Washington, DC (June 14, 2018) Seven Unions and One Trade Association, Representing Nearly 100,000 Pilots Combined, Urge the Senate to Take Action to Prevent Flag-of-Convenience Schemes in the U.S.
Today, on Flag Day, the unions representing the pilots of almost 50 commercial airlines joined together to express their support for H.R. 2150 — federal legislation that would prevent foreign threats to American aviation jobs.
The language of H.R. 2150, the Flags of Convenience Don’t Fly Here Act, was included in the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2018, which overwhelmingly passed the U.S. House of Representatives last April by a vote of 393-13. The U.S. Senate has a chance to include this legislation in its version of the FAA Reauthorization Act. A Senate vote is expected this summer.
“Flag-of-convenience business models base different operations around the globe in an attempt to avoid taxes, labor laws, and safety regulations,” said Captain Tim Canoll, president of the Air Line Pilots Association. “This kind of business, if approved, would seriously disadvantage U.S. airlines and American workers.”
“On Flag Day, pilots are standing up for the American flag and protecting the aviation jobs that are under threat unless the U.S. Senate takes urgent action,” said Captain Dan Carey, president of the Allied Pilots Association. “Flag-of-convenience schemes by foreign carriers threaten to decimate our nation’s aviation industry just as they once did to U.S. maritime shipping.”
“The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the Federal Aviation Reauthorization bill with H.R. 2150 intact, indicating that there is broad bipartisan support for legislation that protects American workers,” said Captain Robert Travis, president of the Independent Pilots Association. “We thank members of Congress who have stood up for hard-working American pilots, and urge the Senate to join the House and pass a FAA reauthorization bill that includes H.R. 2150.”
“If flag-of-convenience schemes are allowed to expand domestically, it will result in fewer jobs at lower wages, less experienced pilots, and lower safety standards,” said First Officer Pedro Leroux, president of the NetJets Association of Shared Aircraft Pilots. “It is vital that members of the Senate stand up for hard-working American pilots and flight crew members.”
“The U.S. airline industry supports over 10 million jobs across the United States, and directly employs nearly 700,000 Americans,” said Captain Jon Weaks, president of the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association. “H.R. 2150 would prevent a race to the bottom in our industry and protect both U.S. aviation jobs and passenger safety.”
H.R. 2150 would prohibit the Department of Transportation from issuing a permit to a foreign airline unless DOT determines that it is not establishing itself in a particular country just to avoid regulations — a so-called “flag of convenience” scheme that allows companies to skirt international labor standards, outsource cheap labor from low-wage countries, and avoid safety regulations. The bill would also require DOT to ensure that any new foreign air carrier permits issued to European airlines are consistent with the fair labor standards and fair competition requirements of the U.S.-EU-Norway-Iceland Air Transport Agreement.
For more information about CAPA, visit www.capapilots.org