Thursday, September 20, 2007

Anti Union Hoekstra votes no on FAA Reauthorization Act

As I was reading the summary I was trying to figure out why Hoekstra voted against this bill, besides him voting against most funding bills. So I dug a little deeper...
The House-passed legislation includes binding arbitration language for contract disputes, providing for a fair collective bargaining process between the FAA and its unions. "The House was vigilant in its efforts to improve the negotiating process," said Brantley(The Professional Airways Systems Specialists,(AFL-CIO), President Tom Brantley). "By passing a bill that creates a fair collective bargaining process, House lawmakers have sent a clear message to the FAA that it cannot unilaterally impose working conditions on its employees."

and dug some more..
NATCA President Patrick Forrey said he views the bill's amendment as an important step toward putting fairness back into the collective bargaining process." "The FAA unilaterally imposed work and pay rules on controllers last Labor Day weekend, exacerbating a critical staffing shortage that even the Department of Transportation and Office Inspector General validated in a recent report," he said. "Morale has suffered; the mass exodus has left controllers working for longer periods of time, causing fatigue and loss of focus, which the NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) has said is a major safety concern."

But the brunt of the bill is that it would provide for modernization of air traffic control systems and maintain airports without imposing user fees. Instead they will make a small increase in jet fuel tax (5 cents).
"The leadership of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and aviation subcommittee refused to be bullied by the airlines or accept the FAA's claims of poverty," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "They took a reasoned, rational look at what needed to be done and how to pay for it, and delivered a solution that promotes the interests of all segments of aviation.

So....maybe, just maybe Pete voted no because the bill supports fair collective bargaining and unions. But that's just my guess.

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