How a Norwegian Airline Could Steal Your Job

05 03 2016 NAIThe Department of Transportation (DOT) recently rendered a decision that would grant Norwegian Air International (NAI) a foreign air carrier permit and access to the US aviation market. NAI is a Norwegian airline in name only. The carrier is registered in Ireland to avoid Norwegian safety and security regulations and rents its cabin crews from countries with little to no labor laws, like Thailand and Singapore. What does this mean for us?

If permitted access to the U.S. aviation market, NAI will place severe downward pressure on the wages, benefits and working conditions of U.S. airline workers because NAI will not have to adhere to the same standards as U.S. airlines are required to.

It wasn’t long ago that U.S. airlines were hemorrhaging money. Cutthroat competition, fostered by airline deregulation, wreaked havoc on the US airline industry for decades, forcing industry restructuring, job loss, wage and benefit cuts and the erosion of our working conditions.

Over the past five years, the U.S. airline industry has returned to profitability, due in large part to the past sacrifice and determination of U.S. airline workers and industry consolidation. Recently, IAM-represented airline workers have been successful in securing major gains in wages, benefits and working conditions because the U.S. airline industry has stabilized. NAI’s approval would threaten this stability.

It will not take long for other airlines, including airlines with IAM-represented workers, to copy NAI’s disastrous business model in an effort to compete in a hyper-competitive, cutthroat global aviation market. Airline workers will most certainly be the casualties of this wrong-headed, anti-labor DOT policy.

We must take action to protect our jobs.

The IAM, TWU, AFA-CWA, ALPA and the AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department will be picketing the White House from noon to 1:00 PM on Thursday, May 12, 2016. All IAM members are encouraged to attend and have their voices heard. Click here to RSVP.

Click here to send a letter to your U.S. Representative demanding support for H.R. 5090, which would reverse the DOT’s job-killing decision.