AFA-CWA Launches Campaign Against Foreign Ownership
February 26, 2007
Washington, DC - To protect U.S. airlines from losing control of the aviation market to foreign interests, the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA) today officially launched a grassroots campaign demanding that the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) again deny an application by foreign carrier Virgin America to fly U.S. domestic routes. In December 2006, the Department of Transportation (DOT) rejected the airline's bid to enter the U.S. aviation market ruling that Virgin America is not owned and operated by U.S. citizens. Virgin America has since resubmitted their application and the DOT is expected to make a decision next month.
"We are hopeful that the DOT will see through this cosmetic attempt to cover the fact that the airline is still controlled by foreign interests, and once again reject the Virgin America application," said Patricia Friend, AFA-CWA International President. "If this airline is allowed to take flight, they will not stop until they successfully weaken our long-standing foreign investor laws. Once these laws fall, the safety and security of the U.S. aviation industry will be in severe jeopardy."
AFA-CWA has made a direct appeal to its over 55,000 members to commence a letter writing blitz to local and federal officials urging them to reject Virgin America's application and protect a recovering domestic aviation industry from foreign control.
"There is no shortage of American controlled investment capital and financing available for U.S. airlines and therefore no need to allow a foreign financed and controlled airline to fly in the U.S.," said Friend. "The U.S. aviation market is one of the last, strong domestic industries that has not been invaded by foreign competition. We will do everything in our power to ensure that we protect this last stronghold from foreign control and protect our country's most vital transportation sector."
For over 60 years, the Association of Flight Attendants has been serving as the voice for flight attendants in the workplace, in the aviation industry, in the media and on Capitol Hill. More than 55,000 flight attendants at 20 airlines come together to form AFA-CWA, the world's largest flight attendant union. AFA is part of the 700,000-member strong Communications Workers of America (CWA), AFL-CIO. Visit us at www.afanet.org.