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Transportation Labor Takes Dead Aim at Airline Operating Schemes That Scour Globe for Cheap Labor

By Admin

Calls for Global Airline Emissions Policy, Rigorous Oversight of
Contracted Out Airline Security Operations

WASHINGTON, DC—The Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO, (TTD) vows to combat airlines that ‘forum shop’ for cheap labor and evade collective bargaining obligations, and to oppose European Union proposals on aviation climate change in favor of a ‘balanced’ global solution. Transportation union leaders also call for rigorous government oversight and standards for the contracting out of federal airport security screening operations.

TTD and its 32 member unions adopted these three aviation-related policy statements today at the fall Executive Committee meeting:

Reject the Norwegian Air Shuttle (NAS) operating scheme: The Norway-based airline is seeking an Irish Air Operators Certificate for its Boeing 787s with pilots from Thailand flying under individual employment contracts governed by the laws of Singapore. A similar arrangement, in which it is essentially renting its 787 crew, will also apply to flight attendants. NAS flies to New York and Fort Lauderdale and has plans to expand to Los Angeles, Oakland and Orlando. “Let’s call this what it is – it is forum shopping for cheap labor and a scheme designed to evade collective bargaining agreements with its workers,” said TTD President Edward Wytkind. “We will work against these types of operating schemes – they threaten the U.S. airline industry and middle-class jobs.”

Support a global solution to aviation emissions: TTD opposes any heavy handed, unilateral approach by the European Union in creating a global aviation emission policy. TTD and its unions support the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) plan to develop a framework over the next three years to address aviation’s impact on climate change. “TTD and our aviation unions are ready to work with the U.S. government, ICAO and our air carriers to address global carbon emissions,” said Wytkind. “But we will strongly oppose any further attempts by the EU to unilaterally impose an emissions regime that undermines U.S. airlines and their workers.”

Reform the airport contract screening program: Establish a more balanced process for evaluating private screening companies, and treat the current federal screener workforce fairly. “The seemingly simple ‘fix’ some advocate to improve the security process at our airports is to turn this function over to private companies and to demonize frontline Transportation Security Officers,” Wytkind said. “Contracting out is not the miracle cure it is often held out to be.” TTD supports H.R.1455, the Contract Screener Reform and Accountability Act introduced by Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) that would provide better accountability and transparency and protect against shoddy subcontracting practices that could threaten security.

The Norwegian Air Shuttle, Aviation Emissions and Contract Screening Program policy statements were adopted with seven others today by the TTD Executive Committee at its fall meeting. All 10 can be found at

CONTACT:  Jennifer Michels,, 202.628.9262, 703.395.2195

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