The reason flight attendants are protesting the bill is because of how corporate interest have managed to slip in some wording that would remove the collective bargaining rights, and worker rights to union representation.
What makes the wording so odd is that it was placed inside a bill that is intended to set up funding for aviation safety, health and security. The use of the bill to attack worker rights in this way is unconscionable.
Unions Shocked by Inaction of Democrats
For years, labor laws defined the threshold required for a Union election to be 35 percent of a workforce expressing interest in a union.
In late 2011, the House GOP attempted to weaken the possibility of union organization among airline workers by inserting a provision into the FAA reauthorization that would consider no worker vote to unionize as a “No” vote. This would obviously make it more difficult for workers to organize later on.
Democrats managed to prevent such a union-busting provision, but allowed a provision to remain in the new reauthorization bill that would increase the threshold to trigger a union election from 35 percent worker interest up to 50 percent.
Unions state that the move is an effort by Republicans to rewrite 75-year-old labor laws by using an unrelated aviation safety and security bill.
“Airline and rail workers would suffer significant losses as contracts are jettisoned, collective bargaining rights are cut and legal hurdles will be placed in the way of gaining a voice at work…”
Union leadership is making it very clear, publicly, that the GOP and the Corporate interests that support them, are attempting to take away airline worker rights without any debate or publicity.
“Rewarding the House Republican Leadership’s desire to rewrite decades of long standing labor law in a flash by inserting an unrelated and controversial labor provision in a much needed aviation safety and security bill, without notice, hearing, or debate, sets an extremely dangerous precedent.”
After reviewing the proposals hidden within the reauthorization bill, both union leadership and aviation workers were angered by the fact that the bill is being used to circumvent existing labor laws.
LAX Flight Attendants Take a Stand
In a statement of solidarity, flight attendants from 20 airlines will be joining together to take part in what is being termed the “OccuFLY” protest at Los Angeles Airport, on Monday, February 6th.
The flight attendants will all be in uniform and available at the LAX Tom Bradley International Terminal to interact with media and to speak out against the proposed legislation that they say Congress is attempting “secretly” push through without fanfare.
A press release issued by the Association of Flight Attendants leaves no doubt as to why Flight Attendants are joining together to protest the bill.
“This controversial labor provision is nothing less than an attack by the 1% against the 99%. We saw it in Wisconsin and Ohio, now we see it for airline and rail workers who are simply seeking the benefits of collective bargaining or fighting to hang on to collective bargaining rights.”
The protest represents yet another leg of the Occupy movement that has spread throughout the United States and resulted in numerous arrests and several confrontations with police throughout the country.
The Monday protest at LAX will become the first time that flight attendants are joining with the “Occupy” cause to protest Corporate influence in the legislation process, and the attack on worker’s rights in the U.S.
If you happen to be in or around LAX during the February 6th protest, please meet with the Flight Attendants to ask some questions about their protest effort, take some photos and send in your coverage of the protest to TopSecretWriters.com.