America’s Largest Union Will Refuse Norwegian to Fly to and From United States
WASHINGTON / OSLO: America’s largest trade union, the AFL-CIO, will refuse Norwegian to fly to the United States. The U.S. Department of Transportation has expressed concern about the practice of the Norwegian airline.
The Norwegian group’s application for license renewal was the theme of a meeting between the EU and the United States in the Joint Committee for air transportation in Washington DC on Wednesday.
AFL-CIO’s America’s answer to LO, and the president of the association which organizes workers in transport and trade is not in doubt: Norwegian should be denied a license.
– The shopping for cheap labor
– We believe Norwegian business model should be rejected. It is to shop around the world for the cheapest possible labor to displace workers in the U.S., says Edward Wytkind, president of transportation and trade labor union.
He believes the Norwegian airline will undermine workers in both the U.S. and Norway by avoiding unions.
– Pilots and other crew will be based in Thailand. Singapore’s labor laws applicable to them and then they are hired by individual contracts.
The powerful union leader believes that way you get employees that cost about half of U.S. employees do.
Average wages for Thai cabin crew was last September 9800 kkroner month, including diet. The calculations NRK has made, based on figures from the Norwegian. Also Norwegian unions have reacted to practice and believe it is similar to social dumping.
– They are afraid of competition
In a comment Norwegian spokeswoman Anne-Sissel Skånvik that “airlines pay salaries Thai in Thailand, the United States we will pay American wages, when we eventually hire staff there.”
Four of the biggest U.S. airlines and U.S. pilot union agree that Norwegian should be denied a license in the United States. [sic] think they are afraid of competition and that this is about the fare across the Atlantic.
The U.S. Department of Transportation has expressed concern and has asked the EU for more information on Norwegian’s practice.
Norway was represented at the meeting by Deputy Øyvind Ek in the Ministry, but he had no authority to comment on what’s been said.
If Norwegian does not get a license to fly in the U.S., the company must either cancel flights to and from the United States, or use pilots and cabin crew who have better pay and working conditions than is the case today.
The next meeting of the Joint Committee is in June.
See related video on U.S. pilots also out against Norwegian.