In an op-ed in The Hill, AFA-CWA President Sara Nelson urges members of Congress to affirm that the labor protections negotiated in the U.S.-EU Open Skies Agreement are "meaningful and not just a façade."
The Department of Transportation's decision to approve a foreign air carrier permit for Norwegian Air International flies in the face of the trade deal sold to the American people and Congress, says Nelson. The U.S.-EU Open Skies agreement specifically states that, "opportunities created by the Agreement are not intended to undermine labor standards or the labor-related rights and principles contained in the Parties' respective laws."
"Yet in the tentative decision, the DOT found that the labor provisions are not a legitimate basis for denying a permit if the carrier meets the DOT's 'normal standards,'" Nelson writes. "In other words, the DOT spent almost two years of taxpayer time and money out of concern over the labor provisions in the agreement only to conclude that the labor provisions do not actually matter as long as everything else is in order. The message from the administration to American aviation workers is clear: everything matters except you."
Congress's failure to act, she says, "will have catastrophic consequences for aviation workers across the country who work tirelessly every day ensuring that the flying public enjoys the safest aviation system in the world."