On January 20, the House and Senate reached a deal for the twenty-third extension of the FAA reauthorization bill, which will expire on February 17th. This year House Republicans have held up passage of the bill by demanding unrelated labor provisions be included in the bill.
The proposed Railway Labor Act changes would drastically rewrite a statute that was crafted through labor-management cooperation and has not been changed for over 75 years without the agreement of both employer and employee representatives. Airline and rail workers would suffer significant losses as contracts are jettisoned, collective bargaining rights are cut and legal hurdles will be placed in the way of gaining a voice at work.
Nineteen unions, representing nearly five million workers, issued a statement yesterday to call on Congress to pass a clean FAA reauthorization bill without the unrelated labor provision that would obliterate the Railway Labor Act and unilaterally change the law without labor’s input and without due deliberation - unraveling the statute’s carefully balanced goals of labor stability and uninterrupted commerce.