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tv   Union Heads Testify on Transportation Security  CSPAN  November 19, 2021 8:02pm-9:15pm EST

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house, security subcommittee discussing the increased number of violent incidents occurring on airlines. the november 22 deadline for federal employees to receive the covid-19 vaccine. ♪♪ >> the subcommittee on transportation maritime security will come to order. the subcommittee can receive testimony at today's hearing. on the front lines in turbulent times, the state transportation security. without objection, the chair is
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authorized to declare the subcommittee and recess at any time. i'd like to think our witnesses for their willingness to appear before us today as wes look ahed to what promises to be a busy holiday season, travel season. the safety of front-line workers and passengers is paramount, particularly if we continue to battle a pandemic that's turned many traveling norms. while this is not the first year our country will celebrate the holidays with covid in our midst, it 60% of the population fully vaccinated against the virus. while we still have a ways to go means more families can safely reunite during this special time of the year. fast monthly was thera deadline for federal employees including transportation security officers to receive their last shot of
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the two dose regimen for the single dose of the johnson & johnson vaccine. to meet that deadline, fully vaccinated for president biden's recent executive order. in addition, major airlines required their employees to receive ahead of the january 4 deadline for federal contractors. i look forward to hearing from our witnesses how vaccination efforts are progressing among their memberships and partnerships between employees and employers that these efforts and in addition, there's another effect continues to plague our air travel, unruly passengers. this topic is not moved to the subcommittee. july, we discussed how this behavior is affecting tsrs and other frontline workers simply job to keep the
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public safe. a number of these incidents continue to climb. far too many are related to passengers who refuse to abide by the federal requirement to wear a mask and transportation settings. a requirement critical to reducing viral transmission getting the pandemic under control. u last month martha chairman thompson ride to tsi to urge the agency to pursue penalties for offenders following reports tsa had only issued fines against ten people. recent reports tell us tsa has assessed $85990 against 190 individuals. while this is if we miss the consequences of flight
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attendants or :-( workers should be made clear in violators must be held accountable withoutol exception. there are many other colleagues facing our front-line workers -- many other challenges facing our front-line workers as well as proposed solutions to represent common ground for members of the subcommittee. i now recognize ranking member of the subcommittee, the gentleman from florida for opening statements. >> thank you for holding this hearing today. as we have seen during the cover pandemic, u.s. transportation system is key to our economy. we are finally after 18
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difficult months reserved travel and tourism industry, and miami, one of top destinations for travelers and our airports seen domestic leisure travel at eipre-pandemic levels and bookis are up by nearly 50% in 2000 -- down 50% from 2019 but also researching. their projected increases substantially for recent openings of international flights in-and-out of miami. as we enter the travel season, who must've short safety and security of transportationy workforce traveling public. they are not ready to handle the travelers across the country over the next few weeks. the administration mandate requiring employees to be vaccinated by nextid week, november 22 could contribute.
