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US/AA Merger Watch

NMB Process Plods Along

The National Mediation Board (NMB) yesterday requested additional information from the TWU/IAM Association relating to our request for a determination of Single Carrier Status (SCS). Specifically, the NMB asked for documentation related to both American Airlines and US Airways Simulator Technicians.

This request is evidence the NMB is actively engaged in processing the Association’s SCS determination filing, which is required before Alliance Mechanic and Related, Fleet Service and Stock Clerk members can start negotiating agreements that recognize all of the hard work and sacrifice they have made.

TWU, IAM Alliance Moving Forward at American Airlines

iam_twu_together-2To All American Airlines/US Airways Mechanic & Related, Fleet and Stores Employees:

Brother and Sister TWU/IAM Members:
We expect the National Mediation Board will finally soon issue its ruling affirming that American Airlines and US Airways are operating as a single carrier for the purpose of employee representation. TWU and the IAM jointly petitioned the NMB for this purpose in August, 2014.

This long overdue declaration by the NMB will clear away a major hurdle to the start of new contract negotiations covering the 30,000 members of our joint TWU/IAM Employee Association. The AA/US Airways merger and a surging economy have catapulted the carrier to record profits, while our members continue to work under pre-merger contracts.

Be assured that the leadership of both TWU and IAM are diligently preparing for negotiations and will fight for American Airlines workers to achieve our goal of industry leading contracts for our covered titles.

The solicitation of proposals among all groups is an important part of the pre-negotiation process. They will provide your leadership with the proper focus in developing Alliance proposals that accurately reflect your primary concerns.

The company may believe that they can play off one union against the other during negotiations. They would be incorrect. If there have been any bumps in the road during the building process of our new Association, those issues are largely behind us. Any unresolved issues or new issues as yet unforeseen will be addressed through the arbitration process outlined in the alliance agreement.

The Association is prepared to proceed to negotiations as soon as prudently possible after NMB certification. We will not let anything prevent us from delivering the industry’s premier contracts for our members. That is our goal, and our pledge. We trust that you will stand with the Association in a powerful united front to secure what is rightfully ours.

In solidarity,

Harry Lombardo                                                       Sito Pantoja
TWU International President                       IAM General Vice President

Read the letter here.

IAM/TWU Association Responds to “Peterson Letter”

On August 21, 2014, Gary Peterson, President of TWU Local 591, submitted a letter to the National Mediation Board (NMB) objecting to the TWU/IAM Association appearing on a ballot in an election that would follow an NMB single carrier ruling.

Today, the TWU/IAM Associations responded in this letter to Board.

Click on the image to read, download, print and distribute the letter:
IAM Response_Page_01

IAM, TWU Alliance moves forward with American Airlines Single Carrier Filing

USAA PicIn a move that will lead to joint contract negotiations for more than 30,000 members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) and Transport Workers Union (TWU), the two unions today jointly petitioned the National Mediation Board (NMB) asking it declare that post-merger American Airlines and US Airways are now operating as a single transportation system for employees in the Mechanic & Related, Fleet Service and Stores classifications.

Today’s filing is a necessary precursor to an NMB election to certify the TWU-IAM Employee Association, an alliance between the IAM and TWU formed last year, as the collective bargaining representative for all employees in the affected classifications at the new American Airlines. There is no defined timeframe for the NMB to act on today’s petition.

IAM International President Tom Buffenbarger and TWU International President Harry Lombardo issued the following statement after the filing:

“Today begins the next step in achieving the airline industry’s best labor agreements at the world’s largest airline. American Airlines has entered into an era of super-profits and it’s now time for our combined 30,000 members at the airline to secure the industry’s premier contracts. Our members, by pooling resources and uniting in solidarity, present the most formidable labor alliance in the airline industry. Executives and shareholders are profiting handsomely, and this alliance will ensure our members are also rewarded for their hard work and sacrifice.”

Each pre-merger group will continue working under their existing collective bargaining agreements until joint agreements are negotiated and ratified.

Also announced with this filing is the first membership benefit, a Preferential Hiring Agreement between the two unions and American Airlines. Under its terms, furloughed members from either American or US Airways will be offered, but are not required to accept, open job opportunities at the other airline without loss of pay seniority.

