Representing the Flight Attendants
of American Airlines

Representing the Flight Attendants of American Airlines

5.11.21 – Protect Quality Jobs – Build the Middle Class

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Protect Quality Jobs – Build the Middle Class

Fair and Open Skies Act
Today, House Transportation & Infrastructure Chair Peter DeFazio introduced a bipartisan bill called the Fair and Open Skies Act. The legislation would preclude new foreign airlines from operating to and from the United States when they exploit “flags of convenience” to avoid the labor, safety, and tax regulations of their home countries or otherwise undermine labor standards.

“As travel begins to pick back up following the COVID-19 pandemic, this bipartisan bill will make sure that any foreign airlines looking to serve the United States play by the rules,” Chair DeFazio said. “In the past, we have seen foreign airlines set up under a flag of convenience business model to exploit weaker labor laws outside their home countries in order to save money, undercut competition, and skirt important labor standards to get a leg up. By preventing such an airline from serving the U.S., this bipartisan bill protects American jobs from predatory and unfair competition.”

Original bill co-sponsors include:

  1. Peter DeFazio (D-OR)
  2. Rick Larsen (D-WA)
  3. Sharice Davids (D-KS)
  4. Conor Lamb (D-PA)
  5. Kai Kahele (D-HI)
  6. Rodney Davis (R-IL)
  7. Drew Ferguson (R-GA)
  8. Bill Johnson (R-OH)
  9. Jack Bergman (R-MI)
  10. Don Bacon (R-NE)

 

“This legislation, introduced by Chair DeFazio, is essential to protecting our country’s aviation industry. By allowing foreign ‘Flags of Convenience’ (FOC) carriers to service American cities, we permit them to skirt labor and regulatory oversight, undercutting our U.S. carriers. FOC carriers shop for “favorable” labor laws and lower safety requirements—but workers and consumers eventually pay the price. Just look to the weakened U.S. flagged maritime industry to see the damage FOC carriers can do to our core industries. The Fair and Open Skies Act is critical to maintaining a healthy aviation system in the U.S., and APFA will be working hard to see it passed,” Julie Hedrick, National President, Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) said.

See all the Members of Congress co-sponsoring this bill

See all the Labor Organizations standing behind this bill


Breeze Airways
Breeze Airways, a new airline founded by former JetBlue CEO David Neeleman, has pulled back its plans to hire part-time college students. The airline intended to use a hiring model that would employ college students as Flight Attendants under a temporary contract for the duration of their education. Breeze Airway’s model did not allow graduates to continue a career as a Flight Attendant with the airline.

APFA finds this hiring model offensive to the challenging work our members carry out every day. Breeze Airways is attempting to create an airline of gig workers in the name of cost savings. First and foremost, Flight Attendants are safety professionals and first responders. We are highly trained in medical, fire, security threats—in addition to the increasing challenges of customer service. Labor Unions have fought hard for the respect the Flight Attendant profession deserves. We have pushed back on discriminatory policies against age, gender, weight, and marital status. Breeze Airways’ hiring model is an insult to our profession and the career path we have worked hard to establish.

In Solidarity,

Allie Malis
APFA Government Affairs Representative

Lori Glattly
APFA Government Affairs Representative
legislation@apfa.org

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