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they've shown their dedication to our nation, day in and day out and now they are being threatened with being disciplined or even losing their jobs. tsa employees should have the right to choose if and when they will receive the vaccine based on personal health consideration in their own timeline, not government mandate. tsa has noter said what percente of employees provide proof for their public vaccination, what is the plan here? they going to discipline or fire employees not fully vaccinatede? is this going to happen before the holidays? and understand how tsa can be on without these employees. i'm concerned is a dramatic increase in violence and disruptive passengers transportation systems and airports and in-flight. he's need to stop and i want to hear from our witnesses in the federal air marshals can play a
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role in security. i look forward to learning from the witnesses today and what they are hearing from their memberships on these important issues, transportation workers are crucial to the movement of goods, services and people. our economy cannot rebuild without them.go >> thank you. i would like to recognize the chairman of the full committee, the gentleman from mississippi. >> thank you very much. i think our witnesses for joining us today. as we prepare for theor holidays and the busy travel season ahead, we must ensure transportation security infrastructure is capable of the challenges we face. travel volume increasing at airports around the country, we have seen a rise in unruly
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passengers. further, getting matters tsa issues lack of enforcement on those who disregard the law like the federal mask mandate. over 5100 unruly passengers, over 3070. the numbers do not help in overwhelming numbers of incidences having sites around the country. as you have already heard, we wrote the tsa administrator to encourage tsa to increase murder imposes robust enforcement, the
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key ton deterring unacceptable behavior. i am a firm believer having a strong workforce is an essential component having national security infrastructure. these essential workers are not only placing tasks for unruly passengers daily risk of being affected by the covid virus while performing their duties. over 11000 tsa employees have tested positive for covid-19 and at least 32 have died. long-standing issues like lack of fair pay continues to affect their workforce. the biden administration has shown encouragingng signs of support for workers, we still have a way to go in terms of
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providing and improving worker conditions. tsa continues to rank at or near annual best place to work while low morale contribute to high turnover. if tsa cannot have a dedicated workforce, it will struggle to keep up with increasing passenger volume. all of these factors make this hearing timely and especially i am eager here to hear about our witnesses who have a unique perspective and insight into these issues and other transportation workers. i'd like to thank our front-line workers and their family for their dedication and sacrifice during these times. i would like to thank chairwoman in the transportation maritime security subcommittee for
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bringing these issues to the forefront. thank you again to our witnesses and appreciate your efforts to protect the traveling public. i look forward to your testimony. >> thank you. other members of the subcommittee are reminded that opening statements may be submitted for the record. numbers are reminded the a committee will operate according to the guidelines laid out in their february third regarding we move procedures. i will now welcome our panel of witnesses. our first witness is doctor kelly, national president of the american federation of government employees, doctor kelly has been the national president of a sdc from last year end a member of 40 years. our second witness is nelson,
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international president of the association player timber. she started her career as a flight attendant in 1996 roast to the role of international president in 2014. our third witness is mr. john samuelson, international president of the transit workers union gwu. a former track worker with new york city transit and served as international president of tw q since 2017. mr. john, president of the air marshall association, a former senior federal air marshall and served as president of the ama 2011. i want to thank the witnesses today for their participation and look forward to hearing your
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withoutt objection, the witnesss all statements will be inserted in the record. i'm asking each witness to summarize their statements five minutes. you need too unmute. >> okay thank you. members of the subcommittee, on behalf of the american confederation, thank you for the opportunity to testify today. among 700,000 federal employees, 45000 transportation and tsa to protect the public. we all prepare for the holiday season and brace ourselves forea
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potential turbulence, we can expect that this means there will be an increase this holiday season. that will bring many challenges to airlines and tsa. this will be the first step again and maybe nervous. all of us worry about a resurgence in another new variant and there will be whether and mechanical delays as well. i'm going to skip right to the conclusion, we do not have control over every potential source during thens holiday sean but there are some things we can do to minimize problems. tsa must adequately amber
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appropriately and ensure personnel and supervisors are wellis trained. tso to know supervisors have the fact when passengers engage in abusive behavior, tsa has a zero-tolerance policy. they are flowing at the end of figure, amid another government shutdown. a certain amount of prospect of another shutdown wondering whether they will be able to afford rent or groceries let alone christmas presents for dinner.
