The Senate votes today on the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill—and as much as we need the FAA funded and open, we need 41 votes against this version of the bill. Since last summer, Democrats have stood strong against Republican attempts to make it all but impossible for airline workers to join unions through a provision that would have counted people who didn’t vote in union representation elections as having voted no. But now, Harry Reid and Jay Rockefeller, the majority leader and the chair of the Senate Commerce Committee, have signed off on a “compromise” proposed by Republicans. If you know one thing about today’s congressional Republicans, though, you can guess it’s no compromise. As Dave Johnson writes:
If you start with a bill that says, “kill all the unions, kill all the unions, kill all the unions, kill all the unions” and take out one “kill all the unions” is that a compromise? The unions are still killed three times over.
The “compromise” would actually both make it harder to join a union and create ways to dissolve them without workers having a say. Employers would control information about what workers should be eligible to vote in an election, allowing them to pad the numbers required for the 50 percent of workers now required to even hold an election. Then employers would be able to delay the election, find out which workers were supporting the union and intimidate them. Not only that, but in cases where a larger non-union airline and a smaller union airline merged, the union and the contract would just be gone.
Those and other barriers to workers joining or staying in unions make this “compromise” an unacceptable attack on workers. Tell your senators to vote against union-busting and demand a clean FAA reauthorization bill.