Union: 'We can live within' labor rules in FAA funding compromise


“We’ve had temporary extensions of the FAA twenty-two different times,” TWU President James Little said in a statement. “That’s no way to run what’s supposed to be the safest and most efficient air transportation system in the world.”

Little pointed out that the TWU has won union elections with greater percentages than the new 50 percent threshold.

“We can live within those rules,” he said.  “In our most recent successful organization campaign, with flight attendants at Allegiant Air, we filed with an overwhelming majority, and won the election with 63 percent of the vote.”

Little added that long-term funding for the FAA “is essential to guaranteeing crucial safety inspections, upgrading of our nation’s airports, and safety and security for airline passengers and employees.”

The impasse over the FAA funding, which briefly led to the agency being shut down last summer, began when House Republicans sought to reverse labor election rules enacted in 2009 by the National Mediation Board to ensure absentee votes were not counted as votes against forming a union. Senate Democrats balked, calling the provision anti-democratic, and House Republicans dug in their heels.

Little said Monday the labor board, which came under heavy fire from Republicans, "made the right move by changing the rules.

“The old system was just plain undemocratic,” he said. “If it applied to national elections, not a single member of Congress would be seated, because all the voters who stayed home would be counted as voting against them.”

"We’re glad this compromise rejects Delta’s effort to undermine union democracy," Little continued. "Majority rule is the standard used to decide elections in jurisdictions all across America.”

The House is expected to vote on extending the FAA's funding through the end of February this week.