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enacted april year. their drink passenger travel during the covid pandemic. tsa if you will, allows this workforce to decline by several thousand tso's. tsa and an increasing hiring has not that many are training at this time the full workforce is needed. it's been strongly urged to take thee vaccine, some have not done so. if called upon president biden to have the deadline for federal employees and federal contractors who work alongside them. excluding to january 4, none of
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theon committee today is new to the workforce. all of this is the lowest in the federal reserve semi final recommendation, congress passes all of legislation because this will be important to all of us. this committee has already reported favorably on the workforce act and to do the same.un tso perfect protects the public keeps usan safe. they do their job in the most trying ofe circumstances and hae done so time and time again over 20 years it's been in operation. we count on them to do a job and
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now it's time to count on the support of the government toup revise them hyperspectral funded inflation to work. thank you for having me to testify today. >> thank you, doctor kelly. i like to recognize mr. nelson. >> thank you for convening this hearing on the current aviation journey and those confronting turbulent times. i'm a 25 year flight attendant and president of our union representing airlines across the industry as well as agents and ground service workers with partner union and communications workers of america. over the course of this entire here, who expressed deflections in the skies and airports and we have during the end entire
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history of aviation. a small group of people compared with the overwhelming number of travelers who want to follow the rule and have a safe and uneventful flight, where the actor is a frequency way out of hand. these individuals create horrible experience for everyone putting the safety and security of everyone traveling at risk. constant refusal to comply with safety instruction is coupled with racist sexist homophobic language with the threat of violence or outright attacks. i'm disturbed to report flight attendantt-traumatized the hote, hotel or sometime aircraft when law enforcement steps in. makingin workers question whethr to go back to work, hesitant to perform the duties or directing safety. dealing with disruption in a bad day at work but today aviation
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workers are aware before every shift and families are coming to when we put on our uniform, we are a target for abuse, harassment and violence and cannot accept this as a new normal. flight attendants make it. aviation brings people together, not kevin apart. as the backbone of our economy and expression of freedom. the committeeis knows that still exist for commercial aviation and efforts to use as a weapon against our country workpiece around the world. failing to check on the disturbances on the plane puts us in jeopardy of coordinated attacks and those who wish to do us harm. we can take steps to disrupt these trends and maintain aviation security recommend these steps. d.o.j. must act in urgency to conduct consequences being severe and real.
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alcohol and airport and airports, increased stopping at the gate and everyone in the ecosystem an effort to communicate policies and identify or report disruptions and problems on the ground. a list of violators to be used by all airliners on all airlines, relevant house and senate committees to work with urgency to expand fbi w concurrt jurisdiction to include to ensure enforcement of federaldi funds and violence on air lane door is open. it's well past time for crewmember self-defense training and make it mandatory and included an initial recurrent paid airline training overseen by tsa. 2004, after the 9/11 commission recognize the need for the
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training we testify before the committee stating on three separate occasions congress specifically acknowledged the need for the training, air transportation security act, home and security act 2003 faa authorization, these attempts to provide that appendix not successful. to serve our nation as aviation's last line of defense. >> i now recognize -- >> good morning and thank you, the opportunity to testify today and recognizing the need for workforce perspectives addressing our transport system. i am here on behalf of 150 members of the workers union of
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america working in transit, railroads and other industries. members include bus operators, flight attendants, amtrak on force services and many other transportations. transit and railroads on workers overwhelmingly believe the number one security threat transport systems today is physical assault in the performance of their duty, faa reported 5000 unruly passenger incidents is the beginning of the year, 2000% increase over the previous year they have received most of thehe media attention, assault against transit amtrakst workers are on the rise also. new york city alone, 2000 assault on transit workers this year and 45% over a period of time when ridership dropped by
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60%. the numbers are terrifying and the reality of frontline workers for the statistics. a passenger violently pulled her hair and pulled her to the ground. jet injuries and this last weekend, southwest asia was hit in the head by passenger sending her to the hospital, a flight attendant was thrown to the ground and choked after passenger attempted to install the carpet. the bus operator was sent to the hospital after the bus broke down as an irate passenger punched him and smashed his head repeatedly on a side of a bus. securityin camera caught a group of people knocking an agent to the ground and broke several of his ribs with repeated punches and kicks. we are seeing a full moon atmosphere across our transit systems for angry frustrated passengers who feel entitled to
