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Nation’s Labor Leaders Call for Expeditious Passage of FAA Reauthorization

By Admin

WASHINGTON — Ahead of a key vote in the U.S. House of Representatives, the nation’s top labor leaders voiced their support for swift action by the chamber of the U.S. Congress to pass the FAA reauthorization legislation and send it to the president’s desk for signature.

“It is imperative that the House of Representatives pass this bipartisan FAA Reauthorization bill that will strengthen our nation’s aviation system without lowering the bar on safety,” said Capt. Jason Ambrosi, President of the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA). “The labor movement stands in solidarity in support of this historic, pro-safety, pro-union legislation.”

“This reauthorization of the FAA is a victory for workers, and the AFL-CIO is thrilled by its Senate passage,” said Liz Shuler, President of the AFL-CIO. “While rejecting harmful policy changes, this bipartisan agreement strengthens safety standards, supports workforce growth and enhances aviation infrastructure. From addressing industry staffing crises to carving out key protections for workers and travelers alike, this legislation meets the moment for aviation workers on the job every day and hundreds of millions who travel by air each year. The AFL-CIO is proud to work with our allies in Congress, the Air Line Pilots Association and all the aviation unions of our Transportation Trades Department on this reauthorization. The bill that passed the Senate last week was the product of negotiations from both sides of the Capitol, with aviation workers making their voices heard every step of the way. We urge the House to adopt that bill and send it to President Biden’s desk without delay.”

“As the largest transportation labor federation in the country, representing hundreds of thousands of aviation workers, we urge the House of Representatives to swiftly pass the 2024 FAA reauthorization bill,” said Greg Regan, President of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD). “The bipartisan bill will sustainably grow the aviation workforce, improve quality of service for passengers, and enhance industry safety as a whole.

“This legislation represents a historic opportunity to improve our National Airspace System,” said Rich Santa, President of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA). “The provisions in this bill that address controller hiring, training, and staffing will, over the five-year authorization, make great improvements to staffing in our air traffic control facilities, reducing fatigue and improving safety and efficiency.”

“We can’t overstate how urgent it is for Congress to finalize this safety and jobs bill,” said Sara Nelson, international president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) representing over 50,000 Flight Attendants at 20 airlines. “We applaud the bipartisan leadership of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee along with the Senate Commerce Committee. We need staffing and training for critical safety jobs like air traffic controllers and FAA safety inspectors. We need our aviation workforce resourced with the latest equipment and technology. And we need attention on safety critical issues that address the air we breathe in flight, the temperatures on planes, the ability to safely pump as a Flight Attendant or pilot – along with so many other critical labor provisions such as protections for maintenance of our aircraft. Safety first! But none of us would have jobs without a working air transportation system either. Let’s pass this bill and get to work.”

“We want to thank Senators Chuck Schumer and Maria Cantwell, as well as Congressman Rick Larsen, for their work on the bill and getting it through the finish line,” said Richie Johnsen, General Vice President of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) Air Transport Territory. “This piece of legislation is extremely important to our union and all airline workers. It establishes common-sense improvements to rules for testing and operating unmanned aircraft, aircraft certifications, pilot certifications, operational standards, and more.”

“I want to thank all of our members who talked with lawmakers and staff about the importance of passing this bill and ensuring that critical language protecting Flight Attendants and bolstering American mechanics is included,” said John Samuelsen, International President of the Transport Workers Union of America (TWU). “It was a long road, but ultimately a successful outcome for us.”

“We are pleased that Congress, in a bipartisan manner, has made strides that help the employees we represent support the mission of keeping the national airspace system the safest in the world. We urge the House to pass the bill and look forward to working with the FAA to implement the law, particularly the provisions that deal explicitly with the workforce plans and staffing,” said Dave Spero, National President of the Professional Aviation Safety Specialists (PASS).

“Congress and the Biden Administration have taken commendable steps toward strengthening U.S. air travel by including a provision that evaluates the critical and underappreciated role that airport service workers play in the aviation industry,” said Mary Kay Henry, International President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). “By creating a table that includes essential airport service workers, aviation employers, and the Department of Transportation, we can work towards tackling complicated workforce issues and recommend fixes to the overlapping crises facing our airports. That includes putting an end to poverty wages and ensuring the affordable healthcare, paid sick leave, and workplace protections workers have long demanded.“

“Too often, CWA passenger service agents have had to risk their health and safety on the job,” said Dan Mauer, Director of Government Affairs for the Communications Workers of America (CWA). “Courtney Edwards, a member of CWA Local 3645, died in a tragic accident on the airport tarmac in Montgomery, Alabama at the end of 2022. Provisions in the FAA Reauthorization Act go a long way to protect passenger service agents working above and below the wing from dangers and hazards they face on a daily basis. We urge the House to pass the bill and we look forward to working with the Administration on implementation so these workers can get the support they deserve.”