FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Michael Buckley
Washington, D.C. . . . The following statement was issued today by Edward Wytkind, President of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), endorsing legislation introduced yesterday by Senators Barack Obama (D-IL), Patty Murray (D-WA), Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), and Daniel Inouye (D-HI), denying the Federal Aviation Administration the ability to unilaterally impose contract terms on its workers.
“The Obama legislation will restore fairness to a bargaining process that has been poisoned by a highly partisan FAA management that is ignoring its own obligation to bargain in good faith and using Congress to impose contracts on its employees.
“It is disturbing to witness the FAA, apparently now with a nod from its parent agency, purposely inspiring labor-management acrimony not seen in decades at the FAA.
“When Congress passed FAA personnel reform in 1996, it did not give the FAA a free pass to run rough-shod over its workers. Quite the contrary: it was clear that Congress intended on the parties resolving their bargaining issues at the table, not through FAA intransigence and manipulation.
“The Obama bill would prevent the FAA from unilaterally imposing contracts by establishing a three-step process for resolving bargaining disputes: first, calling on the services of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service; second, giving Congress the option of resolving disputed portions of a contract; and lastly, if Congress takes no action within 60 days, submitting the bargaining dispute to binding arbitration.
“FAA workers are on the front lines of ensuring Americans enjoy the safest air transportation system in the world. They deserve a fair and impartial process for resolving labor-management disputes.
“We praise Senator Obama and his Senate colleagues for their leadership, and we will now mobilize to urge Republicans and Democrats in the Senate and House to pass this common sense legislation.”
TTD represents 29 member unions in the rail, aviation, transit, trucking, highway, longshore, maritime and related industries. For more information, visit www.ttd.org.