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Congress Calls on Doug Parker and Labor Unions to Maintain Airline Safety

Congress Calls on Doug Parker and Labor Unions to Maintain Airline Safety
Joe Cortez

The row between American Airlines and their unions has moved on to Capitol Hill – and now members of the United States Congress are calling on both sides to work together to maintain aircraft safety. In a letter addressed to all three parties, representatives want to ensure that all parties can maintain jobs and ensure aircraft safety.

The differences between American Airlines and its labor unions, the Transportation Workers Union of America (TWU) and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) are well played out in front of flyers. Now, a new group wants to make sure both sides can work together to retain jobs and ensure aircraft safety. Over 25 members of the United States Congress from New York state wrote an open letter to American chief executive Doug Parker and the presidents of the two affected unions to weigh in on the issues at hand.

“We are committed to ensuring that our constituents continue to have opportunities to earn a living and raise their families in dignity and security,” the letter opens. “We hope that your organizations work together in good faith to come to an agreement that continues to grow American’s workforce in the U.S.”

The letter goes on to address two key issues: keeping unionized skilled labor jobs at the Fort Worth-based airline and ensuring safety for all passengers on an American flight. The members of Congress stressed the need to maintain employees in the Greater New York Metropolitan Area.

“Your organizations have played an integral role in our region for decades and have provided many of our constituents with living wages even as the cost of living in our area has greatly increased,” the letter reads. “We want to ensure you continue to be an integral part of our region’s workforce and economy.”

The Congress members specifically ask American to maintain Federal Aviation Administration safety standards at their service stations around the world. This is in addition to keeping a “qualified, domestic workforce.”

“There have been several instances in which foreign repair facilities have failed to meet this [FAA] standard in key areas of safety and security, particularly as it pertains to drug and alcohol testing and security background checks,” the letter reads without citing any situations. “We hope any current, overseas employees are held to the same high standards as those here at home.”

Signatories to the letter include Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Adriano Espaillat and Bill Pascrell, Jr. In response, a spokesperson for American told Dallas Business Journal the airline is one of the biggest employers in American aviation and would continue to build their roster.

“We employ more maintenance and fleet service employees than any other U.S. airline,” Josh Freed, spokesperson for American, told the trade newspaper. “This would continue to be the case under American’s industry-leading proposal to the TWU-IAM Association, and we are in the process of hiring additional mechanics.”


[Featured Image: Shutterstock]

View Comments (1)

1 Comment

  1. diver858

    August 21, 2019 at 7:16 pm

    More Flyertalk shilling for AA labor. With the retirement of the last AA Mad Dog (RIP), there is little reason to maintain the massive refurb facility when the rest of the industry uses third-party, offshore, non-union labor for maintenance of more modern aircraft.
    Before simply cutting and pasting labor propaganda, perhaps do some actual reporting, compare to subcontractors used by DL, UA and WN before mudslinging AA.

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