PASS Endorses Barack Obama for President

Union Representing FAA and DoD Employees Cites Senator's Commitment to

Aviation Safety and Workers' Rights as Key to Decision

Aug 21, 2008, 01:00 ET from Professional Aviation Safety Specialists (PASS), AFL-CIO

    WASHINGTON, Aug. 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Professional
 Aviation Safety Specialists, AFL-CIO (PASS), the union that represents over
 11,000 employees at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and
 Department of Defense (DoD), today announced its support for Sen. Barack
 Obama for president of the United States. With a focus on matters that
 impact union members and aviation safety, such as privatization of the
 aviation system and supporting the workers who keep the system safe, PASS's
 Executive Board decided that Sen. Obama displayed a record of commitment to
 the issues critical to the PASS membership.
     "After weighing the positions of the candidates on several important
 issues that affect the work life of PASS members, PASS is confident in its
 support of Sen. Obama," said PASS National President Tom Brantley. "Sen.
 Obama has proven himself to be a champion of aviation safety and workers'
 rights. FAA employees are in need of that type of support, and PASS
 believes that, as he has done in the past, Sen. Obama will continue to
 recognize the important work PASS members perform everyday to keep this
 country safe."
     "I'm honored to have the endorsement of the Professional Aviation
 Safety Specialists," said Sen. Obama. "With their support, I'm confident
 that in this election, we're going to bring about a new day for America's
 workers and the real change our working families need."
     In 2006, the senator led the fight to change the unfair contract
 negotiations process at the FAA by sponsoring legislation that would allow
 a neutral third party to determine the outcome of impasses. Negotiations
 over collective bargaining agreements for four PASS bargaining units have
 been at impasse for over five years. In the fifth bargaining unit,
 Technical Operations, it remains unclear when the negotiations process will
 begin again after over 98 percent of represented employees rejected the
 FAA's proposed agreement.
     "Ensuring a fair contract negotiations process at the FAA is imperative
 to retaining and recruiting the best employees to continue protecting this
 country's aviation system," said Brantley. "Sen. Obama has made his views
 on the broken process currently in place at the agency perfectly clear.
 Without a doubt, he will work to improve the process, which will in turn
 improve the overall morale of FAA employees."
     In addition, Sen. Obama has indicated a firm stance on privatization of
 air traffic control system functions, indicating on a survey issued by the
 Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO, that he would oppose legislation
 that would allow the transfer of these function to private interests. He is
 also a proponent of improving standards at foreign repair stations, an
 issue extremely important to PASS aviation safety inspectors, and recently
 cosponsored a bill, the Safe Air Act of 2008 (S. 3090), aimed at increasing
 and improving oversight of the critical maintenance work performed
     "There are a number of varied issues facing the aviation industry and
 its workforce today," said Brantley. "It is extremely significant that we
 have a president who understands these issues and the measures that must be
 taken in order to protect the safety of the system. We also need a leader
 who comprehends the value of the workforce and the rights of each employee.
 PASS is excited to endorse Sen. Obama for president, and we are ready to
 give him our support."
     PASS represents more than 11,000 employees of the Federal Aviation
 Administration and the Department of Defense who install, maintain, support
 and certify air traffic control and national defense equipment, inspect and
 oversee the commercial and general aviation industries, develop flight
 procedures, and perform quality analyses of the aviation systems For more
 information, visit the PASS website at
     CONTACT: Kori Blalock Keller of Professional Aviation Safety
 Specialists (PASS), AFL-CIO, +1-202-293-7277, +1-202-270-6908

SOURCE Professional Aviation Safety Specialists (PASS), AFL-CIO