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assault workers just because they are on the companies they work for. there are many factors contribute to theri atmosphere and none of them have been created by the workers or are in harm's way. they are enforcing rules and practices, including safety protocols, carry-on and masking requirements, revenue collection and operational problems such as when flights are canceled. these arise, passengers are already angry or frustrated, they take their anger out on the workers. transit agencies and anger has been mismanagement and incompetence. it's led to major understaffing, airlines selectively employed nearly 50000 workers today than before the start of the pandemic. this intentional choice to
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reduce this has created less resilient much more prone to cancellations and long delays and predictable operation, similarly, transit agencies have done almost no hiring since the start of the pandemic find themselves reducingms services d self-inflicted shortage of train operators, trained crews, passengers are stressed about the commute entering transport systems already upset because of the shortcomings. historically, there have been few consequences resulting transportation workers. after more than 5000 assault reported to the faa, only 37 recommended for criminal prosecution. our members appreciate faa's efforts to increase fines, there is no question more needs to be done to describe this horrific behavior. combating assault on transport
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workers requires holistic approach in local authorities as well as transportation employers. it's what we have seen, in the presence of enforcement officers in a systems where it's also happening. moving 60%. in my written testimony, i hope the committee can take a leadership role in implementing these i just, thank you again and i look forward to your >> chairman thompson, distinguished members of the subcommittee, thank you for your opportunity to testify before you today. , thensights i share today
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federal air marshal, a personal experience and observation dropped 26 years of working in the transportation domain as well as my ten years of union leadership, most significantly, these are tempered by my expanses of 9/11 first responder and recovery b worker in my surface desire this mission. success ensures this was not in vain and we will honor the sacrifice of soldiers in the global war on terror. i appreciate the opportunity to speak in the perspectives of the air marshals. the perspective of the air marshal association is the security strategy historically utilized, our mission must be redefined. the covid pandemic starkly eliminated the deficiencies in our scope to the mission. since our agency lacked enforcement role outside an aircraft cabin, thega
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agent service was sidelined intervening dhs mission effectively.. other law enforcement agencies adapted, it was left on a significant portion of the workforce for many months because there's no role to play increased footprint leveraging existing authority within the transportation domain and collaborating more effectively withla agencies is what curtails it throughout the pandemic. the past. decade, engage in congress, stakeholders and readerships on ways to better position workforce to meet the constantly evolving threat. 2018 to 21 rating to advise agency leaderships. the committee on rehashing all that we have been given individually but suffice to say i encourage you all to review proposals for changing of the agency and making an federal
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marshal service. right now we have a shrinking workforce. as we resume to pre-pandemic levels, we must have enough air marshals available to cover increased workforce. many have retired the past 12 months projected rate of retirement is expected to have our workforce over the next 24 months. significant number of revert redirects in 2014 to use only transportation security purposes. recovering three billing dollars are projected fees for 20222023 along cover hiring to replace projected losses and new law-enforcement sections to support expanding roles. the fees could allow tsa to hire
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more and would go a long way to recover transition for workforce into the general system. ama recommends self-defense training is integrated with recurrent training. it is difficult and impractical for members to come to the office to receive instruction. as a result, only a small fraction of crews received his training and only received it once. they are facing a negative impact from workforce morale and acknowledge at once and those hiring agencies in these expenses. this hires 5% of its workforce each year and involves the students. they've expressed anxiety over the prospect of other government
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shutdown. during the government shutdown, ama had to intercede and assist members of missed payments in the security clearances and may need to be removed. the committee does everything in their power to ensure they would honor their obligations on time. some are concerned the vaccine requirement deadline ama supports the suggestion for the compliance lacking january 4. their livelihoods during the mandate. they urge federal agencies to improve accommodations for law enforcement officers cannot receive thet vaccine. it's an honor to represent the air marshal service ine the committee, thank you for your support of frontline workers an opportunity to testify today. i look forward to your questions.
