The Global Aircraft Maintenance Safety Improvement Act Will Close Safety Loopholes, Return Union Jobs to the U.S.

September 29, 2022
Denise Romano,

Global Aircraft Maintenance Safety Improvement Act Will Close Safety Loopholes, Return Union Jobs to the U.S.

WASHINGTON, DC – The Transport Workers Union of America, AFL-CIO – the largest union representing airline workers – has been fighting to end offshoring aircraft repair and overhaul.

Today, the TWU is proud and encouraged that the House voted 374-52 to pass the bipartisan Global Aircraft Maintenance Safety Improvement Act, (H.R. 7321, formerly known as the Safe Aircraft Maintenance Standards Act) which will close the loopholes that incentivize airlines to move airline maintenance out of the country and onto less safe standards. When this bill becomes law, it will return tens of thousands of good, union jobs to the U.S.

“This is a huge victory for the TWU, for the labor movement, and for all air travelers,” said TWU International President John Samuelsen. “It will make our skies safer for the flying public and ensure that airline mechanics have a level playing field against foreign competition, ending the scourge of offshoring in the airline maintenance industry. We are closer than ever to making it a reality. Thanks to Rep. Peter DeFazio for his steadfast leadership over the past 30 years.”

H.R. 7321 addresses five regulatory gaps that allow a lower safety standard for aircraft maintenance and incentivize airlines to offshore this work:

  • Drug and alcohol testing for safety sensitive personnel
  • Background checks for workers at maintenance facilities
  • Security threat assessments for these facilities
  • Unannounced inspections for maintenance operations
  • Minimum qualifications for aircraft mechanics

“Our historic American Airlines contract, signed in 2020, includes provisions that bring back aircraft maintenance jobs that were outsourced overseas back to U.S. soil. We are the only airline mechanics’ union who has successfully rolled back outsourcing AND returned jobs to America,” Samuelsen stated. “It’s long past time the FAA took their role seriously and moved to close these loopholes so that all airline maintenance will be held to the same standard. We look forward to this bill moving through the Senate.”