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Flight Attendants Condemn DOT For Opening Backdoor To Virgin Group In America

Date: March 20, 2007

AFA To Block Foreign Ownership & Protect Fragile Industry

CHICAGO - United Airlines Flight Attendants, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants -CWA, AFL-CIO, expressed deep disappointed with the Department of Transportation (DOT) tentative ruling allowing Virgin America access to the healing U.S. aviation industry and condemns the agency for jeopardizing this vital American interest.

"A massive public relations campaign launched by airline executives cleverly cloaked long-time White House plans to open American skies to foreign competition," stated MEC United AFA President Greg Davidowitch.  "The PR campaign heralded immediate consumer benefits and job creation, but when the smoke and mirrors are cleared these benefits are ambiguous, tenuous and will be short-lived at best."

The tumultuous times recently experienced in the U.S. aviation industry have resulted in 130,000 fewer airline worker jobs.  Those workers still employed have endured life-altering sacrifice in the name of industry competition and exploitation of bankruptcy laws.

"The DOT assertion that its approval of Virgin America's application meets the tenets of U.S. aviation law is yet another corporate-backed sham supported by the Bush Administration and set to enrich a few at the cost of many, including passengers and our communities." Davidowitch continued.  "It's no coincidence that this comes just days before European officials are set to approve an aviation treaty with the Bush Administration."

"Flight Attendants will continue to fight the destruction of our industry, a vital American interest, as we turn our focus on defeating the ill-conceived treaty for foreign ownership with Europe," Davidowitch promised.

More than 55,000 Flight Attendants, including the 17,000 Flight Attendants at United, join together to form AFA, the world's largest Flight Attendant union. AFA is part of the 700,000 member strong Communications Workers of America, AFL-CIO. Visit us at www.unitedafa.org.

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