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Tuesday, December 6, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Bob Ross, National President of APFA, the world’s largest independent Flight Attendant union, called on Secretary of Transportation nominee Elaine Chao today to reverse the Obama administration’s eleventh-hour approval of Norwegian Air International’s (NAI) application to begin US operations.
NAI, the Irish-incorporated subsidiary of Norwegian Air Shuttle, has been attempting to gain approval for three years but has been opposed by a broad and bipartisan coalition of unions, air carrier management, and elected officials who charge that long-standing labor and safety standards would be undercut if approval were granted.
Ross called the lame duck decision contrary to the president-elect’s request that all but essential rulemaking and regulatory actions be postponed until reviewed by the new administration. In a letter to Transportation Secretary-designate Chao, Ross asked her to review and reverse the decision upon being sworn in.
“This decision is a potential disaster for America’s airlines and their workers,” Ross said. “This is nothing short of a flag of convenience scheme that will undercut safety and fair labor standards for US workers. If allowed to stand, we will look back on this decision as the first step in the destruction of the US aviation industry. Flag of convenience schemes destroyed our once dominant merchant marine fleet and will do the same for aviation,” Ross stated.
Ross is also asking other Flight Attendant labor groups to join him in petitioning the incoming secretary. “This is about the long term future of our profession and being able to compete on a level playing field. The incoming secretary needs to hear our voices and stand up for our industry.”