Tell Congress: Support Legislation to Address the Threat from Flag-of-Convenience Airlines
Protect American Jobs
Some foreign airlines are unfairly attempting to get ahead in the global marketplace by using the flag-of-convenience business model to avoid their home countries’ employment, tax, labor, and safety requirements. These companies seek to do business in the United States with unfair competitive advantages that hurt American airlines and their workers.
Under a flag-of-convenience business model, a foreign airline picks “convenient” countries that have favorable and usually less-stringent laws and regulations in which to base different pieces of its operations. This opportunity to “shop” for an advantageous regulatory and legal environment allows the airline to avoid its home country’s safety, tax, and labor structure. This practice allows the airline to undermine workers’ pay, benefits, and work rules. In addition, the model risks eroding the proactive safety culture fostered by many countries’ regulations to the detriment of airline passengers and cargo shippers.
ALPA supports U.S. Open Skies policy aimed at creating a free-market environment for the international airline industry, and we expect the U.S. government to enforce its stated policy goals, including maintaining labor standards and providing a fair and equal opportunity for American workers to compete. Foreign airlines’ flag-of-convenience business models clearly run counter to these provisions. As a result, our union adamantly opposes airlines that employ the flag-of-convenience business model serving North America.
The U.S. airline industry employs more than 151,000 workers who support its international operations. Collectively, these workers earned $11.3 billion in wages in 2015. U.S. airlines’ international operations contribute about $95 billion per year to the U.S. economy. Foreign flag-of-convenience airlines put these jobs and economic benefits at risk.
The U.S. government must defend a fair and free marketplace for U.S. airlines and their employees. Permanently preventing the flag-of-convenience business model from taking root in the United States is critically important for American airline workers. We must take immediate steps to prevent the proliferation of this job-killing business model.
Help ensure that this job-killing business model does not become standard in the airline sector by participating in ALPA’s Call to Action in support of H.R. 2150, the Flags of Convenience Don’t Fly Here Act.
- Congress should clarify that flag-of-convenience airlines are not in the U.S. public interest by immediately passing the Flags of Convenience Don’t Fly Here Act (H.R. 2150).