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Senate backs limits on proposed TSA labor union rights

[JURIST] The US Senate voted 51-48 [roll call] Wednesday to adopt an amendment [summary] to a new anti-terror bill [S.4 summary], weakening union rights that would be granted to Transportation Security Administration (TSA) airport screeners under the bill. President Bush said last month that he would veto the anti-terror bill [statement, PDF; JURIST report] if provisions allowing TSA screeners to unionize were included in the final version of the bill. Under the amendment adopted Wednesday, collective bargaining over working conditions would not extend to pay, TSA screeners would not be permitted to strike during times of emergency, and the government would be permitted to "take whatever actions may be necessary to carry out the agency mission during emergencies, newly imminent threats, or intelligence indicating a newly imminent emergency risk."

Other efforts to strike the collective bargaining provision from S. 4 were defeated on Tuesday and Wednesday. Congressional Republicans have said that if Bush vetoes the bill, they will not allow a congressional override, which would require a two-thirds majority vote in both houses. AP has more.

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