The Next Target of GOP Union-Busting
Gov. Scott Walker's approval ratings keep hitting new lows as the stand-off with protesters and Democratic Senators continues into its fourth week. The massive backlash provoked by Walker's attack on public employee unions, however, has not discouraged the GOP from trying to screw over more workers at the national level. A measure tied to the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill would drastically curtail the rights of airline and railroad employees to unionize. The Huffington Post has the report:
Sponsored by House Transportation Chairman John Mica (R-Fla.) -- a major recipient of campaign contributions from the airline industry, totaling more than $620,000 in his career -- the controversial provision states if an eligible voter fails to vote for union representation, he or she will be tallied as an active vote against representation.
Such a policy, which puts an extra burden on union organizers to round up all voters, rather than a simple majority, existed up until last July, when the federal National Mediation Board, which adjudicates labor-management disputes, ruled that absent votes ought not be counted against unionization. Labor officials hailed that decision as one of their signature victories last year, and the proposal to strip it away has sparked an equally emotional reaction.
"This was the one advancement that you had seen in organizing rights and here they have launched an all-out effort in the House to go after unions again," said Shane Larson, the legislative director for the Communications Workers of America. "Currently, this is the biggest issue federally right now in terms of organizing rights. There is nothing else that is on the table."
Labor leaders ard organizing to block the measure.