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Rep. Chu takes Stand for Working Families, Labor Rights

April 4, 2011
Press Release

(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Rep. Judy Chu (CA-32) today took a stand for working families and labor rights, voting against job killing cuts to the aviation industry, and in favor of an amendment ensuring rail and airline unions have the right to fair elections. 

“From Wisconsin, to Ohio, to the Floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, the Republican Party seems intent on eliminating the middle class, and denying workers their rights,” said Chu. “The leadership in the House pushed through a bill that denies fair elections for union members, and destroys 70,000 jobs. Americans need Congress working to create jobs and protect workers, not lengthening unemployment lines.”

H.R. 658, the FAA Reauthorization and Reform Act, includes $4 billion in cuts that will have dire consequences for our nation’s infrastructure, jobs, and economy. The bill would cut the Airport Improvement Program grants for runway maintenance and safety enhancements by almost $2 billion, costing the U.S. 70,000 jobs.

The bill’s Senate counterpart passed with a bipartisan majority and adds tens of thousands of jobs.

Extending the assault on American workers, collective bargaining, and the middle class to workers in the aviation and railroad sectors, the bill overturns a rule for union elections which calls for a majority of votes cast to win, as in other elections.

Republican Rep. Steve LaTourette offered an amendment to strike the undemocratic provision from the bill. Chu voted in favor of this bipartisan amendment protecting collective bargaining, however it did not pass.

“There is absolutely no reason to deny union works their right to fairly and democratically elect their representatives. The failure of this amendment represents nothing more than the Republican majority’s continued assault on middle-class working families,” said Chu.