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Pilot Unions Rally Behind American Aviation Workers On Flag Day

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.




About the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA):
Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilot union, representing more than 60,000 pilots at 34 airlines in the United States and Canada. For more information, visit alpa.org.

About the Allied Pilot Association (APA):
Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, APA serves as the certified collective bargaining agent for the 15,000 professional pilots who fly for American Airlines. APA was founded in 1963 and is the largest independent pilots’ union in the world. APA provides a broad range of representation services for its members and devotes more than 20 percent of its dues income to support aviation safety. For more information, visit AlliedPilots.org.

About the Coalition of Airline Pilots Associations (CAPA):
The Coalition of Airline Pilots Associations is a trade association representing more than 30,000 professional passenger and all-cargo pilots at carriers including American Airlines, UPS Airlines, ABX Air, Horizon Airlines, Southern Air, Silver Airways, Allegiant Air, Miami Air, Cape Air, Omni Air, Atlas Air, and Republic Airline. For more information, visit capapilots.org.

About the Independent Pilots Association (IPA):
The IPA is the collective bargaining unit representing the more than 2,500 professional pilots who fly for United Parcel Service, the world’s largest transportation company. The IPA is headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky. For more information, visit ipapilot.org.

About the NetJets Association of Shared Aircraft Pilots (NJASAP):
Founded in 2008 as an independent labor advocate, the NetJets Association of Shared Aircraft Pilots (NJASAP) represents the professional interests of the 2,700-plus pilots who fly in the service of NetJets Aviation, Inc. For more information, visit njasap.com.

About the Southwest Airline Pilots Association (SWAPA):
Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association (SWAPA) is a non-profit employee organization and the sole bargaining unit for the more than 9,400 pilots of Southwest Airlines. SWAPA, now in its 40th year, works to provide a secure and rewarding career for Southwest pilots and their families through negotiating contracts, defending contractual rights, and actively promoting professionalism and safety. For more information, visit swapa.org.

About Teamsters Local 1224:
The Airline Professionals Association, Teamsters Local 1224, represents pilots and flight crewmembers from 10 airlines operating across the country. For more information, visit apa1224.org.

About Teamsters Local 357:
Teamsters Local 357 provides representation, assistance, and security for more than 2,100 flightdeck crewmembers employed by Republic Airline. For more information, visit local357.org.

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