A provision that would force the National Mediation Board (NMB) to revert back to antiquated voting rules for union elections is contained in the FAA reauthorization bill. Before a final vote takes place, this provision must be removed from the bill.
The old rule automatically assigned “no” votes to workers who were eligible to vote in an election but who did not participate. On July 1, 2010, the old undemocratic rule was changed so that now, the NMB counts all votes cast in a union election—no less and no more. Americans wouldn’t tolerate this kind of voting in presidential or congressional elections; why should we allow it in union elections?
To maintain our democratic voting rights, call your U.S. Representative today. The vote on this amendment will likely happen tomorrow, 3/31/11. Even if you’ve called previously, your Representative needs to hear from you again on this issue. Once connected simply say:
“Hello, my name is:__________ and I am a member of the Association of Flight Attendants from (your city of residence). I believe that fair and democratic elections are a fundamental right. Please tell the Representative to support the LaTourette Amendment to the FAA bill.”
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Union elections should be fair and conducted like all other elections in the country. Some more info…
AFA-CWA has long fought against the former federal rules that made it harder for workers in the transportation fields to win representation. For 75 years, individuals who did not cast a ballot were counted as “no” votes in representation elections. Last year, we saw a major victory. Now, the NMB (the federal agency governing labor relations in the airline and railroad industries) requires a simple majority of votes cast – the same procedure used in NLRB union elections and to elect Senators and Members of Congress.
In the FAA Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2011 (H.R. 658), a provision was included that would reverse this recent victory.
The opponents of the agency’s election procedure have systematically advanced baseless and erroneous claims meant to distract policy makers from the merits of the rule in an effort to undermine core democratic principles of basic workers’ rights.
All across our nation, union members in coalition with progressive activists are joining together in solidarity to fight the most egregious attack on workers’ rights in decades.
This is an historic moment for the labor movement, and we are under attack on all sides- including our recent victory for fair union elections for airline employees. It’s critical that we stand together with all middle class workers to push back against big corporations and billion-dollar campaign contributors.
Please take the time to call your Member of Congress, and ensure your pro-union voice is heard.