November 29, 2011
-- by Dave Johnson
Once again Republicans are ready to shut down the FAA to help a union-busting effort by Delta Airlines. At issue is a provision added to the FAA funding reauthorization that changes the rules for union elections, saying that anyone not voting must be counted as a "no" vote. So if the company can just keep people from voting, the union loses even if everyone that shows up to vote says that they want a union.
Delta Airlines, called "The Official Airline of the One Percent," is fighting to keep unions out, and Republicans -- in their usual pay-for-play fashion -- are assisting. The Washington Post, reporting recently in, Chances for long-term FAA funding bill seen as bleak, explained Delta's interest,
It is a dispute over a labor ruling that would make it easier for employees of Delta Air Lines to unionize. House Republicans are dead set on undoing a ruling by the National Mediation Board, which said that airline unionization efforts should be decided by a majority of those who vote. The ruling negated a long-standing rule that said eligible voters who opted not to vote would be counted as voting against unionization.
The NMB ruling is expected to have its most immediate impact on Delta, which has so far staved off union organizers.
Last week, Talking Points Memo reported that, Just In Time For The Holidays: FAA Fight Heats Up ...,
... the House and Senate are ... supposed to pass long-term legislation to reauthorize FAA programs. But a dispute over worker rights has held up the bill for months and even led to a partial FAA shutdown earlier this year. Rinse, repeat.
Republicans want to make it more difficult for transportation workers to unionize by requiring officials to count abstentions as votes against forming a union. This provision underlies the stalemate between the House and Senate on a so-called permanent reauthorization.
TPM reports that the Communications Workers of America are asking people to contact specific members of Congress to ask them to set aside this union-busing effort and pass FAA funding.
The Communications Workers of America will target vulnerable Republicans with 1,300,000 phone calls, mailers, and an online pressure campaign, according to a release sent my way.
“It is beyond time to finalize a long-term FAA Reauthorization bill that improves our aviation infrastructure, grows our economy, creates hundreds of thousands of new jobs and keeps elections fair for air and rail employees,” the flyer reads. “Congress is very close to passing a long-term FAA Reauthorization bill - after 22 extensions! But Delta Air Lines continues to lobby Republican leadership to include an unrelated, controversial, union-busting provision in the legislation to benefit the company. Call your Member of Congress and House Leader Eric Cantor TODAY and tell them to stop playing political games and pass a clean, long-term FAA Reauthorization bill with no special interest provisions.”
The targeted members are below.Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA); Rep John Mica (R-FL); Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-CA); Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA); Rep. Robert Dold (R-IL); Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI); Rep. Blake Farenhold (R-TX); Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-PA); Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY); Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD); Rep. Nan Hayworth (R-NY); Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ); Rep. Tom Latham (R-IA); Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA); Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV); Rep. Tom Petri (R-WI); Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY); Rep. Reid Ribble (R-WI); Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ); Rep. Charlie Bass (R-NH); Rep. Chip Cravaack (R-MN-08)
According to and Aviation Week report, Angry Rockefeller Calls For Help In Passing FAA Reauthorization Bill, West Virginia Senator Jay Rockefeller talked about the FAA union-busting situation in a Nov 14 speech to the Aero Club in Washington, DC, [emphasis added]
Without naming the issues specifically, Rockefeller alluded to problems with a provision repealing National Mediation Board rules that has been blamed by members of both parties for holding up a resolution on the bill. And though Rockefeller in the past has blamed Delta Air Lines and its CEO, Richard Anderson, for the impasse, he restricted his comments Monday to “one airline” without naming the carrier. Rockefeller suggested that fixing the wording in the House version of the FAA bill is not in his purview because the Senate Commerce Committee does not have control over it.
The Communications Workers of America released this video:
Posted by Dave Johnson at November 29, 2011 11:24 AM
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