Friday, August 5, 2011

Unions vs. the Good Guys at Delta Airlines

The FAA was shut down because of a partisan dispute. The basic issue was supposed to be the Republican demand that the agency save $16 million by ceasing to subsidize 13 airports with relatively little demand. Yes, the airports were in Democratic strongholds.

NPR's Brian Naylor reported that the airports were a bargaining chip. The real issue was the threat that union power posed for Delta. The National Mediation Board rejected a practice that counted required a union to win more than half the eligible votes rather than half of the votes cast.

Delta, the only non-union airline, got the Republican bill to include language overturning the National Mediation Board decision. Since the House leadership refused to budge, the FAA shut down, leaving the government unable to collect $30 million per day in taxes. Patriotically, most of the airlines continued to collect the tax in the form of higher fares. However, these "job creators" kept the money so that they could help the economy. Besides, the government could make up the lost taxes with still more tax cuts.

This brings us back to Delta, which graciously agreed to refund the "taxes" that it collected. Hopefully, we will reward Delta for this good behavior by supporting the House repeal of the union election rule.


Alan said...

If a House member were required to win more than half the eligible votes, there would be no House members. A non-vote is not a No vote.

Hopefully we will repeal the term "gracious" when it is used to refer to a company shamed into doing the right thing.

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