Machinists Express Serious Safety Concerns at House FAA Hearing

Robert Roach says the focus on the bottom line demands greater, not less, government oversight.


WASHINGTON -- International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) General Vice President Robert Roach Jr. today testified before the Aviation Subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure on the subject of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act of 2009.

"Industry conditions have imposed great burdens on workers as carriers compete to reduce costs," said Roach. "Such an extraordinary focus on the bottom line demands greater, not less, government oversight, and proper FAA funding is a must."

Roach urged the Committee to resolve jurisdictional conflicts between the National Mediation Board and the National Labor Relations Board, and address Flight Attendant issues such as fatigue and their lack of workplace health and safety regulations. Roach also called for enough FAA inspectors to ensure one level of aircraft safety and maintenance oversight regardless of where in the world the aircraft maintenance is performed.

Additionally, General Vice President Roach requested funding to train America's youth for aviation jobs.

"The Machinists Union supports institutions, such as New York City's Aviation High School, that provide students with the skills needed to work in the aviation industry," said Roach. "The FAA should invest in the industry's future by investing in our children and expanding high school aviation training programs."

The IAM represents more than 100,000 airline employees in almost every classification, including Flight Attendant, Mechanic & Related, Fleet Service, Customer Service, and Reservation Agents. For more information visit www.goiam.org.

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