U.S. and EU Aviation Workers Double-Crossed by DOT NAI Decision

Washington, D.C. (December 2, 2016) — The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) condemns the decision by the U.S. Department of Transportation approving a foreign air carrier permit for Norwegian Air International's (NAI) flag-of-convenience airline. The decision fails to acknowledge the labor protections of the U.S.-EU Open Skies Agreement and sets a precedent that risks hundreds of thousands of U.S. aviation jobs. AFA International President Sara Nelson issued a statement:

“This decision must be reversed immediately by the Obama administration. It is a betrayal to hundreds of thousands of aviation workers. The DOT decision overrides carefully negotiated worker rights and designs a new playbook that rolls out the red carpet for foreign corporations by trampling workers’ rights. This decision puts a rubber stamp of approval on the ‘flag of convenience model’ that destroyed over a hundred thousand U.S. shipping jobs.

“The U.S.-EU Open Skies agreement contains the only labor provision in all 120 Open Skies agreements. Labor provisions in trade agreements apparently mean nothing to this administration.

“Aviation was born in the U.S. and built faithfully by the workers who make our airlines fly. Flight Attendants, Pilots, Mechanics, Ramp Service, Agents and thousands of workers who support aviation have fought hard for good U.S. jobs, the highest standards of aviation safety and security, the critical service to each of our small communities and the networks that allow the United States direct connection to the rest of the world. We have sacrificed and our families have been hurt to keep our airlines flying and our nation in business. These are the people the administration is double-crossing.

“Congress must be prepared to act next week. President Obama must reverse this harmful decision and stand up for working people all across the country. We will not accept this. We will act. We will never stop. We will never accept abrogation of our rights.”


The Association of Flight Attendants is the Flight Attendant union. Focused 100 percent on Flight Attendant issues, AFA has been the leader in advancing the Flight Attendant profession for 71 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 www.afacwa.org.

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