White House Threatens Veto If GOP Passes Union-Busting Provision Today

March 31, 2011 2:31 pm ET — Alan Pyke

While Rep. John Mica (R-FL) is pledging to his chief financial backers that a union-busting provision tucked into the bill reauthorizing the Federal Aviation Administration will still be there after today's votes on the measure, the White House is suggesting President Obama would break out his veto pen to protect workers' rights. Brian Beutler reports:

The White House has threatened to veto the big FAA authorization bill if its final version contains an anti-union provision that would make it harder for aviation and rail workers to organize.

That measure, described at length here and here, "would undermine a fundamental principle of fairness in union representation elections - that outcomes should be determined by a majority of the valid ballots cast," according to a statement of administration policy the White House released Wednesday night. "By treating non-votes as 'no' votes, the provision would prohibit workers in the airline and railroad industries from voting whether to join a union on the same basis - majority rule - as most other industries."

The Communication Workers of America have pointed out that Mica's rule is absurd on its face: given the low participation rate across our democracy, no member of Congress would ever be elected to anything if these rules were applied to elections in general.

Mica's motives are clear — FedEx has given him bunches of money, and FedEx wants to keep their workers from organizing. It just remains to be seen how many Republicans will side with him when the House moves the FAA reauthorization today.

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