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>> thank you for the timeframe and important information you shared with us today. i will not recognize breast for questions for the witnesses and i will recognize members between majority and minority, remind to unmute yourself and recognize for questions with the exception that both minority and majority have agreed to. i remind each member he or she will have five minutes to question the witnesses and i will recognize myself for five minutes. last month, chairman thompson and i since the tsa administrator sent a letter urging to perceive against passengers who violate the federal mask mandate, maybe because of the frustratingly low number of penalties so far
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disruptive passengers and recognize thee improvement. stronger enforcement is still needed to send ao clear warning for would-be offenders office behavior will not be tolerated and will be met with strong consequences. doctor kelly, in your opinion, has tsa been aggressive enough about violators of the maskree and what is preventing tsa from being moree aggressive? >> for the administration for those mandates, it is my belief there is zero tolerance as it relates to the tso working to ensure public policy. >> thank you. ms. nelson, tsa faa and others were widely publicized in the outcomes of those cases to demonstrate accountability and serve as ata warning for potentl
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offenders? >> absolutely. faa has done a wonderful job of announcing the fines against passengers who want to see more of that in the airport from tsa. it's difficult when passengers acknowledge they must wear a mask at checking and it does not enforce the airport and sends the wrong message and puts up a position to enforce that when we are with them so it is critically important tsa has enforcement procedure and also publish those fines against people or not. >> thank you, ms. nelson. we have all seen a news report, there's an explosion of violence againstex tso by defendant, transportation workers. tsa restarted self-defense training force, flight crew in
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july which is currently voluntary for flight attendants to take. no flight attendant ever want to employ the tactics they learn against the passenger, sadly the training is more and more with more stories that come up. your report for making this training mandatory for flight crew, couldli you tell the subcommittee why you believe these elements are needed? >> i've taken the training and we worked hard but the training in place after 9/11, supposed to beo mandatory and return to a voluntary program. that means they cap to find time on the days off and it's difficult to have to do it at their own cost to attend. if they don't have repetitive training necessary to be able to respond, when an attack is imminent, we don't have warning, it's an immediate reaction and it comes with training but it
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must be mandatory, initial training and recurrent training. >> given that the course is currently voluntary, you know of any airlines that provide time to their employer employee to attend? >> not one. >> your testimony, he mentioned a variety of challenges have increased air marshals mental health over the years.s the covid w pandemic has added another layer to their mental and physical health promote the well-being of federal air marshals has been a priority of mine and i will continue to work with you and your colleagues to find ways to be supportive of your members. has the pandemic compound of existing challenges air marshals mental health and what recommendations do you have, does the ame have to address the ?hallenges for old and new >> thank you for the question, yes, thehe pandemic has
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exacerbated off challenges. tsa is good about trying to do more and we have seen this recurring pattern over the years with the air marshals, we have 20 your employees on their careers and they have been hired from 2001 -- 2003. what's happening as we had no real quick plan to rehire these workers over time and replace the members we had initially and that estimated or required in the transportation domain. we've seen a drop where the numbers are probably not one third where they were from peak and expect to lose half the workforce again. that's an incredible strain on the air marshals left. issue is, as the agency tries to cover as many as they can, they cannot do it by giving the same schedule, they are just j placing temporary
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flights, breaking the flights and changing their entire schedule for the day, impossible to work life balance. >> thank you, my time has expired. i recognize the ranking member from the subcommittee, gentlemen from florida forth questions. >> thank you. what percentage of tso have not been fully vaccinated, do you know that? >> i don't know for certain, i do know there's a report from management about 60% have been confirmed but i don't have the numbers personally. >> did you say six or 60%? >> sixty. >> so 40% of the workers maybe are not vaccinated at this time? >> from mid-october, we are
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aware of number of tso's have medical or religious exemptions from getting the vaccine, tsa issued guidance for exemptions just before the deadline suggested that should be passed. exemptions need to be fully considered, that's my thoughts on pat. >> since the beginning of the pandemic, tso, tsa has been working at airports like you think they have been put at risk, are they working under unsafe conditions since before the vaccine was available? >> the administration has done a good job making sure as of late, tso's are safe so i'm not going
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to say they've been put at risk because all are at risk. when he got to the airport, you never know what you will face or who is going to come through the checks so to say they are not at risk is not true but i think administration puts in place things that will ensure their safety. >> nothing is ever without risk, everything has risk attached to it. my question was, prior to the vaccine being available, were the conditions you put forward, mask wearing and etc., keeping 6 feet away, where they safe enough to keep tso's -- where they safe? are they in a safe environment prior to the vaccine? >> i'm not going to say they want because we've had 11000 tso's contract the virus so i
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can't fully say it was completely safe. we all have the risks and will continue to have the risks to the pandemic is eliminated. >> i understand, he said you want to see the mandate extended to january 4 but if you continue 40% of tso's not vaccinated, you think, it's right for the federl government to terminate 40% of your workforce? what you think that will cost to the public and transportation industry if it is enforced? >> i have said it's about fairness and inflation, the biden administration extends the deadline and they have given to federal contractors who work alongside them, it is the people that there is opposition to the vaccine mandate. we help members with the
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families during holidays for all of us and reach conclusion families are able to provide the utmost importance and we want this time to allow consideration for strongly held beliefs, i am a man of deep faith myself. my faith led me to believe the right thing to do is to get vaccinate and i have done so i also know -- >> the question was, do you think if this is enforced, will it be disruptive to transportation in america? 40% of your people may be terminated after january 4, i understand -- >> 40% is terminated, of course. are trying to get to that.
