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Congress Confirms the U.S. Airline Industry is Not for Sale

Date: June 14, 2006

Our Union is powerful when we work together as proven by today’s results.  The rest of the labor movement stood in awe with our organization, quick response and ability to achieve results.  We achieved a huge victory for the protection of our jobs today, but the issue of foreign ownership is not yet buried.  It’s important that we understand what this victory means and what we have yet to accomplish.

The House amendment language overwhelmingly approved today prohibits the Department of Transportation from spending any money to implement or enforce the Bush Administration’s rules change allowing foreign control of U.S. airlines.  For this language to become law, it must pass both the House and Senate with the exact same language and get through a conference committee.

We must now make sure that the Senate version of the Transportation Appropriations bill contains the same language.  When the Senate takes up work on this bill we will again call on each of you to support efforts to achieve the same language.  Once that is completed, we will make sure that the language does not get eliminated in a conference committee, as it was in another bill last week.

While all of this legislative process plays out, the White House could attempt to move forward with its plan, but that’s highly unlikely with the overwhelming two-thirds majority we achieved today in the House of Representatives.  A simple majority is a strong statement, but a two-thirds veto proof majority can’t be ignored.  Congress heard us loud and clear today and we not only won, we defeated the special interests competition.  Throughout the day as members of Congress were trying to decide how to vote, our Government Affairs Committee heard that it was your phone calls that helped sway them to do the right thing.  Democracy works when the people refuse to be ignored, and democracy worked today.

In Solidarity,

Greg Davidowitch, President
United Master Executive Council

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