WASHINGTON, DC — Edward Wytkind, president of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), issues this statement in response to bipartisan legislation (H.R. 5090) that will require the U.S. Department of Transportation to enforce the labor protections in the U.S.-EU Air Transport Agreement.
“Norwegian Air International (NAI) and its attempt to launch a flag-of-convenience airline has once again drawn a strong bipartisan rebuke from lawmakers who have long held that our government should not give operating authority to foreign airlines that violate our trade rules and threaten U.S. airline jobs.
“We applaud Reps. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Rick Larsen (D-WA) and Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA) for introducing legislation that aims to hold the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) accountable to enforcement of the labor provisions it negotiated as part of the U.S.-EU Air Transport Agreement.
“This legislation is a timely response to the DOT’s April 15 Show Cause Order that moves NAI closer to gaining access to U.S. markets. We criticized that decision because we know that NAI’s business model blatantly violates the labor provisions negotiated into the U.S.-EU aviation trade accord. Inexplicably, the DOT ignored the strict international labor standards it negotiated into the U.S.-EU agreement and now faces a final decision on whether it will enforce the labor article or greenlight this low-road air carrier whose operating plan will destroy fair competition and extinguish middle-class airline jobs here and in Europe.
“The legislation introduced today requires our government to fully enforce the labor protections in aviation trade agreements it negotiates, and makes it clear that a decision by DOT to permit NAI to launch air service to U.S. markets will not stand. We urge the DOT to reassess the compelling facts in this case, reverse course and deny NAI’s application.”
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Bipartisan Legislation Aims to Ground NAI (184kb)