Published on : Thursday, August 24, 2017
More than 700 Delta people filled a Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport hangar this week in the latest demonstration of employee support for enforcing Open Skies agreements with the United Arab Emirates and Qatar and protecting American aviation jobs.
Minnesota employees at Gulf carriers eventU.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D.-Minn., and U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer, R.-Minn., headlined the rally alongside Delta’s Chief Legal Officer Peter Carter. They discussed how Emirates Airline, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways are propped up by illegal subsidies – more than $50 billion since 2004 – and how this cheating at trade agreements allows them to rapidly expand their fleets and global operations regardless of profitability, harming American carriers like Delta. Klobuchar and Emmer both made clear that this issue isn’t political and spoke of the benefits the aviation industry brings to Minnesota – benefits and jobs that are at risk if these airlines drive American carriers off routes.
Following a screening of the short documentary film Delta produced about this issue earlier this summer, Carter engaged in a robust Q-and-A session with employees in the audience.
So far, nearly 25,000 Delta employees have contacted their elected representatives as part of the airline’s “Our Future. Our Fight.” campaign, and dozens of frontline employees have visited Washington, D.C., to call on Congress to act. Earlier this year, Klobuchar and a bipartisan group of senators urged the Administration to support American workers and address the impact of Gulf subsidies by appropriately enforcing Open Skies agreements. Emmer and a bipartisan group of Congress members also asked the Administration to enforce international Open Skies agreements with Qatar and UAE and ensure that U.S. aviation workers are able to compete on a level playing field. In addition to Congressional action, the Trump Administration has signaled it is potentially interested in taking action on these trade agreements to help protect American jobs.
MSP, Delta’s second-largest hub, has more than 400 peak-day departures to 120+ destinations and is powered by more than 8,000 Minnesota-based employees.