Norwegian Air Gets Tentative OK from U.S. Government to Undercut U.S. Jobs

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) decision to grant tentative foreign air carrier approval to Norwegian Air International (NAI) puts thousands of U.S. airline jobs at risk, says IAM Transportation General Vice President Sito Pantoja.

NAI, a subsidiary of Norway-based Norwegian Air Shuttle, is incorporated in Ireland in order to evade Norway’s strong labor, tax and regulatory laws. The low-cost carrier plans to use Bangkok-based flight crews employed through a Singaporean hiring agency, allowing them to undercut wage and labor standards at existing airlines.

NAI is attempting to get approval from the U.S. government to fly to and from the United States, putting them in direct competition with U.S. airlines and their workers.

“Today’s decision by the DOT that could grant entry to NAI into the US aviation market and cause the loss of thousands of US airline jobs is anti-worker and bad policy,” said Pantoja.

“NAI is designed to subvert Norway’s employment and regulatory laws to gain an unfair advantage over U.S. and European Union airlines that play by the rules. Congress and the Administration need to fight for American workers and stop the DOT’s senseless policy misadventures. Decisions like this are the reason U.S. workers feel burned by out of touch politicians from both sides of the aisle.

The IAM calls on the Obama Administration and DOT Secretary Foxx to reverse course and do what’s right for US airline workers.”

NAI’s application is opposed by several major U.S. and European Union airlines, as well as other unions representing pilots, flight attendants and airline employees.

The DOT is accepting public comments on the NAI’s application. Tell the DOT to reject NAI’s application once and for all – a “race to the bottom” business model will only hurt U.S. and European Union airline workers and make air travel less secure.