Norwegian US-based Flight Attendants Vote for Representation

WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 10, 2016) — The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) congratulates the Norwegian Air Shuttle Flight Attendants for electing the Norwegian Cabin Crew Association (NCCA) as their union representative today in an election conducted by the National Mediation Board (NMB).  

This victory is the culmination of a year-long struggle by the Flight Attendants, with support from AFA, against Norwegian’s efforts to deny them the right to even vote on union representation.

“We congratulate the flight attendants on their vote to gain union representation in the U.S. Any opportunity for flight attendants to gain collective bargaining rights has our support,” said Sara Nelson, international president of AFA. “Norwegian’s attempt to evade its legal obligations in the US is further evidence that it will stop at nothing to avoid U.S. and E.U. labor laws that allow workers to negotiate contracts for good jobs.

Norwegian’s attempted to thwart a vote by arguing that it was not the Flight Attendants’ employer.  The company alleged that a hiring and training vendor was the employer, and therefore there was no basis to hold a representation election. They were wrong.

With the assistance of AFA’s attorneys, NCCA successfully argued that NAS was the employer.  As a result, the NMB ruled that NAS and its vendor were joint employers and therefore subject to the NMB’s election jurisdiction.  

“This landmark decision established that anti-union employers like Norwegian cannot create phony corporate shells to deny employees’ their legal right to vote for union representation,” Nelson added.

This case also serves as a reminder that Norwegian can already operate flights to and from the U.S. under it’s current foreign air carrier permit.

“We look forward to working closely with the Flight Attendants to ensure their victory will be a springboard to bring them the pay and benefits AFA has negotiated for its members around the world,” Nelson concluded.


The Association of Flight Attendants is the world’s largest Flight Attendant union. Focused 100 percent on Flight Attendant issues, AFA has been the leader in advancing the Flight Attendant profession for 70 years. Serving as the voice for Flight Attendants in the workplace, in the aviation industry, in the media and on Capitol Hill, AFA has transformed the Flight Attendant profession by raising wages, benefits and working conditions. Nearly 50,000 Flight Attendants come together to form AFA, part of the 700,000-member strong Communications Workers of America (CWA), AFL-CIO. Visit us at

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