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In support of fair and open skies: Dangerous flag-of-convenience schemes should not fly

Washington, DC – Greg Regan, president of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), issues this statement in support of the Fair and Open Skies Act, introduced today by Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR):

“Open Skies agreements have been successful when they promote fair competition and lift labor and safety standards for all participating nations. Those airlines who seek to undercut those standards – and good, middle class jobs – through predatory flag of convenience business models should not be allowed to benefit from these agreements with access to the U.S. market. With the Fair and Open Skies Act, Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and his bipartisan colleagues in Congress are showing the leadership we need to ensure that U.S. workers can compete fairly, and that the industry continues to lift labor standards across the globe.

“Transportation labor knows well the damage the flag-of-convenience business model can inflict on industries, jobs, and working people. When this predatory model was introduced into our maritime industry, a once vibrant industry became a shell of its former self. Non-U.S. workers – handpicked from countries with lax safety, labor, and tax standards – now face unimaginable working conditions and poverty wages. We cannot and will not allow the same thing to happen to our aviation industry and its frontline workforce.

“By requiring the Department of Transportation (DOT) to prioritize the rights of U.S. workers in air service agreements, the Fair and Open Skies Act is an important first step in maintaining the integrity of the U.S. aviation industry and stopping this damaging business model from gaining a foothold in international aviation. This legislation will also give the DOT the authority and strength it needs to protect fair wages and working conditions for U.S. aviation workers while enhancing safety for the flying public.

“TTD is proud to stand with bipartisan leaders in Congress and our sisters and brothers in aviation in supporting the Fair and Open Skies Act.”

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