This is only the warm-up of things to come. From mcjoan of Dkos: The House will vote on the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization and the provision in it which would essentially codify vote fraud in organizing elections. A
March 28, 2011

This is only the warm-up of things to come.

From mcjoan of Dkos:

The House will vote on the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization and the provision in it which would essentially codify vote fraud in organizing elections.

A recap: last year the the National Mediation Board that oversees those elections ruled that the railroad and airline industries would have to end their practice of counting non-votes in these elections as no votes. Previously, any eligible worker who chose not to vote was automatically counted as a no. Which would be fraud in any other election in the United State. The industries, and most House Republicans, want the rule back.

Fast forward. The anti-union push is building, in part fueled by one particular airline's zeal to kill fairness in the workplace.

I'm at the point that I will never fly Delta again. I think you should consider it too. Air travel is no day in the park and many people want to book a flight and be done with it, but there comes a time when even if it causes us more inconvenience, we have to do the right thing.


In the next several days, the state-level fight between Democrats and Republicans over unions will go federal. House Republicans want to re-establish old rules which say that when aviation or rail workers don't vote in unionization elections, they're treated as having voted against unionization. And now on of the nation's largest airlines is getting involved in the fight.
The push is reflected in language in the House's FAA re-authorization bill. In an earlier stage of the legislative fight, Democrats, joined by a few Republicans, nearly succeeded in getting the provision stripped. Now, sources say, a similar fight is likely to play out on the House floor, and anti-union employees at Delta Airlines are preparing to fly to Washington to join the fight.

In a message to its members obtained by TPM, the group "No Way AFA" -- a coalition of Delta employees who want to deliberalize union rights -- frames the fight this way. (AFA is the Association of Flight Attendants, the flight attendants union.)

"Title IX of the House FAA Reauthorization bill repeals the National Mediation Board's 2010 elections rule change, which permits a minority of employees at airlines and railroads to determine whether or not the majority will be represented by unions," the message reads. "[I]t is anticipated that an amendment will be offered on the House floor to strike these provisions from the bill and allow the NMB's modified rule to stay in place." According to the note, "Delta strongly supports the bill" as currently written.

Members are encouraged to participate in a fly-in to Washington, D.C., to lobby their congressmen, for which "positive space travel" -- free travel for airline employees -- is permitted. A Delta spokesperson said No Way AFA operates separately from the company itself, but that the company "allow[s] employees to travel positive space to D.C. when supporting legislative efforts that the company supports."

By contrast, Delta policy requires employees to fly standby for leisure and personal travel, suggesting that the "positive space" standard for the fly-in could squeeze out seating space for regular travelers.

How many times have you been booked on a flight only to hear these dreaded words while waiting to board the plane? "This flight is over-booked." In this case your seats are probably going to anti-union Delta workers. If we apply the standard that these union busters want to use, namely that if you, as a worker fail to vote, it now counts as a "no" then Rep's like Rep. Mica would not have been elected.

Brian Beutler explains:

Under the current system, a simple majority of those voting wins, just like in, say, the House of Representatives. If Republicans get their way, those rules will change, and workers who don't vote will be tallied as having voted "no."

To illustrate the unfairness of that structure, the Communication Workers of America will circulate a new report on the Hill Monday, making the point that none of the recently-elected members of Congress would have won if their constituents who didn't vote at all had been counted as votes against them.

"[L]et's take a look at what would happen to Rep. John Mica (R-FL), the Chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the lead driver behind the insertion of the NMB elections provision into the larger FAA Reauthorization bill," their report reads.

Rep. Mica received support from 69% of the voters in his district who cast a ballot in his successful 2010 re-election campaign, amounting to slightly over 185,000 actual votes tallied for him.

However, if you add the over 83,000 voters who voted against Rep. Mica to 312,000 eligible voters who did not participate, then Rep. Mica would only muster 32% of the overall total - falling far short of the majority needed for election. Rep. Mica would lose handily to the 68% of "voters" who chose his opponent or were non-participating voters whose absence was counted as a vote for the alternative.

This is a cute way to look at the debate, but it's also the way several Republicans see things.

We are in a long battle that's not going to end until Tea Party and extreme right-wing legislators are voted out of office. Wisconsin was only the beginning. I know propaganda plays a huge part in the uninformed stances taken by many American voters who are too busy to pay attention like we do, but with every vote they only secure the destruction of their own future.

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