FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Michael Buckley
White House Plan Threatens National Security, Jobs
Washington, DC –Saying that “in a post 9/11 world, it is simply irresponsible to allow foreign interests to control key components of our transportation system,” transportation labor leaders today urged Congress to stop the Bush administration’s proposal to allow foreign interests to control U.S. airlines.
In a policy statement adopted at its biannual meeting, the Executive Committee of the AFL-CIO’s Transportation Trades Department (TTD) said the proposal, “has significant security implications, would weaken the aviation industry, threaten jobs, is contrary to the plain meaning of the statute, and was drafted without any congressional input.”
TTD said that the plan, if implemented would threaten the Civil Reserve Air Fleet program which transports U.S. troops and equipment in times of war and conflict; would make it difficult to definitively ascertain who controls an airline; and would exacerbate the growing trend of outsourcing aircraft maintenance and staffing. The statement noted that the Bush administration is already three years delinquent on meeting congressional mandates to tighten the safety and security of the 54 percent of U.S. aircraft repairs which are contracted out to third-party facilities, many of which are overseas.
The Bush administration is advancing these radical changes to facilitate a new aviation services treaty with the European Union. TTD leaders stated that, “the Administration is on the verge of completing yet another bad trade deal at the expense of the aviation industry and its workers, and our national and economic security.”
“Giving away another vital U.S. industry to foreign interests is one more example of globalization run amok,” said TTD President Edward Wytkind.
The transportation labor group unanimously endorsed bipartisan legislation (H.R. 4542 and S. 2135) which would prevent the Administration from implementing this plan for one year and require the congressional oversight which the Administration is currently trying to circumvent. The House bill has 162 cosponsors, and the House Appropriations Committee recently went on record voicing its “serious concern” with the proposal and directing the Administration to not move forward for 120 days.
Please visit www.ttd.org for a copy of the full statement.
TTD represents 30 member unions in the rail, aviation, transit, highway, longshore, maritime and related industries. For more information, visit www.ttd.org.