Aviation Workers Urge Closing Borders to Cut-Wage Airline

May 19, 2016 
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel

Washington, DC – Hundreds of aviation workers protested outside the White House May 12 urging the federal government not to let the low-fare airline Norwegian Air International operate flights to the U.S.

The way the airline operates threatens U.S. jobs and "runs contrary to U.S. policy," Capt. Tim Canoll, president of the Air Line Pilots Association, said at a rally in in Lafayette Park across the street, as the crowd chanted, “Deny NAI.” The federal Department of Transportation DOT gave NAI preliminary approval on April 15, and will make its final decision after the public comment period ends on May 23. AFL-CIO Transportation president Edward Wytkind said approval would “green-light this low-road air carrier whose operating plan will destroy fair competition and extinguish middle-class airline jobs here and in Europe.” NAI is a subsidiary of Norwegian Air Shuttle, a cut-rate European airline, but is based in Dublin, not Norway. Unions for pilots, flight attendants, and mechanics say that’s because Norway’s labor laws prohibit the airline from hiring pilots and flight attendants as temporary contractors, and Ireland’s looser laws allow it. The CEO of the Swedish airline SAS told Business Insider in March that it had “adjusted pensions and union contracts” because of competition from NAI. Read more

May 19, 2016

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