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CWA applaudes ruling involving FAA union elections

02.02.12

JANUARY 2012 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton edition of The Union News

CWA applaudes ruling involving FAA union elections

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, December 29th- The Communications Workers of America (CWA) International Union applauded the ruling of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that upheld the rule changes adopted by the National Mediation Board (NMB) in 2010 that was designed to hold union elections within the industry to the same basic principles as other elections in the nation.

Congressional Republican’s have attempted to overturn the NMB rules change by claiming that the election changes overstepped the agency’s authority, and the judicial ruling eliminates the lead rationale used by the GOP to block the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization bill, which caused a shutdown of the FAA in late summer 2011.

Congress did agree to a short-term funding extension that provided funds for the FAA until January, 2012. However, the issue will again be front and center when congress returns from the holiday recess.

The shutdown that put nearly 100,000 people out of work and cost the United States government $400 million, was led by Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee John Mica (Republican-Florida).

The CWA stated GOP House members, including Congressman Lou Barletta (11th Legislative District), insisted that the FAA funding legislation include an unrelated union-busting provision that would change the rules for union elections overseen by the NMB.

The Republicans want a rule that would allow workers that did not cast ballots in union elections be counted as “no” votes, rather than ballots actually cast.

The CWA has targeted two dozen Republicans, including Mr. Barletta, for what the Union called, “their willingness to shutdown the FAA over a union-busting provision inserted into the House version of the multi-year FAA Reauthorization bill.”

The judicial challenge was led by the Air Transport Association, primarily Delta Air Lines.

“This court ruling demolishes the agreement that the NMB overstepped its bounds in ensuring that NMB elections count only the ballots of those who actually vote. This ruling settles this issue once and for all: Republicans cannot continue to block the upgrades and job benefits of the FAA over a provision that has force of law, fairness, and common sense behind it,” stated CWA Communications Director Candice Johnson.

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