Machinists Express Serious Safety Concerns at House Aviation Hearing

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IAM Transportation Vice President Robert Roach, Jr. called for "more, not less" government oversight of the airline industry as carriers compete aggressively to reduce costs.

Industry conditions have imposed great burdens on workers as carriers compete to reduce costs. Such an extraordinary focus on the bottom line demands more, not less, government oversight.

International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) General Vice President Robert Roach, Jr. today testified before the Aviation Sub-Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure on the subject of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) operational and safety programs.

"Since 9-11, airline workers have sacrificed their wages, pensions, work rules and thousands of jobs in order to rescue the airline industry," said Roach. "Industry conditions have imposed great burdens on workers as carriers compete to reduce costs. Such an extraordinary focus on the bottom line demands more, not less, government oversight."

Roach urged the Committee to resolve jurisdictional conflicts between the National Mediation Board and the National Labor Relations Board; address Flight Attendant fatigue and self-defense training issues and correct lax enforcement of workplace health and safety regulations. Roach also called for improved oversight of overseas aircraft repair stations and urged lawmakers to reject proposals to allow increased foreign ownership and control of U.S. airlines.

The IAM is the largest airline union in North America, representing more than 100,000 airline employees in almost every classification, including Flight Attendant, Mechanic & Related, Fleet Service, Customer Service and Reservation Agents. The IAM's complete testimony is available at http://www.goiam.org.

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FRANCIS LARKIN

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