Another Tea Bagger effort at Union busting has led to the shutdown…
Dispute over FAA halts more than 250 airport projects
The partial shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration has halted more than 250 aviation development projects and caused thousands of construction workers to lose their jobs, the FAA and the construction industry say.
The projects, which were valued at $10.5 billion when they began, include radar systems to prevent runway and taxiway collisions at airports, installation of runway safety lights and construction of air-traffic control towers and facilities.
About 24,000 construction workers — in an industry already hit hard by the recession — have lost work or their jobs because of the projects’ suspension, says Brian Turmail, a spokesman for the Associated General Contractors of America. The trade group says the construction industry’s unemployment rate was 16% in June when jobs totaled 5.5 million — 2.2 million less than the industry’s all-time high in April 2006.
The halt of aviation development projects also jeopardizes 46,000 other jobs in businesses related to construction, the group says.
The FAA’s partial shutdown is a result of an FAA funding standoff between the House and Senate, and their inability to reach an agreement to re-authorize the agency’s operations.
The dispute has also led to furloughs of nearly 4,000 FAA employees and threatens to cost the government more than $1 billion in revenue from uncollected airline ticket taxes if Congress doesn’t solve the problem until lawmakers return to Washington in September.
President Obama urged Congress to extend the FAA’s operating authority. The standoff involves House Republicans’ efforts to change an airline labor rule to make it more difficult for employees to unionize and proposed cuts of $16.5 million in airline service subsidies to rural communities. Senate Democrats oppose both.