White House threatens to veto FAA bill to shield unions 

President Obama has threatened to veto the FAA funding bill to protect a rule his administration passed last year that makes it easier for airline and railroad workers to unionize.

Back in May of last year, the National Mediation Board issued a new rule (PDF) that allowed a simple majority of votes cast to determine unionization in those industries, reversing a rule that stood for 75 years that had required the support of a majority of all workers. The FAA bill, up for a vote in the House of Representatives perhaps this week, includes a provision that would overturn the rule, but in a statement released Wednesday night, the White House said Obama would veto any bill that included the measure, underlining for emphasis:
If the President is presented with a bill that would not safeguard the ability of railroad and airline workers to decide whether or not they would be represented by a union based upon a majority of the ballots cast in an election or that would degrade safe and efficient air traffic, his senior advisers would recommend that he veto the bill.  The Administration wishes to address these and other concerns as FAA reauthorization legislation moves through the legislative process.
Vetoing the legislation would have serious consequences, because the FAA bill's passage is necessary to keep it operating. Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Ga., said in a conference call earlier that any final bill must include the provision that would restore pre-Obama union organizing rules. More on Gingrey's comments, and the broader issue, here.

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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