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Workers confront John Mica in Houston
The Communications Workers of America are taking on the House Transportation Committee Chair, Rep. John Mica (R-FL), who is holding the Federal Aviation Administration hostage over an assault on union organizing rights. CWA launched MicaWatch to expose the real motives behind Mica's attempts to shutdown the FAA in order to make it impossible for workers at airlines to unionize. They are also targeting Mica and two dozen other members of Congress with robocalls and mailers into their districts that tell the truth about what Mica and his allies are doing.
The FAA currently is only authorized through September 16 and will again partially shutdown if a deal is not made before then. In July, the agency was shutdown as a part of this fight. The earlier shutdown cost taxpayers $400 million, delayed needed infrastructure projects and left thousands of workers without income while Mica and Delta played political games. Democrats are attempting a permanent reauthorization that has been blocked by Mica over union election rules. As Laura Clawson at Daily Kos noted:
They want to revert to an old system of counting votes in union representation elections, in which instead of counting the votes actually cast, even workers who didn't vote are counted—as having voted no, of course. Republicans are demanding this despite the fact that if congressional elections were held by this standard, there would be no one in the House of Representatives.
Mica admitted that the FAA shutdown was a "tool" to get the rules on union elections pushed through. Delta is the leading proponent of the rules changes and has lobbied Congress furiously to get them passed. In the 2010 cycle alone, Mica recieved $170,000 in contributions to his campaign and leadership PAC from the air transport industry.
The workers most affected by Mica's antics are covered by the Association of Flight Attendants, an affiliate of the CWA.
CWA has set up a petition to pressure Delta to do the right thing.