One of the things that made America great was free enterprise. People were allowed to create a business and try to prosper. Sometimes the businesses failed and sometimes they were successful.
Some unscrupulous business owners created unfavorable working conditions, often referred to as sweat shops. They provided no benefits and little pay. So along came labor unions and cleaned up working conditions, securing benefits and getting the workers high pay.
A century later, unions have driven up costs to the point that many businesses find it more cost effective to move out of the US and then ship their products back to this country. Many other businesses have had to close their doors because they could not afford to hire union workers.
Today, unions are more concerned about keeping the right to work from Americans and supporting liberal politicians that only want to push more middle income families into poverty. They have become anti-free enterprise and will stop at nothing to keep a non-union business from succeeding.
That brings me to the case of Norwegian Air Shuttles, ASA. According to their website:
“Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA, commercially branded ‘Norwegian’, is the first low-cost carrier to fly non-stop between the US and Scandinavia.”
“Norwegian offers a fleet of the most efficient and modern long-haul aircraft in the market. With the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, Norwegian operates the newest generation of long haul aircraft, especially designed to meet the passengers’ demand for better comfort and more eco-friendly transportation. The aircraft type, which is the most cost efficient in its class, provides Norwegian with a strong competitive advantage and the passengers with low fares to distant destinations outside Europe. Visit our Dreamliner showroom here.”
“Norwegian is the third largest low-cost carrier in Europe and is noted on the Oslo Stock Exchange. With competitive prices and customer-friendly solutions and service, the company has experienced significant growth in recent years. In the beginning of 2012, Norwegian signed the largest ever agreement in European aviation history; an order that includes 122 aircraft from Boeing and 100 aircraft from Airbus.”
Americans planning on flying to and from Europe, specifically the Scandinavian counties, should be thrilled at the prospects of making the trip at a more affordable rate. But if airline related unions get their way, Norwegian soon will not be allowed to land on American soil.
No, they are not associated with terrorists or any other dangerous organization. They are not anti-gay or anything else like that. So why are the airline unions up in arms and asking Washington to ban the airlines from serving the US?
Simple – Norwegian is not a union airline.
American airline companies including America, Delta and United control nearly 90% of the transatlantic flights. Bill Hennessey, a former union official and now Norwegian flight attendant explains:
“Together, these U.S. airlines control almost 90 percent of the transatlantic market. That’s a monopoly, and that’s why the profit margins on those tickets are so enormous. They make a killing because there is no competition.”
“We have no demographic; we target anyone. That is, anyone who wants to travel across the Atlantic, but who can only afford a certain amount. … We have business travelers and vacationers who travel the same route back and forth between the U.S. and Europe.”
Kevin Mooney, with The Foundry, compared prices between American Airlines and Norwegian:
“On American, for instance, a round-trip ticket June 2 and 9 from New York-JFK International Airport to Oslo costs about $1,440. The same flight on Norwegian? Around $862. That’s a $578 difference.”
American based airlines and their unions believe that this type of free enterprise is unfair. It’s so unfair that the Air Line Pilots Association, International, the world’s largest pilots union have asked the US Department of Transportation to turn down the request from Norwegian’s affiliate, Norwegian Air International, to continue servicing the United States. The big three airline companies have also contacted DOT, accusing Norwegian of violating Norway’s labor laws that translate into lower wages and poorer work conditions, even though former union official Hennessey doesn’t think so.
Capt. Lee Moak, President of the pilots’ union issued a press statement saying:
“Norwegian Air International was clearly designed to attempt to dodge laws and regulations, starting a race to the bottom on labor and working conditions. If successful, the company would gain a serious and unfair economic advantage over U.S. airlines in the competition for the business of international passengers flying to and from the United States.”
And why is it so unfair? Without the high cost of unions, Norwegian can provide cheaper air fares to customers around the world and make it more affordable for people to fly internationally. Unions are more concerned about extorting millions of dollars from workers and passengers to pay for their political activism than they are about making air travel more affordable.
I’m adding this to my growing list of reasons why I hate unions. They cost us more for products and services, they fight against the right to work and they use union dues to promote liberal and socialist politicians who only want to destroy America.