NRTW Opposes Air Traffic Control Union Empowerment Act

2016-HR-4441-Oppose-the-House-Aviation-Bill_PageDATE: April 28, 2016

RE: Air Traffic Control Union Empowerment Act (H.R. 4441)


Dear Members of Congress:

On behalf of the over 2.8 million members of the National Right to Work Committee, I urge you to oppose the so-called Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization Act of 2016 (H.R. 4441).

This bill amounts to little more than a sweeping new power grab by Big Labor over our air traffic control system and personnel, under the guise of a bogus “privatization” scheme.

  • The union will be given seats on the Board of Directors, effectively positioning it on BOTH sides of the bargaining table.
  • H.R. 4441 calls for binding arbitration, so final decisions on union contracts rest not with the taxpayers’ representatives, but with supposedly neutral arbitration boards which are routinely stacked with Big Labor sympathizers.
  • This bill would require the federal government to finance the deduction of union dues from the paychecks of all ATC employees. It is an outrage to set up the government to become a collection agency for Big Labor.
  • The union would retain absurd federal privileges such as “official time” but would be free of federal restrictions like the prohibition on strikes.

History has proven that union officials are willing to use any tactic necessary to expand their power — even in cases when it means putting safety in the air at risk.

The monopoly bargaining system was developed for the private sector. As destructive as that model is in the private sector, it’s even more dangerous when exercised by government union officials.

And make no mistake, the false veneer of “privatization” outlined in H.R. 4441 does nothing to change the fundamentally public nature of this agency and its operations.

As Forbes magazine noted, “Precisely because of the obvious potential for abuse, even labor union advocates like AFL-CIO president George Meany and Franklin D. Roosevelt viewed unionization of the public sector as unthinkable.”

In the interest of freedom and workers’ rights, sound public policy and basic fairness, I urge you to oppose the grossly misnamed Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization Act of 2016 (H.R. 4441).


Greg Mourad

Vice President