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>> okay. i'm close to beingm out of time so thank you for your answers, i appreciate it and back. >> thank you, no problem. >> we are all concerned about that, we hope anytime it's available, it will be used to educate, inform and make access to these vaccines more readily available. i am not going to recognize the chairman of the full committee, mr. thompson, the gentleman from mississippi. >> thank you very much, madam chair. this past weekend, we heard another disturbing attack from a southwest airline employee. as stated, we cannot accept the intensity of these assaults as our new norm.
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the discussion as of late has been around a database or those who perpetuate against frontline aviation workers. three witnesses today in their commentsen, some kind of concept around testimony, how do you envision the database functioning and what criteria would it be?
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>> would it be okay if i answer first? >> we believe the establishment would be an important part of a multifaceted approach administered by the tsa, not a standalone that will solve the problems, a multi- like approach and we believe criteria on that list is either conviction or by hethe faa where the due processf the individuals on the no-fly list are toxic. they wrongly accused us so we are well aware of that's due process requirements but if there's not a no-fly list, people are going to continue to get on the planes ann assault planee crews and agents. this must be established and be
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done where they are protected. >> i would just echo what he said about a coordinated list at the tsa. with the requirement of a conviction or a fine t from the faa but also beckon be an additional tier of advisories like potential problems for one airline conducted internal investigation and determined they are going toed say, band tt traveler, that should be shared with the other airlines so they have the information can address the issue is passengers purchase tickets as well so it's another step added to the list that would not be a no-fly but shared information to help make decisions and keep them on the ground. >> thank you. i echo my colleague, i believe it's paramount to have such a
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process with due process. make sure they have due process and dignity. >> without getting into the weeds, the incident that occurred on southwest over the weekend, what would you recommend for that list that person beyond? >> once they have conducted the investigation and there is a determination about either in fines or conviction and that person would be on a no-fly list across the industry. does that help? >> yes, i'm just trying to get to the bottom line.
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you've done a lot of flying, i would like to get your input on this. >> thank you. i would go a step further on making this a little more homogenous. i think everybody should report a violation, everybody should report an incident from a transportation worker at the lowesten level security or internal investigation, but i would suggest is there be an investigative person or body in the middle who can verify what the story is so we have plenty of times when we respond to checkpoints because tso's have been assaulted have done our due diligence and ask questions and law enforcement to have local charges against them, most often times local charges are not brought, maybe they don't want to file charges, we need unified federal presence here, federal
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officers taken care of federal interest and while fbi obviously federal officers, they are pretty busy and it's a whole new category for them to look at. i submit air marshals could do this and could sign with the airlines and anybody assaulted to do an investigation on what happened and putting the individuals on a list themselves, power take a lot of the burden off existing agencies that may not respond to the checkpoints for these low-level incidents if something happened to the gate agent, i can't imagine fbi agent would take the time out to calm to an airport to question an individual, i have not seen it happen unless is a high-profile act. >> i back. >> thank you.
