Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Thom Hartmann: Why does a routine FAA spending bill include harsh anti-union language, making it harder for transportation workers to organize?

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The Republican strategy on Capitol Hill of legislating through hostage taking worked yesterday - and now unions are screwed. House Republicans demanded that a routine FAA spending bill include harsh anti-union language that makes it harder for transportation workers to organize. The change raises the threshold for seeking a union from 35% to 50% for transportation workers - and Republican basically said if Democrats don't agree to it then they'll shut down the FAA again - just like they did last year.
Yesterday - despite 19 labor organizations writing a letter to Democrats calling on them to oppose the bill - Democrats caved. A majority of Senate Democrats helped pass the bill and new anti-union law for transportation workers by a 75-20 vote. As a letter from the Communication Workers of America read, "Rewarding the House Republican Leadership's desire to rewrite decades of long standing labor law in a flash by inserting an unrelated and controversial labor provision...sets an extremely dangerous precedent."
Indeed it does - unfortunately - it's been all too common in this 112th Congress - paid for by over $300 million dollars in corporate spending.
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