Preventing a global race to the bottom in the airline industry (

May 10, 2016

Statement by Senator Bernie Sanders: We Must Prevent a Global Race to the Bottom in the Airline Industry

Norwegian Air International’s attempt to undermine international labor laws by outsourcing cheap labor from Thailand and other low-wage countries is unacceptable. The U.S. Department of Transportation should not be rewarding this airline with a foreign air carrier permit that would allow it to undercut the wages and benefits of airline workers throughout this country.

Granting such a permit would be a direct violation of the strong labor provisions included in the U.S./E.U. Open Skies Agreement. Moreover, it would set a dangerous precedent that threatens the jobs of hundreds of thousands of flight attendants, mechanics, pilots and other airline workers in our country and in Europe.

We must do everything we can to prevent a global race to the bottom in the airline industry.

If this permit is approved, it would open the door to the same “flag of convenience” model that decimated U.S. shipping and paved the way for the outsourcing of nearly 100,000 American jobs. We cannot allow that to happen.

The U.S. Department of Transportation should reverse its tentative decision to approve this permit. We should be working to expand, not cut, good paying jobs across both the United States and the European Union. These labor standards were meant to benefit workers in the U.S. and the E.U, not weaken them.

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