Representatives Jesús “Chuy” García, Jan Schakowsky, IL Delegation Members Send Letter to American Airlines with Concerns over Outsourcing Jobs Abroad

October 10, 2019
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Representatives Jesús “Chuy” García (IL-04), Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), along with eight members of the Illinois delegation, sent a letter to American Airlines voicing their concerns over its plan to outsource 5,000 jobs overseas to foreign aircraft maintenance and repair stations. The Members, who represent communities served by two major Chicago airports, are troubled by the negative effects this decision may have on the safety of the national airspace as well as on the employees who may be displaced.

In the letter, the lawmakers wrote: “We urge American Airlines to reconsider future business plans that would further offshore jobs and jeopardize the safety of the flying public and the constituents we represent. We ask for your full transparency in American Airlines’ future efforts to grow its workforce abroad and the extent to which the growth of these operations will displace American jobs.”

The text of the letter is below, and a signed copy can be found here.

 

Doug Parker

Chief Executive Officer

American Airlines Group

4333 Amon Carter Blvd.

Fort Worth, TX 76155

 

Mr. Parker:

We write to express our concerns about recent reports regarding American Airlines’ plans to outsource and offshore nearly 5,000 jobs to foreign aircraft maintenance and repair stations.[i] As Members of Congress representing the communities served by O’Hare and Midway International Airports, some of the busiest in the world, we are troubled by the adverse effects this decision may have on the ultimate safety of the national airspace. Many safety-critical employees may be displaced by these decisions and place the safety of the flying public in jeopardy.

Aircraft maintenance and repair work, on foreign or domestic soil, is essential to airline safety and Congress rightfully mandated[ii] that it must be held to the same, rigorous Federal Aviation Administration standards, regardless of their geography. Foreign repair facilities, however, often fail to meet these standards in key areas of safety and security – specifically regarding drug and alcohol testing and security background checks for employees.[iii] Moving work from the airline’s current workforce of qualified, experienced aircraft mechanics and technicians to foreign repair facilities can reduce the quality of this work and has the potential to endanger the safety of the traveling public.[iv]

We believe any plans that call for additional offshoring of these safety-critical jobs deserve a high level of public scrutiny and accountability. To ensure that we can best represent our constituents, we request a response to the following:

  • Do you intend to continue to offshore additional foreign maintenance and repair work?
  • Are reports that American Airlines intends to offshore 5,000 additional jobs to foreign maintenance and repair stations accurate? If so, under what timeline?
  • Does American Airlines have plans to offshore jobs beyond the 5,000 that were previously reported? If so, under what timeline?
  • Decisions to offshore additional maintenance and repair could lead to the displacement of jobs directly from the Chicagoland area. Approximately how many jobs would be lost or relocated from the Chicagoland region as a result of being offshored to foreign maintenance and repair stations? If so, under what timeline?
  • What quality control practices do you have in place to ensure that maintenance performed outside of the U.S. meets FAA standards, both for the work itself and the standards for employees performing that work?

We urge American Airlines to reconsider future business plans that would further offshore jobs and jeopardize the safety of the flying public and the constituents we represent. We ask for your full transparency in American Airlines’ future efforts to grow its workforce abroad and the extent to which the growth of these operations will displace American jobs. We look forward to your prompt response to the inquiries listed above.

Sincerely,                    

Representatives Jesús G. “Chuy” García, Jan Schakowsky, Bobby L. Rush, Danny K. Davis, Daniel W. Lipinski, Robin Kelly, Bill Foster, Cheri Bustos, Raja Krishnamoorthi, Bradley S. Schneider