WASHINGTON – The Communications Workers of America union has launched a series of radio ads to pressure first-term Republican Rep. Chip Cravaack to break ranks with the GOP and oppose several union-related provisions to a bill reauthorizing the Federal Aviation Administration’s work.
The FAA bill has been held up in Congress because House Republicans want the measure to include new rules on union elections that would count non-participating voters as “no” votes. The Democratic-controlled Senate opposes that change to the union election rules.
The CWA ads blame Cravaack, along with fellow freshman Republican Sean Duffy, who represents a neighboring district in Wisconsin, for the standoff and say the pair are “weighing down this important bill with an unrelated, controversial provision.”
Before coming to Congress, Cravaack worked as a pilot for Northwest Airlines and was a union steward who took part in labor negotiations. In his year in office, Cravaack has occasionally voted for some union-backed provisions and outreach to union voters will likely be a major component of his re-election campaign this fall.
MPR News contacted Cravaack’s office for a comment about the ads but has not yet received a response.
Here’s Cravaack’s response to the ads:
“This labor provision should not hold up a long-term funding bill that American workers desperately need. We’re going to have to find middle ground to get this done. It’s unfortunate that a long-term funding bill that will create jobs and give workers some certainly in their family budgets has been held hostage by special interests. I urge the CWA to give Senate leaders permission to negotiate a compromise for the sake of American workers and families.”