Flight Attendant Union Urges Congress to Pass Vital FAA Reauthorization Bill
July 21, 2011
Washington, DC - The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) today urged Capitol Hill lawmakers to act on a long overdue Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill before it expires on Friday, July 22. After numerous extensions that have delayed critical funding and vital programs for aviation, Republican lawmakers added a provision that attacks workers' democratic rights. The labor provision is holding up critical infrastructure maintenance and safety provisions as these lawmakers have been unwilling to negotiate on a comprehensive reauthorization without the undemocratic provision.
"Funding the FAA means funding safe air travel for millions of passengers each day. Holding up this essential legislation in order to rob aviation workers of democracy and fair elections is shameful," said Veda Shook, AFA International President. "Under the worker representation election rules that Republican lawmakers are attempting to make law, none of the lawmakers themselves would have garnered enough votes to take office. This is a disgusting double standard and a pathetic attempt to punish the workers who have dedicated their careers to building a safe and secure air transport system."
The FAA reauthorization bill provides funding to maintain the safety of civil aviation. The current FAA reauthorization bill has been extended 21 times over the past three years. These short term extensions make it difficult for the FAA to begin crucial long-term improvements such as upgrading the current air traffic control system. If the current extension fails to pass, the FAA would be forced to shut down which would have devastating effects for air travel.
"Failing to fund our nation's transportation system is tragically shortsighted and irresponsible. It is time to end the assault on workers and move forward on this important bill," said Shook.
For a recent report on how, if congressional and Senate elections were conducted under the proposed standards for aviation workers, zero current Member of Congress would have won their last election, click here.
The Association of Flight Attendants is the world's largest Flight Attendant union. Focused 100 percent on Flight Attendant issues, AFA has been the leader in advancing the Flight Attendant profession for over 65 years. Serving as the voice for Flight Attendants in the workplace, in the aviation industry, in the media and on Capitol Hill, AFA has transformed the Flight Attendant profession by raising wages, benefits and working conditions. Nearly 60,000 Flight Attendants at 23 airlines come together to form AFA, part of the 700,000-member strong Communications Workers of America (CWA), AFL-CIO. Visit us at www.afacwa.org.