Flight Attendant Union Commends Congress for Action to Protect U.S. Aviation

Washington, D.C. (December 10, 2014) –The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) applauds Congress for including language in the year-end funding bill (amendment to H.R. 83) that prohibits funding for new permits that are outside of the U.S. – EU Open Skies Agreement.

AFA mobilized together with frontline aviation workers and our airlines to encourage Congress to send a strong message to the Department of Transportation that Norwegian Air’s permit must be denied. Lawmakers expressed serious concern that the application violates the U.S. – EU Open Skies Agreement, labor law, and undercuts safety and security standards. Congressional action sends a strong signal. Now, it’s up to the DOT to finish the job and deny NAI’s application for a foreign air carrier permit. 

AFA International President Sara Nelson said this win wouldn’t have been possible without the unbeatable team of aviation workers, their uniform message, and their strength in numbers.

AFA believes that this win isn’t confined to international trade. This will have a direct impact at the bargaining table when it’s time to negotiate contracts. The real threat from Norwegian’s manipulation of international law was that it would trigger a race to the bottom, just like in the maritime industry.

“For all intents and purposes, this would have destroyed U.S. aviation and our jobs,” says Nelson. “U.S. Aviation is integral to our nation's economic interests, as well as our safety and security."

As AFA awaits the bill’s passage, Nelson encourages AFA members to remain vigilant, united and ready to act.

"There are sure to be more attacks like Norwegian's that seek to violate our laws, discount U.S. aviation workers, and cripple U.S. labor standards. That's why it's so important the U.S. DOT finishes the job to deny Norwegian's application for a foreign air carrier permit," Nelson stated. 

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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 67 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 60,000 Flight Attendants come together to form AFA, part of the 700,000-member strong Communications Workers of America (CWA), AFL-CIO. Visit us at www.afacwa.org.

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