More than 90,000 airport construction jobs are on the line because of the Republican shutdown over the Federal Aviation Administration. Not only are 4,000 FAA workers already out of their jobs, but because House Republicans refused to pass a funding authorization bill, money for airport improvements has dried up and construction workers at many airports have been sent home.
Here in Washington state, the FAA shutdown is costing more than 200 FAA jobs and more than 1,300 construction jobs, according to estimates prepared by the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure staff based on FAA data.
“The House Republicans’ blatant political theater is devastating not only to FAA aviation experts, but also to thousands of construction workers, who are already experiencing a 30% unemployment rate,” said Dave Johnson, Executive Secretary of the Washington State Building and Construction Trades Council. “More than 1,500 desperately needed jobs right here in Washington state are at stake. We need to call Congress and tell them to stop this destructive nonsense.”
TAKE A STAND! Click here to tell your members of Congress to stop the Republican hostage taking of more than 90,000 jobs and get the FAA up and running again.
Republicans grounded the FAA because they want to take away Democratic union elections for of aviation and rail workers. Congress could have passed temporary spending authority for the FAA, as it has 20 times in the past without controversy. But like their tactics on debt ceiling negotiations, Republicans are demanding their way at any cost.
Not only is the FAA shutdown costing jobs, but it’s costing the federal government $200 million a week in uncollected airline ticket fees. That lost revenue is added to the national debt Republicans claim they are so concerned about. On top of that, instead of reducing ticket prices, the airlines are pocketing the fees. Writes Laura Clawson at Daily Kos Labor:
It’s like the Republican dream: Not only is the government not collecting revenue, that same revenue is going straight to corporations, for no reason. Why would they ever agree to end this shutdown?
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka says House Republicans are undertaking this extraordinary disruption of the operations of the FAA for one reason — to play to a political ideology focused on scapegoating workers: “Instead of laying off the people responsible for safe, secure aviation, our elected leaders ought to be building a high wage, high skill economy where our middle class is strong and America thrives.”
Click here to tell your members of Congress to get the FAA back to work without gutting workers’ rights to democratic elections.