United MEC Government Affairs Committee Update

Date: June 1, 2012
Type: Report


Presidential Race

This election will present America’s working families with critically important choices. Eligible U.S. voters will be electing a President, all 435 members to the U.S. House of Representatives, 33 U.S. Senators (one third of the U.S. Senate is elected every two years) and State and Local officials. No choice will be more important than who will serve as President of the United States.

Union voters and their families will be voting to preserve our voice at work and our collective bargaining rights. The presidential race will be decided in a few key states. The 2012 Battleground States where Union household voters can make a difference are: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

Senate Races

Like the presidential race, the balance of power in the Senate will be decided in a few key states that have important Senate races. These states include: Hawaii, Florida, Virginia, Nevada, Massachusetts, Maine, Wisconsin, Missouri, Michigan, Ohio and New Mexico.

House Races

While it is difficult to focus on all 435 seats in the House of Representatives, several key races have been identified as likely to switch parties. There are several key Districts where AFA Members’ votes could make a difference. These Districts will be highlighted in future reports.

Voters’ Rights

The right to vote is a cornerstone of our country’s democracy. Ordinary women and men fought to gain voting rights and protect our right to vote without obstruction or intimidation. Those rights are now being threatened across the country as states pass restrictive voter ID and voter suppression laws.

AFA is working in coalition with the AFL-CIO, other labor Unions and community –based organizations to push back against these coordinated efforts to disenfranchise voters.


In May, the National Mediation Board (NMB) announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in response to the changes made to the Railway Labor Act in the recently passed Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Modernization and Reform Act of 2012. The Rulemaking addresses changes to existing regulations pertaining to run-off elections, showing of interest for representation elections and the NMB’s rulemaking proceedings.

The NMB held an open public hearing on June 19, for interested parties to share their views on the proposed rule changes. AFA testified that the new showing of interest standard, which was raised from 35% to 50%, was clearly not intended to apply in mergers involving previously certified Unions. The legislative history of the amendment, as well as the text of the law, supports the conclusion that Congress did not intend for the new standard to apply in merger cases.

AFA, along with the other transportation Unions testifying at the hearing, urged the NMB to include its current merger procedures in their formal regulations to provide consistency in this process.


Stan Kiino, Council 11 Council Representative and Government Affairs Committee Member was honored in a ceremony at the California State Capitol for his support and fight to obtain domestic partner benefits in California. Stan fought for domestic partner benefits by campaigning with other Unions, grassroots organizations and city officials. Stan’s award was presented by California Assemblyman Rich Gordon, who is Chair of the California Legislative Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LBGT) Caucus.

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