IAM Urges Obama to Veto Flawed FAA Bill

Calling it “deeply flawed” and “a capitulation that upsets carefully balanced safeguards that have long existed in the Railway Labor Act,” IAM President Tom Buffenbarger urged President Obama to veto the “FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012.”

Approved by both houses of Congress after four years of temporary extensions and intense political wrangling, the $63 billion measure includes language that reverses important collective bargaining protections for air and rail workers.

“While the legislation contains long-overdue improvements to the nation’s air traffic infrastructure, it is hobbled with language designed to gut long-standing labor protections for air and rail workers, language that has nothing to do with aviation or rail safety,” said Buffenbarger in a letter that was delivered on February 10.

The bill contains several anti-labor provisions, including punitive new “threshold of election changes” and roadblocks to continue union representation after carriers merge, that effectively cripple the new union representation rules put into place by the NMB in 2010.

“It is unfortunate that anti-labor ideologues have held this important legislation hostage for nearly four years,” said Buffenbarger. “It would be doubly unfortunate if that gambit were now rewarded by making this flawed legislation into the law of the land.”