FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Senate Bill Would Assure Congressional Oversight, Study of Impact on Workers, National Security
Washington, D.C. – The following statement was issued today by Edward Wytkind, president of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), on the introduction of Senate legislation to suspend a Bush administration plan to permit foreign interests to control U.S. airlines:
“The Senate bill recently introduced by Senator Daniel Inouye, the top Democrat on the Senate Commerce Committee, is yet another sign of mounting congressional concern over the sweeping impact of a Bush administration plan allowing foreign interests to gain control over U.S. airlines. Senators have now joined some 100 Members of the House in calling for a more deliberate process in assessing what changes in airline foreign ownership and control rules, if any, are warranted.
“The Bush administration inexplicably caved to European Union (EU) demands in the rush to strike a deal on a new US-EU aviation services pact. Opening and expanding new markets is an objective we have long supported, but airline workers deserve far better than to see their government treat American jobs as collateral that can be traded away to foreign governments.
“In pushing this hastily conceived proposal, the Bush administration has unwisely chosen a regulatory process that circumvents the role of Congress. Such dramatic changes in aviation policy – and their impact on national security and jobs – must be fully debated in the light of day, not in the mere 60 days provided in the notice of proposed rulemaking.”
“We are pleased to see growing momentum in Congress to slow down this far-reaching measure. We urge the administration to heed the warnings from Congress by suspending the proposed regulations and permitting lawmakers to perform their oversight responsibilities to ensure a strong and viable U.S. aviation industry.”
TTD represents 29 member unions in the aviation, rail, transit, trucking, highway, longshore, maritime and related industries. For more information, visit www.ttd.org.