U.S. Pilots, Carriers Win House Fight Over Mail Carriage; Senate Next

An ALPA-backed amendment has made it less likely that foreign carriers will be able to carry U.S. mail in the future. On April 13, the House Government Reform Committee, during mark-up of postal service reform legislation (H.R. 22), approved ALPA's amendment to strike a provision from the bill that would have opened up the carriage of U.S. international mail to foreign airlines.

The amendment was offered by Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-Ohio) and was adopted by voice vote. It was overwhelmingly supported by both Republicans and Democrats on the Committee, despite the opposition of the Chairman, Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.), and the Ranking Democrat, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.).

ALPA's Government Affairs Department worked very closely with the affected carriers, as well as the other airline unions, to secure passage of the LaTourette amendment. According to the airlines, carriage of international mail is worth $500 million annually, with United being the largest recipient at $100 million.

Attention now shifts to the Senate, where its version of postal reform legislation (S.662) will be considered next Wednesday, April 20, by the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. An amendment to strike a similar provision will be offered by Senators George Voinovich (R-Ohio) and Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.).