Talking Points Memo: White House Threatens To Veto Key Legislation Over Union Busting Provision

March 30, 2011- 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."

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.

There's a bit of wiggle room in there. When the White House announced its opposition to the House's six-month spending plan, for instance, it was with a direct assertion that President Obama would veto it. But it's a strong statement nonetheless.


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