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Thu, Jan 29, 2009

Teamsters Ask For Outsourcing Moratorium In Stimulus Bill

Want Aircraft Maintenance Work Kept In-Country

Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi this week, urging her to include in the stimulus bill a moratorium on outsourcing aircraft maintenance to foreign repair stations.

"I urge you and your colleagues take every necessary step to ensure that the stimulus package include a moratorium on any additional outsourcing of foreign aircraft maintenance," Hoffa wrote in a letter dated Monday.  "The outsourcing of skilled American jobs is best illustrated by the plight of the thousands of highly skilled aviation mechanics who work in the airline industry.

The union maintains airlines that received taxpayer subsidies after the September 11 attacks laid off their aircraft mechanics and sent their maintenance work to repair stations in developing countries.

Hoffa noted that workers at foreign repair stations are not required to hold a Federal Aviation Administration license to work on an aircraft. "The solution is simple: the international aviation industry needs a single, high regulatory standard," he wrote. 

For more than a decade, the Transportation Department's office of inspector general has cited problems stemming from a double standard on aircraft maintenance, the union asserts. For the 11 years ending in 2007, US airlines' outsourced maintenance expenses increased from 37 percent to 64 percent.

A moratorium on outsourcing aircraft maintenance overseas would preserve skilled American jobs, help stabilize the economy and provide Congress an opportunity to examine this issue when the FAA reauthorization is deliberated in the spring.

The Teamsters Airline Division, under the direction of Capt. David Bourne, represents 43,000 airline employees.

FMI: Read The Letter (.pdf), www.teamsters.org

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