OSLO, NORWAY—Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD) President Edward Wytkind issues this statement following a two-day unity meeting in Oslo, Norway, with U.S. and European labor leaders to expand opposition against Norwegian Air International’s (NAI) flag of convenience airline:
“We took aim today at Norwegian Air’s plan to scour the globe for cheap labor and game aviation trade rules at the expense of middle-class jobs.
“Norwegian’s long-haul operation is structured deliberately to avoid Norway’s high labor standards and high-road social laws that provide a measure of security for its people.
“Today’s remarkable display of unity takes our effort to a new level of cooperation with unions on both sides of the Atlantic speaking with a single voice against this scheme.
“If granted the authority it seeks from European and U.S. government authorities, NAI will lower labor standards for airline employees. Such an outcome would be in violation of the U.S.-EU Open Skies agreement that was designed to expand business opportunities and jobs on both sides, and which expressly stated that the expanded rights could not be used to ‘lower labor standards.’ Clearly, Norwegian fails this most basic test and thus its application before regulators should be rejected.
“The Norwegian scheme is bad for the global airline industry and will undermine good jobs in the U.S., Norway and the rest of Europe.”
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