The head of the Federal Air Marshal Service’s Philadelphia office is tampering with performance reviews, pressuring workers to put off necessary medical care, and opening fraudulent investigations in an illegal attempt to harass and suppress his unionized workforce, the Air Marshal Association alleged on June 8.
The complaint details how Supervisory Air Marshal in Charge Richard Altomare, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the Department of Homeland Security allegedly conspired to harass unionized employees and crush workers’ speech rights.
“The Philadelphia field office is in crisis, and workers there have endured a series of failing managers who are devoid of experience and leadership skills,” said Air Marshal Association President John Casaretti.
“TSA and the Federal Air Marshal Service value our relationship with the various Federal Air Marshal (FAM) centric associations and the assistance they offer to our FAMs,” TSA Press Secretary R. Carter Langston said. “We take all allegations of misconduct seriously and have processes in place to ensure that allegations, such as those raised by the Air Marshal Association, or any other entity, are addressed appropriately. TSA supports labor organizations and does not condone or engage in union-busting activities. TSA continues to support participation by FAMs or other TSA employees in voluntary membership-based associations, to include the Air Marshal Association. TSA has a history of positive collaboration with these employee associations, and will continue these relationships with the intent of leveraging all opportunities to strengthen employee engagement and effective communication.”
Federal air marshals, along with a number of entities within the departments of Homeland Security, Justice, Treasury and other Cabinet agencies, were prohibited from electing an organization to serve as their exclusive representative and cannot engage in collective bargaining per a 2008 executive order due to their duties involving primary critical intelligence, counterintelligence, investigative, or national security work.