FedEx Friend Threatens to Block FAA Reform Bill

Move over Jim Bunning, another GOP Senator has threatened to single-handedly stop legislation that benefits American working families. Tennessee Republican Bob Corker has vowed to block the comprehensive FAA Reauthorization bill if it contains language that ends the advantage non-union FedEx has over rival UPS. FedEx is based in Memphis TN. In 1996, FedEx won a special favor that put it under different labor rules than UPS, making it much more difficult to organize FedEx workers.

The pending FAA bill has many benefits that Corker’s action could hold up, including OSHA protections for flight attendants and several studies to better understand the effects of flight crew fatigue and cabin air quality. The bill also includes enhancements related to runway safety and aircraft repair stations that will ensure safety and protections for millions of Americans.

In a letter to all U.S. Senators, IAM President Tom Buffenbarger called for the speedy passage of the FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act (S.1451), also known as the FAA Reauthorization bill.

“Congress has not passed a comprehensive FAA Reauthorization bill since 2003, and the most recent temporary extension will expire on March 31, 2010,” said Buffenbarger. “With only a few short weeks ahead of us before the next congressional recess, we want to emphasize how important a comprehensive reauthorization is to aviation workers and the industry.”

“It is time for the Senate to act and pass a strong FAA bill,” said Buffenbarger. “Senator Corker’s actions are another example of the Republican election strategy to block everything, no matter what the harm may be to average Americans.”