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>> thank you, chairwoman and ranking member rose well. you know virtually every industry in america is currently facing significant labor shortages which are exacerbated by the biden administration's vaccine mandate. my constituents who work in industries from hospitality, healthcare have been telling me the same thing. vaccine mandates equipping their industry's ability to recover from this pandemic. president biden's vaccine mandate apply to all federal workers including tsa employees. as of mid-october, only 60% of tsa employees provided documentation showing they were fully vaccinated against covid and get the deadline is quickly approaching. you've stated it's inexcusable by contractors being given the ivholiday season to meet the
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mandate file continue through november second deadline impending deadline current workplace and upcoming travel over the holiday season, what challenges do you expect tsa and employees to encounter and do you think the vaccine mandate will worsen the challenges ? >> challenges are going to be there, okay? i how they do their job in the circumstances, there's a lot of reasons why tso will be leading the organization, dealing with low pay difficult work environment but the challenge is going to be long white lines,
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they are just t going to be thee because of the fact that there such a high turnover in the fact that we have not set that a job making sure the workforce will replenish. we still have people in training who should be on the floor performing the job right now this is what will create the challenge. >> we ask you this though, i understand and agree with you what they get paid and in general what you're saying but the fact that we are going to lose a good number of them must the mandate changes, it's obviously i think going to increase the challenge even more, would you agree? >> i thinkev that -- >> i've spoken to folks at work there some believe in their personal freedom and will not get the vaccine.
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if they lose their job, they lose their job and i know you have heard the same thing. >> i agree to a degree and that's why wee are asking the administration to lease give a sense of parity when it comes to the vaccine mandate deadline because the employees over the holiday where they feel there is a sense of fairness there. if i say it's not going to affect it, i would be incorrect, i know that but i'm just saying there are a lot more reasons why they are leaving the jobsite rather than the vaccine and that's all i'm saying. >> okay, it's a combination, i understand that, a combination we don't need. you may know i have the largest federal air marshal service in my district with 85% of all training performedtr there, can
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you explain how unruly passengers are impacting their service and whether you believe mask mandates are forcing air f marshals to shift the focus from potential threat to mask related incidents? >> thank you for that question. i think the focus of the air marshals will always be on terrorism and that threat. mask mandates, everybody has been a much a topic to that. we roll with the punches and it's a different situation for a lot of people outside of law enforcement, we voluntarily put ourselves in harms way in getting in front of covid and flying during the pandemic was one thing we accepted and did even when there wasn't concrete guidance, we still did it. i don't think we are any less ready or prepared to meet any threats crimes or evolving with
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the masks themselves. we don't like to wear them but it's not going to hamper our ability to do our job. is that thehe first part of your question? >> i think you covid it pretty well, unruly passengers as well, are ranking in society today. >> your time has expired. >> thank you for your service. >> thank you. >> thank you for allowing me to go ahead of him because i need to keep voting remotely. so thank you. i represent las vegas and we want people to have a good time, to get 40 million visitors coming through the airport but we can't let them fly up expensive safety of our front-line workers whether at the airport or in casinos so i
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would like to go back ms. dowson, you said in your testimony, banning alcohol which might be a a temporary way to reduce bad behavior and interaction in the pandemic. i want to ask you if you think of permanent policy or regulation would be helpful, we ought to consider that and i would ask doctor kelly if you would address the same thing, are they finding more people breaking into the airport getting on the plane because they are going to be denied that cocktail and does not cause you a problem? >> thank you for your question. we really need to focus on the to go t alcohol delivery of alcohol. it seems to be something promoted at the airport, we did not see thisvi before. this started as a covid safety procedure, to go food and drink
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but it's evolved into a moneymaking proposition where there is a push of the alcohol which is not helpful at all. examples ofsome that in the written testimony. he also want to recognize coordinated work between airline, airports and government and unions has created some good moves. ... >> the plane they cannot, and so clear communications and were asking fernand to the alcohol the deliveries because of what is happening here in these of vents are alcohol related predit and get everything back contributing to that.
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>> i think that now and i think that doing things to try to let you know i do believe that gives a person an opportunity to overspend o and causes people to reacto in ways they would not normally react and i would say that we really need to do this pretty. >> and in a festive mood that would be fine but obviously this is worse than just the fact that the market people traveling and we are saying and are you already for the holidays and are you geared up to handle these folks.
