Davis Introduces Fair and Open Skies Act, Bipartisan Bill Backed by Unions
U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, today joined the Chairman of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), and a group of bipartisan members to introduce the Fair and Open Skies Act to American workers and safety within our airline industry. This bill would prohibit the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) from issuing a foreign air carrier permit for U.S. operations to an airline that exploits a “flag of convenience” to avoid the regulations of its home country, or otherwise undermines labor standards.
Davis participated in a press conference with a bipartisan group of members and organizations supporting the bill. Click here to watch.
“Our country operates one of the safest aviation systems in the world and foreign airlines need to play by the rules or they shouldn’t be permitted to operate within the United States,” said Ranking Member Davis. “Ignoring when they skirt regulations or labor standards in their home country only puts American workers and companies at a disadvantage. If a foreign air carrier wants to operate within the United States, then they need to play by the same rules we require of our airlines.”
“Our bill ensures foreign airlines seeking to serve the United States play by the rules. Today, foreign airlines can set up under a flag of convenience to exploit weak labor laws in other countries in order to save money and undercut competition. And across the globe, there are attempts by foreign airlines to undermine important labor standards to get ahead. This bipartisan bill protects American jobs from predatory and unfair competition, and it protects the American flying public from deception,” said Chair DeFazio.
The bill is supported by several labor unions, including the AFL-CIO and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.
"We saw what happened when the flag-of-convenience business model was introduced into our maritime industry. A once vibrant sector of our economy is now a shell of what it used to be. We cannot and will not allow the same thing to happen to our aviation industry," said Larry Willis, president of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD). "By requiring foreign air carriers entering the U.S. market play by the rules and don't pursue predatory flag-of-convenience schemes, this legislation will uphold the integrity of our aviation industry, ensure fair competition in this sector, and protect the good jobs millions of frontline aviation workers rely on."
Click here for a complete list of organizations supporting the bill.