Republicans Shut Down The FAA


Republicans clearly have developed a taste for brinksmanship negotiations, taking yet another prisoner, the Federal Aviation Administration.  The agency has been partially shut down since July 23 and will likely continue through at least Labor Day.
At least 4000 agency employees are now out of work while airport safety inspectors continue to work without pay and tens of thousands of construction workers who had been working on airport projects now sit idle.

To add insult to injury those airport inspectors working without pay have been asked to charge their government travel expenses to their personal credit cards to keep airports operating safely.

Welcome to America, Tea Party style.

Like every battle with the Republicans, the fight over the FAA is a proxy battle.  Republicans claim the impasse is because of a dispute over funding of rural commercial air subsidies.  But the real battle is about union-busting.

Republicans are unhappy about a new regulation, instituted by the National Mediation Board that requires an employee vote on labor representation be approved by a majority of those voting.  The previous rule required a majority of all affected employees, meaning that if an employee failed to vote that vote was counted as a “no.”

Democrats charge that Republicans are trying to reverse the rule to benefit carriers like Delta who fought against union representation for their workers.

Meanwhile, Congress is set to leave town on recess, leaving thousands of workers either out of work or taking on debt so that they can continue to work without pay.  Wonder how many of those members of Congress offered to give up their salary during recess in solidarity with these federal employees?

Photo from puddy_uk via flickr.


Suze O.
Suze Q6 years ago

Thanks Joan G, you are right on the mark. I love the spin on the article by this author. I also love the way the tea party and conservatives are being spit on.........

Chris Ray
Chris R6 years ago

Thanks Jessica!~

joan g.
.6 years ago



Michael A.
Michael A.6 years ago

Christopher M:

I didn't know the Tea Baggers wanted to shut down the FAA, but that's hardly surprising. Let the market forces determine what airline you chose. I would guess that people would pick the airline with the fewest number of crashes.

And I'm tired of hearing the Tea Baggers talk about the free market. In a free market, no company gets a subsidy and you actually have free trade. There's nothing "free" about our trade with China. China manipulates their currency so that Chinese goods are cheap in the US, but US goods are expensive in China. And most politicians in both parties don't lift a finger to enforce our trade agreement. Our politicians get enough money from US corporations to look the other way. And the craziest thing about all this is that US corporation actually get subidies to help them relocate to China. I guess that isn't all that surprising. During the eight years of the moron we had for a previous president, US corporations were actually writing much of the tax code.

christopher murray

The GOP wants to shut down the FAA (some tea party members have called it unneeded and a fiscal black hole) the EPA, and are calling for the retirement age to be raise to 72-75 years of age. The antion is screwed with this people calling the shots.

Thomas A.
Thomas A6 years ago

Oh, and Paul, there is no such thing as a secret ballot. The votes are confidential, which is a basic right and critical for a Democracy, but the voting takes place in the main auditorium, where everyone, employees, managers and the public are free to roam. The agreements are made public for the membership to read several weeks before the scheduled vote. The process is clean, open and fair - something that cannot be said about our political system.

Thomas A.
Thomas A6 years ago

Paul: where do you get your information from?

As a Federal employee, I am represented by the Union, and I am bound to the collective bargaining agreements agreed upon and signed by the Union and Management. No matter what. It doesn't matter if I pay dues or not - dues are optional, but I am represented and protected nonetheless.

Only dues-paying members like myself are allowed to vote to approve or disapprove a collective bargaining agreement between the Union and Management. And, passage or failure only requires a simple majority of those who vote. Joining is very easy, so nobody is left out except by their own choice to be freeloaders by not contributing. And the dues are not burdensome, either: $7 per biweekly paycheck. It might be different with other Federal Employee Unions, I do not know.

And, furthermore, what does a debate over union rights have to do with leaving over 74,000 without a paycheck?!? 70,000 are the construction workers that cannot continue the construction projects because there is no money. They are all private construction firms and have absolutely nothing to do with the FAA employee union. They are sitting at home with no pay right now. Out of the remaining 4,000 furloughed employees, only some are actually FAA employees. The rest are employed by the private sector contractor, Lockheed-Martin, and are not represented by any union.

The Republicans are selfish and ignorant, and they have proven it yet again.

Thomas A.
Thomas A6 years ago

Monica: are you exposing the gop's ignorance, or do you actually agree with that steaming pile of crap? Clarification would be appreciated.

Patrick F.
Patrick f6 years ago

First Minnesota and now the FAA. What is next for the Repuglitans to screw up? Eventually, it will be America.

Lynne B.
Lynne Buckley6 years ago

Republicans= morons.4,000 people made unemployed because of their posturing. Sigh. Anyone who can afford to vote for them is putting the future of the country on a bonfire and lighting it.