Ehrenreich, author of "Nickel and Dimed – On (Not) Getting By in America." She lays out the case in a New York Times opinion piece she co-wrote with Gary Stevenson.

"Usually you hesitate to talk about striking because people won't be paid while they're striking," Ehrenreich says. "But here, they're already not getting paid – that's a certainty. So, I think that they need to stand up and say, 'You can't go on treating us like this.'"

What you'll hear in this segment:

– Why this situation differs from the Air Traffic Controllers strike in 1981

– How striking TSA agents could stage a more successful strike

– What this says about labor rights in the U.S.

Written by Alexandra Hart.

Rhonda joined KUT in late 2013 as producer for the station's new daily news program, Texas Standard. Rhonda will forever be known as the answer to the trivia question, “Who was the first full-time hire for The Texas Standard?” She’s an Iowa native who got her start in public radio at WFSU in Tallahassee, while getting her Master's Degree in Library Science at Florida State University. Prior to joining KUT and The Texas Standard, Rhonda was a producer for Wisconsin Public Radio.
Related Content