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March 2nd, 2010

Funk: Union Surprised by Obama Power Grab – but we’re not.

funkBy Captain Dave Funk (Retired)
3rd District Republican Congressional Candidate

The Obama Administration has done nothing but accumulate power and seize entire blocks of private industries. Free market principals and yes, even labor- do not matter if they don’t assist Obama in his quest for total control of the economy and complete federal control of the means of production. Obama’s administration is fighting to take over healthcare – an enormous portion of our economy. He has forced the states to become financially dependent on the Federal Government through the state bailouts of 2009 and federally funded state mandates that eliminate future budget flexibility by the states. He has already seized control of a major portion of the automotive and banking industries. He has strived to seize power in these industries, so what would you expect Obama to do to the airline industry? Delta Airlines, now the world’s largest and US Airways are being set up for failure by not allowing them to succeed.

Very recently, I received a letter from my former union, the Delta Airlines Master Executive Council of the Air Line Pilots Association International. (I was a Northwest Boeing 757 Captain prior to my medical retirement and am now part of the larger Delta-Northwest merged airline). In this letter, Delta ALPA Chairman Lee Moak put forth his concerns with the Department of Transportation’s rejection of a proposed profitable takeoff and landing slot exchange that could have occurred between Delta and US Airways. The Department of Transportation instead, wanted to charge them for the deal by seizing many of the slots that would have been traded at Washington Reagan National and New York LaGuardia airports and then redistributing those slots to other airlines for the “greater good”, even though the other airlines have no actual right or claim to these slots.

Not only would the deal as originally proposed have benefitted Delta and US Airways, but it would have benefited airline customers also as capacity for these two airlines at LaGuardia would have increased 13% without any increased congestion. An additional benefit would have been more non-stop flights offered from both LaGuardia and Ronald Reagan Washington National airports to other cities.

We certainly hope the irony is not lost on Delta ALPA Chairman Moak as he responded to the Department of Transportation saying;

“We have the right to expect more from an administration that prides itself on being a friend of labor. We are not asking for special treatment. We are simply asking that our company be allowed to succeed in what is supposed to be a deregulated free market environment.”

Delta Chairman Moak and ALPA leadership supported candidate Obama and gave him the endorsement of the Air Line Pilots Association International even though the majority of members vote as Republicans and did not approve of the endorsement. Again, we ask, what did ALPA expect?

ALPA supported a Statist whose end goal is to have more power than anyone else. Labor doesn’t matter to Obama unless it helps aggregate power and he will throw labor under the bus, especially in instances when labor is fighting for free market principles.

ALPA asks for free market values that will make Delta and US Airways more profitable and allow them to improve their services. What they get is wealth redistribution via the Department of Transportation instead. ALPA should not be surprised that this action was taken by the President they supported. If ALPA wants free market principles in order to increase airline efficiency and profits, to allow its members to earn better wages and to become more successful personally, it’s ALPA’s responsibility to support candidates who support the free market.

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