Tue, Jan 27, 2009
Former Union Chief Vs. Senator's Aide
The two unions which represent the
bulk of the FAA work force have spent the last few years at war
with the Bush administration. Suddenly, two candidates for the job
of FAA Administrator under President Obama appear to be putting
improved labor relations at the focus of their campaigns for the
The Washington Post reports Robert T. Herbert, an aide to Senate
Majority Leader Harry Reid, appears to be making headway against
Duane Woerth, a former president of the Air Line Pilots
As ANN reported, Woerth's name was bandied as
a possibility for the job within days of Obama being elected
as the 44th President of the United States. Woerth's obvious
union credentials put him in the early lead, and he got the
endorsement of the AFL-CIO.
However, Herbert recently earned a letter of support from Reid
last month, and was able to meet with incoming Transportation
Secretary Ray LaHood the very day the Senate confirmed his
nomination. Under Reid, Herbert served as senior policy adviser on
transportation, military and veterans affairs.
The Post reports at least one aviation union has decided it
could be happy with either candidate, and won't fight for Woerth
over Herbert. Both men have accomplished aviation backgrounds, and
are reportedly widely viewed by lawmakers as qualified for the job
of FAA Administrator.
Secretary LaHood told Senators during his confirmation hearing
that he would prioritize ending the FAA's pay and work-rule fights
with the National Air Traffic Controllers Association and the
Professional Aviation Safety Specialists.
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