When a TSA agent or law enforcement officer is assaulted at an airport, it’s a serious federal crime. And rightfully so, since we’re counting on them to keep us safe.
But airline gate and ticket agents, who also have critical security functions, are not currently protected by federal law, even though they control access to aircraft.
Across the country, Airline Customer Service Representatives are being physically assaulted on a daily basis. They’ve been kneed and punched in the face, struck by luggage thrown at them and had their clothes ripped. In some cases, injuries have been life-altering.
The Aviation and Transportation Security Act, passed by Congress in the wake of 9/11, sets penalties for interfering with airport and airline workers who have security duties. Unfortunately, the Department of Justice and the Department of Transportation have excluded Customer Service Representatives from these protections.
The IAM and a coalition of airport worker unions support a letter from U.S. Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA) urging DOJ and DOT to give Airline Customer Service Representatives the same protection from assault as TSA agents and law enforcement personnel.