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Labor Strongly Urges YES on Fair and Open Skies

By Admin

June 14, 2023

Dear Senator: 

On behalf of the undersigned labor organizations representing tens of thousands of aviation employees, we write to urge you to vote in favor of the amendment Klobuchar 1 during the  Commerce, Science, & Transportation Executive Committee mark up tomorrow.  

Transportation workers know all too well the consequences of predatory business models that  have undermined critical domestic industries, from freight rail and maritime to the aviation  sector. Today, the U.S. airline industry faces an existential threat from foreign airlines that  operate in the domestic market and seek to undermine key labor, tax, and safety laws. 

Changes from Previous Legislation 

The last iteration of the Fair and Open Skies Act included three other elements that have been  removed. First, a requirement that European carriers seeking a foreign air carrier permit be in  compliance with a labor clause in the U.S.-EU Air Transport Agreement – 17 bis. Second, a  provision on preventing “flag of convenience” airlines as a public interest criterion has been  removed. And lastly, the mandatory public interest test. 

Klobuchar 1 differs from the original Fair and Open Skies Act provision that included a  “mandatory” public interest requirement and is blessed by agencies that mange air services  agreements, the Department of Transportation and the Department of State. As such claims of  retaliation are moot. The revised Klobuchar amendment, removes the mandatory public interest  finding and only requires that the existing permissive public interest finding, that is used at the  Department of Transportation (DOT) discretion, consider if labor standards are being  undermined. So IF the DOT decided to do public interest analysis on permits of foreign air  carries, they are able to look at labor issues.  

This amendment continues to be a longstanding labor priority critical to provide DOT with the  authority to protect fair wages and working conditions for U.S. aviation workers. The inclusion  of these standards helps provide long-term protection against current and future labor rights  abuses in our international aviation system. 

We strongly urge Committee members to support the domestic aviation workforce by voting  YES on Klobuchar 1 in the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee mark up  tomorrow.  


Air Line Pilots Association 

Association of Flight Attendants-CWA 

International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers 

International Brotherhood of Teamsters 

National Air Traffic Controllers Association 

Professional Aviation Safety Specialists 

Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO 

Transport Workers Union of America