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U.S. Based Norwegian Cabin Crew Look to Join AFA

Date: March 10, 2017
Type: AFA Article

Great news! AFA has long stood with Norwegian Flight Attendants to beat back attacks on our jobs. AFA helped U.S.-based Norwegian Flight Attendants gain union representation last year when Norwegian attempted to deny these U.S.-based Flight Attendants the right to organize under the Railway Labor Act. Now, these Flight Attendants who are members of the Norwegian Cabin Crew Association (NCCA) are voting to join AFA.

U.S.-Based Norwegian Air Shuttle (NAS) cabin crew joining AFA strengthens our arguments against the flag of convenience NAI model, improves our efforts in Congress and allows us to combat this attack on our jobs by working with these Flight Attendants to raise standards at the bargaining table. Their jobs are also at risk with the flag of convenience model NAI creates. We will not allow this attack on our jobs to stand.

These Flight Attendants, based in JFK and FLL, are working for Norwegian Air Shuttle (NAS). Their efforts to join AFA helps expose Norwegian's attempt to confuse the public that their subsidiary, NAI, needed a foreign air carrier permit in order to fly to the U.S. That is a lie and these Flight Attendants are proof of that, having worked flights between the U.S. and Europe under the Norwegian air carrier certificate, not the flag of convenience Irish certificate set up by NAI. However, the conditions for these Flight Attendants are still deplorable including issues AFA beat back in the first contract negotiated in 1946. Welcoming them to our union and assisting them with negotiating their contract is critical in order to protect the jobs of AFA members today. 

The arguments of Norwegian and their “employment firm,” OSM, against the rights of these U.S.-based NAS Flight Attendants are a direct attack on the right of all U.S. Flight Attendants to organize and collectively bargain. Norwegian's game in establishing an Irish subsidiary, NAI, to skirt the laws of Norway is a familiar one about two things only: corporate greed and trampling labor rights. This corporate game is now attempting to create a flag of convenience model that will destroy U.S. aviation and all of our jobs including U.S.-based Norwegian Cabin Crew. It is not simply NAI that we oppose, it is more importantly the new business model it sets up.

All of our jobs are at risk because nothing would stop NAI from ending individual contracts with NAS Flight Attendants and instead hiring from Asia or wherever they can find the lowest labor standards.

If this all seems confusing, that is exactly what Norwegian has hoped to create by using the Norwegian name in all of its business ventures. Confusion is exactly what Norwegian wants as it hopes it's new model will not be stopped by the U.S. Congress. This is even confusing to some of the NCCA members as well. But the NCCA leadership is not confused and they are working to inform their members about the attacks on all of our jobs. It's an age-old tactic of management trying to get us to fight each other while they undermine all of us. Not on our watch!

Our first objective is to unite all cabin crew. We work every day to bring Flight Attendants together because it is our power in numbers and coordination on lifting the standards of our careers that makes us successful. As long as one Flight Attendant is mistreated or without the benefits of an AFA contract, we are all subject to standards set by management that undermine our careers and our worth. Join us in supporting U.S.-based Norwegian Cabin Crew as they vote to join us.

We are Stronger and Better Together.

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