FAA Held Hostage by GOP Extremists

The ongoing FAA shutdown that has caused furloughs of thousands of FAA employees and threatens nearly 90,000 construction workers will continue through much of August because House GOP leaders decided summer vacation was more important than airline safety.

House Transportation Committee Chairman John Mica (R-FL) has stalled the FAA Reauthorization bill in a game of brinksmanship. Mica is holding the FAA hostage because he wants to repeal the recent change to transportation worker election rules that make union representation elections more democratic. Mica also wants to cut funding for subsidies for air service to small cities and make deeper funding cuts for FAA operations.

By refusing any attempt to craft a short-term funding mechanism to keep the FAA running, Mica has forced the FAA to shutdown non-essential services, furlough thousands of FAA employees, jeopardize work on billion-dollar airport construction projects and stop collection of airline ticket taxes that is costing an estimated $200 million per week in revenue.

The labor provision that Mica is so upset about is the change to National Mediation Board (NMB) election rules that says winners are decided by a majority of people who actually vote. The new rules put transportation union representation elections on the same democratic playing field as elections for Congress and representation elections run by the National Labor Relations Board. Under the old NMB rules, anyone who did not vote was counted as a “no” vote. If those rules were applied to Congressional elections, not a single member of Congress would have won their last election.\

Click here to tell Congress to stop the attacks on the FAA and workplace democracy.