WASHINGTON, Sept. 29, 2022 — The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) applauds the U.S. House passage of the Global Aircraft Maintenance Safety Improvement Act (H.R. 7321), bipartisan legislation that strengthens Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) oversight of commercial airline repair facilities outside the United States. The chamber’s action advances the legislation for Senate consideration.
“We thank the U.S. House of Representatives for passaging this very important bill that prioritizes the safety of passengers and airline workers,” said IAM Air Transport General Vice President Richie Johnsen. “We now look to the Senate to pass this legislation and get it signed into law. This would finally set some much-needed standards for carrier facilities outside the U.S. It’s only fair that foreign locations apply the same high-quality standards done here domestically, which helps ensure the safety of passengers and airline workers.”
The House passage comes just days after the IAM, the largest airline union in North America, representing over 100,000 airline workers, signed onto a joint letter supporting the legislation that was introduced by Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-OR).
“We thank Chairman DeFazio for introducing and championing for House passage of this bill. For years, we’ve been saying that it’s unfair for U.S. employees to compete for work against foreign facilities that do not mirror our standards. That has resulted in carriers increasingly enticed by the financial incentives to push this work overseas,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez, Jr. “In addition to safety, this legislation helps preserve good, highly skilled jobs here in the U.S.”
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 900 aircraft maintenance and repair stations have been certified by the FAA outside the U.S., which includes countries such as China, Singapore, and Brazil.
The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers is one of the largest and most diverse industrial trade unions in North America, representing approximately 600,000 active and retired members in the aerospace, defense, airlines, railroad, transit, healthcare, automotive, and other industries.