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>> i just know that we going to handle the situation because that is variably represent and remember, this shut down the continued to work and occupation these are supposed to do the job. they're doing it eventually and i have no doubt to believe they will get the job done. >> i think that you are right. i think them for their service. and are you expecting industry problems and is there anything special that you all are doing. >> we just tried to be ready for whatever comes and something that we are anticipating.
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>> the operation because that adds to the anger and the angst and the airports. the airlines have the incentive for, that is very helpful because they are sing why do we want to go to work in this environment, any incentive while it takes. [inaudible]. while it takes four to six months to hire and train people. there are also present airlines in our scheduling is to meet the demand. >> thank you very muchrm and i yield back. >> and doctor kelly, thank you and the next person from new jersey.
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[inaudible]. >> are you there from new jersey. >> if you are there, would you unmute. how about the gentle lady from iowa, are you there. doctor kelly, i need to be 30 seconds to finish what ever you are wanting to say because we do not have any more members or any more questions and we do have
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above that has been called pretty. >> thank you and just wanted to elaborate on what my colleague ms. nelson said, the tso, does not have the luxury to associate the conditions of authority as the - and that is why it is so important that the understanding ofas passing a permanent piece f legislation and the right to negotiate in the same way and flight attendants are able to. so we need the same flexibility. thank you g i now recognize the lady from iowa.
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summa thank you when i appreciate this hearing and the testimony of our witnesses and doctor kelly, i'm also a physician on the public health and i'm going to start this by saying that are fully vaccinated, and in the 24 counties in my credit district in iowa, all 24 my counties, i encourage you to people to be in unanswered questions and i found very disturbing, when president biden said the vaccine mandate and how his position is to vaccinate people against the unvaccinated people would he said that they have no data or information and infection acquired immunity or natural immunity for covid-19 or have record of those deaths so recently asked the white house
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to the executive order deadline, for all federal employees to get vaccinated so the deadline is a mandate. and is expected to have this. [inaudible]. can you explain why about that november 22nd deadline or is it just consistency predict. .[inaudible]. >> will first of all the federal employees but why do i have to work or sign a contract pretty and we can come to work, possibly but it's inexcusableco that the holiday season our current employees continue to stay home but we would have clarity
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woodley skim federal employees you know to be able to rationalize to go out and do this. that is the idea here. it eliminates the confusion. the why at the white house they should not be having these deadlines. >> i agree to think shaming of lenny bullying people or in person, that iser not the way to get vaccinated and i also think that there is recognition of infections, with the this release that as not as prevalent in there should be people who have covid-19 and they recover,
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and to be talking about immunities predict. [inaudible]. and appoint have a bill that to encourage thete interest coverae insurance which would be animatics which is the longer term immunity which have been long lasting. so is one way to prove that there is immunity from covid-19 because we know even if you're vaccinated, the virus so does seem to be with you and that can we will continue to communicate in delaying the same date of january 18the, and also would help you for parity and those federal contract and you also explained that it impacted tsa let me just say that like
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essential workers, they would know that the vaccine would work and kept their coworkers safe and with personal protective equipment. and protective barriers so they were able to not have to miss the family members and themselves. and without a vaccine, which is another source of hypocrisy to me to demand but the house requirements impacting to be fully staffed at the airports and transportation sites. >> will again, the lack of staffing really related to the mandate. i firmly believe and i strongly believe that the issues that we
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may face, a part of this holiday season, so with the staffing shortages, the week just did not replenish the workforce. we did not do all of the hiring we said because still attorney and so in my opinion, the workforce has been patriotic. [inaudible]. >> the gentle lady's time has expired, i am sorry. >> only thank you, and we have very important information. because were very concerned about the safety and those were flyinge and serving and those
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working as well and the members of the subcommittee thank you witnesses and we ask that you respond in writing. and remind members that the subcommittee will remain and respond within ten days. and we stand adjourned and thank you so much pretty. >> cspan is your unfiltered view of government pretty including comcast, comcast is partnering the community centers to create to get the they need to be ready for anything and comcast report cspan as a public service, along with these other television providers and giving you a front row seat to democracy.
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