PASS, Aviation Unions Call on Secretary Chao to Address Foreign Repair Stations

Washington, D.C.—In a letter sent to Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao today, the Professional Aviation Safety Specialists, AFL-CIO (PASS), joined a coalition of aviation unions in calling on the secretary to take immediate steps to ensure the safety and proper oversight of foreign repair stations that work on U.S. aircraft.

The letter was signed by PASS, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, the Transport Workers Union of America and the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO.

“Congressionally directed action regarding drug and alcohol testing, security screening for safety-sensitive personnel, and risk-based oversight at foreign aircraft repair stations are now years overdue—a reality that has led to a two-tiered safety system with glaring regulatory loopholes,” the unions wrote.

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Aircraft Maintenance Summit Calls Attention to Foreign Repair Stations

Never missing a chance to bring the voice of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) employees to the table, the Professional Aviation Safety Specialists (PASS) joined other aviation unions and industry groups at an Aircraft Maintenance Outsourcing Summit on June 4, presented by the Transport Workers Union (TWU) and the Business Travel Coalition. At issue was the rising use of foreign repair stations to work on American aircraft and the loss of American jobs. PASS represents the aviation safety inspectors at the FAA who are to inspect and regulate aircraft repair stations, both foreign and domestic. PASS Region IV Vice President Mike Gonzales joined a panel to discuss the ramifications of having mechanics who are not FAA certificated working on aircraft overseas without adequate oversight from aviation safety inspectors. National President Mike Perrone was also on hand and brought up the union's long-standing concerns with this practice as well as the impact of the government shutdown on the inspector workforce.

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Saluting Federal Employees: PSRW 2019

Since 1985, Congress has designated the first full week of May as Public Service Recognition Week (PSRW) to show appreciation for the men and women who make up the nation’s civil service.

Organized by the Public Employees Roundtable, a coalition of government employee advocacy groups, PSRW is a great opportunity for the country to acknowledge the important work PASS members and all federal employees do every day to keep our nation running. ['I Serve Because...' PASS members tell you why.]

During the historic partial government shutdown, the American public turned out in droves to support the dedicated public servants who were working without pay for 35 days and those who were forced to stay at home while their work piled up. They understood that these were their family, friends and neighbors who were caught up in a political fight not of their making.

PASS celebrates the dedicated Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) employees we represent nationwide and the civilian Department of Defense (DoD) employees we represent at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point: the systems specialist who keeps air traffic control equipment in service, the inspector who makes sure planes and helicopters are safe to fly, the aeronautical information specialists who prepare the maps and charts pilots rely on, the flight inspection and mission support employees who ensure the integrity of procedures, safety support staff who are there every step of the way, and all the professionals represented by PASS who are on the job 24/7. “The employees we represent demonstrate every day that they are dedicated to the FAA’s mission but never more so than during the government shutdown,” said PASS National President Mike Perrone. “They are experienced, highly skilled and committed to the job of keeping our skies safe—they never wavered even when they weren’t being paid.”

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PASS Endorses Bills to Protect FAA During Shutdowns

Not long after the government shutdown ended, Chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) and Chair of the House Subcommittee on Aviation Rick Larsen (D-Wash.) introduced the Aviation Funding Stability Act of 2019 (H.R.1108) that would protect Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) programs and personnel from future government shutdowns without changing the structure of the agency.

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PASS President Warns That Government Shutdown Gambles With Aviation Safety

For every day the federal government is shut down and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) employees are impacted, the nation’s aviation system is gambling with aviation safety, Professional Aviation Safety Specialists National President Mike Perrone told Congress today. And while 4,000 aviation safety inspectors were furloughed at the onset of the partial government shutdown, he said, “A critical layer of safety was missing, and this is unacceptable.” (Watch President's Perrone's opening statement.)

Perrone testified in front of the Aviation Subcommittee of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee at a hearing entitled “Putting U.S. Aviation Safety at Risk: The Impact of the Shutdown.” The hearing was called to examine how the recent 35-day partial shutdown of the federal government impacted FAA functions and operations, as well as the U.S. aviation industry and workforce.

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PASS Members to Attend State of the Union

The Professional Aviation Safety Specialists, AFL-CIO (PASS) is proud that two of its members have been invited by their congressional representatives to be guests at tonight’s State of the Union address held at the U.S. Capitol. PASS Chapter FL1 President, Douglas Lowe, is the guest of Rep. Darren Soto (D-Fla.) and PASS Chapter CA3 member, Joe Rodgers, is the guest of Rep. Norma Torres (D-Calif.).

Lowe is an airways transportation systems specialist for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) who works at Orlando International Airport. Rodgers is an engineering technician with the FAA who works at Ontario [California] International Airport. Both men are military veterans who chose to continue serving their country by joining the FAA.

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