As unions representing hundreds of thousands of workers employed by our nation’s airlines, we are writing in support of H.R. 5449 and ask that you vote in favor of this legislation when it comes to the floor for a vote this week. H.R. 5449 was introduced by Representative Steven LaTourette (R-OH) in an effort to bring much-needed fairness and balance to a troubled bargaining process between the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and its employees.
As we know first hand, collective bargaining is never easy, but it is a process that ensures workers have a voice in the workplace and are in a position to work with their employers on key issues. However, for this process to truly work, it must be impartial and fair to both sides. Unfortunately, the bargaining position the FAA has taken in regards to its employees is undeniably biased. The FAA Administrator has taken the position that the agency can simply send labor disputes to Congress and then unilaterally impose a contract on its employees. This is not true collective bargaining and, in fact, the FAA has shown little interest in reaching a negotiated settlement since it believes that it can simply impose its will as it sees fit. Not only is this unfair, but it creates acrimony and distrust among a workforce that is critical to the safe and efficient movement of aircraft.
H.R. 5449 will simply send the parties back to the bargaining table and, if a settlement can not be reached, a third party panel (the Federal Services Impasses Panel) would have jurisdiction to resolve the dispute. This is the same process that applies to other federal workers.
As unions whose members rely on the safety of our air traffic control system day in and day out, we understand the intrinsic value of our FAA colleagues who operate and maintain our airspace. They deserve a fair bargaining process.
H.R. 5449 is critical to protect the integrity of our air traffic control system and the safety of our nation’s airspace and aviation system. We urge you to support this common-sense legislation.
Air Line Pilots Association
Association of Flight Attendants-CWA
General Vice President
International Association of Machinists
and Aerospace Workers
International Federation of Professional
and Technical Engineers
|James C. Little
Transport Workers Union of America