Anti-union forces are using every angle they can find in their attempts to weaken the labor movement—even counting votes that don’t exist.
This week, Rep. John Mica (R-FL) quietly slipped an amendment into a routine Federal Aviation Administration bill that would turn back the clock on union rights. Mica’s amendment would count any railroad or airline worker who doesn’t cast a vote in a union representation election as a “no” vote. Mica is chairman of the committee with jurisdiction over the FAA.
It’s a bit like declaring that all the eligible voters who don’t show up to the polls on Election Day count as Republican votes.
It may astonish you, but that’s how it worked for many years when railroad and airline workers voted on whether they should be represented by a union. That ended last year when the National Mediation Board sensibly changed the rules so that a simple majority of workers who cast votes would prevail. Mica wants to overturn that decision and stack the deck against unions again.
“I expect this is only the beginning,” said Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), chairman of the Senate’s labor committee and opponent of Mica’s provision. “I think we’ll see a lot of amendments this year—probably on every bill we consider—that will chip away at the basic rights and protections that help middle-class working families get by.”
The House is expected to vote on the bill today, and it could strip Mica’s amendment from the bill before passing it. The AFL-CIO is calling on union members to contact Congress now to oppose this measure.
The White House said yesterday that Obama would veto the bill if it passed with the anti-union provision.
source: NALC Activist Alert!