Update: Reuters: Congress has come up with a tentative agreement which does not address any of the underlying problems resolved. It’s a stop gap measure that allows the FAA to tap available funds from a federal trust account that is funded by ticket taxes to help cover some of the agency’s costs. The temporary extensions aim to bridge the gap to a long-delayed bill still being negotiated on long-term FAA budgeting and aviation priorities. The revenue windfall to airlines who have not been collecting taxes now comes to an end.
Congress not coming to a decision about the FAA dispute, leaves 4,000 agency employees and 70,000 construction workers in limbo.
The FAA dispute is, in small measure, about airport subsidies (taxpayer funds) being diverted to seldom-used, remote airports. In large measure, it’s about a form of card check. This is a union battle.
President Obama (through his NLRB* appointees) has established new rules as a favor to the AFL-CIO, which has been bullying Delta into unionizing.
The new rules allow airline and airport employees to unionize simply with a majority of those who actually return ballots. The timeline between petitioning for unionization and holding the election will be reduced from 42 days to 10-20 days. It moves so quickly that employers have no opportunity to set up an opposition. It’s not card check,** but it’s as close as possible.
The $100 million donated by the unions to the Democrats in the last two elections have paid off for them.
Companies like JetBlue, FedEx et al have tried to avoid unsustainable GM-style union benefits to keep profitable. The FAA battle is a battle against forced unionization. Where is our Ronald Reagan?
*National Labor Relations Board – a 5 member panel with 3-2 Democratic majority. Craig Becker, leading the panel, is a socialist. In one famous quote, he said he “believes that the United States should somehow control or restrain the freedom of capital, or that the mobility of capital not being under ‘popular control’ is somehow a threat to Big Labor.”
As the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Associate General Counsel, Becker regularly advocated for inappropriate use of the NLRB’s power. In an instant of uncensored honesty, Mr. Becker wrote that employers should be barred from NLRB proceedings:
“On these latter issues employers should have no right to be heard in either a representation case or an unfair labor practice case, even though Board rulings might indirectly affect their duty to bargain.”
In Becker’s opinion, business owners, many of whom are small business owners that collectively employee 50 million Americans, have “no legally cognizable interest” in one of the most significant decisions impacting the potential future success of their company. More information available here: Forced unionization via rules and here: What you need to know about Craig Becker
**Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), whose “card check” feature would mandate an employer’s recognition of a union as a sole collective bargaining agent if the union secures signatures indicating a willingness to join by more than half of all affected workers. Such legislation would allow unions to bypass the NLRB-supervised election process.