President Obama’s nominee to head the Transportation Security Administration previously boasted to a major union that he looked forward to “joining” with them to add value to TSA security, WND has learned.

In Senate hearings, nominee Erroll Southers has avoided giving a “yes” or “no” answer over whether he would unionize airport security workers. Unions across the U.S., however, have been lobbying hard for Southers’ confirmation.

Critics charge unionizing airport security would impose rules on union workers that could impede national security efforts in combating terrorist threats.

Southers is assistant chief in charge of security and intelligence at the Los Angeles airport’s police department.

Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C, placed a “hold” on Southers confirmation over concerns he could undermine safety by unionizing airport security.

It has emerged the website of the American Federation of Government Employees, District 3, Local 332, which is part of AFL-CIO, the largest union federation in the U.S., is boasting of an e-mail from Southers on August 7, just after his nomination was announced.

In the e-mail, Southers tells the union, “I look forward to joining you and adding value to the homeland security mission at TSA.”

“This says a lot about this man who will lead the TSA,” states the AFL-CIO website.

Southers’ e-mail is also re-posted on the website of AFL-CIO District 2 Local 2617.

The AFL-CIO and other unions are campaigning on behalf of Southers’ nomination.

“The next few weeks are critical in our campaign to represent workers at TSA. It is imperative that Erroll Southers be confirmed as Assistant DHS Secretary for TSA as soon as possible,” states a missive posted on an AFL-CIO website earlier this month.

“TSOs (Transportation Security Officers) need a union that will fight for them on ALL fronts!” declares the union website.

DeMint sent a letter to Southers demanding an answer over whether he will unionize the TSA.

“The safety and security of the American people are far too important to be controlled by union bosses,” DeMint wrote. “It’s time for Mr. Southers to give an unequivocal answer: Will he give union bosses control over the safety of Americans at our airports, yes or no?”

DeMint this past Sunday explained on Fox News the dangers of unionizing the TSA. He said he is concerned bringing un unions could jeopardize TSA’s ability to change procedure and move resources around on a daily basis to prevent attacks, and that it would hinder the agency’s ability to fire employees who are underperforming.

“The administration is intent on unionizing and submitting our airport security to union bosses,” DeMint said on “Fox News Sunday.”

“We have to out-think the terrorists. And when we formed the airport security system, we realized we could not use collective bargaining and unionization because of that need to be flexible. … We can’t have politics as usual in Washington,” he said.

Unions played a major role in the election of Obama. WND previously reported the official magazine of the Communist Party USA lauded the important role of labor unions in electing Obama and quoted socialist-aligned labor leaders hoping the unions can work with the president to enact policies related to jobs, retirement, security and health-care reform.

Editor’s note: This article was written using research by Brenda J. Elliott.

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