More information about the IAM-TWU alliance and the Preferential Hiring Agreement is available at and

Preferential Hiring Agreement Fleet Service.
Preferential Hiring Agreement Mechanic and Related.
Preferential Hiring Agreement Stores.

Machinists to Picket US Airways in Five Major Cities

IAM-represented workers will conduct informational pickets in five major cities tomorrow.

IAM-represented workers will conduct informational pickets in five major cities tomorrow.

Washington D.C., March 26, 2014 –IAM mechanic and related, fleet service, maintenance training specialist and stockroom employees will conduct informational picketing on Thursday March 27, 2014 at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, Boston's Logan Airport, Denver International Airport, Philadelphia International Airport and Phoenix' Sky Harbor Airport, with all five events protesting US Airways’ position that IAM-represented workers at the airline accept second-class status and agree to lower wage rates than other employees at the carrier who perform the same exact work.

Who: IAM–represented mechanic and related, fleet service, maintenance training specialist and stockroom employees at US Airways.

What: Informational picketing.

Where and When:

Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, Charlotte, North Carolina.
Departure (upper) level, all doors.
Thursday March 27, 2014 from 7:30 am-6:00 pm

Boston Logan Airport.
Terminal B, upper level, all doors.
Thursday March 27, 2014 from 12:00 noon-3:00 pm.

Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport
Terminal 4, departure level, doors 21 and 28.
Thursday March 27, 2014 from 8:00 am-5:00 pm

Philadelphia International Airport
Terminal A East, Terminal A, B and C West, departure level all doors.
Thursday March 27, 2014 from 7:00 am-5:00 pm.

Denver International Airport
Terminal Jeppson, level 5 and 6.
Thursday March 27, 2014 from 6:00 am-6:00 pm.

Why:  To protest US Airways’ position that IAM-represented workers at the airline accept second-class status and agree to lower wage rates than other employees at the carrier who perform the same exact work.

The IAM represents approximately14,000 mechanic and related, fleet service, maintenance training specialist and stockroom employees at pre-merger US Airways, making it the largest union at the airline.


Machinists Union Ratifies United Contract But Says US Airways Drags Its Feet

The International Association of Machinists is applauding a new deal covering 28,000 workers at United Airlines, but says it cannot seem to make any headway on two US Airways contracts.

The United deal runs through 2016 and covers fleet service workers, agents, and others. It provides wage boosts between 19% and 56% over the life of the contract, including immediate increases between 7% and 29%, the IAM said. With about 65% of eligible members voting, the contract won approval in excess of 70%, the union said.

“United took the approach of trying to reach agreement with the IAM so they can achieve the benefit of having an integrated work force,” said IAM spokesman Joe Tiberi. “US Airways made a mess of the last merger and is starting this potential merger with American headed in the wrong direction, again.”

Among US Airways unions, the IAM is not only the largest but also the only one that has not voiced support for the pending merger with American. Some experts credit public displays of support, including union support, with putting pressure on the Justice Department to drop its lawsuit opposing the merger. A hearing in U.S. District Court in Washington is scheduled to begin Nov. 25.

Workers at United rejected an earlier contract agreement, which followed a 2011 representation election when the IAM defeated the Teamsters following the merger between United and Continental . IAM had represented fleet service workers at United while IBT had represented the group at Continental. “After our members rejected the first agreement, we went back to the table and got an agreement they accepted,” Tiberi said. “United wanted to get a deal, and the way negotiations were handled set an example.”

In the case of US Airways, Tiberi said the union and company negotiators met this month in Dallas to discuss the mechanics contract. But the talks were hampered by the lack of a federal mediator, who did not appear due to the government shutdown. Tiberi said the company had indicated it would offer a contract proposal at the meeting, , but then did not. “They showed up without a proposal,” he said.

Talks on the contract covering about 3,500 mechanics and related workers are scheduled to resume next week, with a mediator present, while talks on the contract for about 5,900 fleet service workers will resume in November.

“Negotiations with the IAM are currently under the auspices of the National Mediation Board,” said US Airways spokeswoman Michelle Mohr. “We look forward to the next scheduled sessions and welcome the opportunity to continue that dialogue”

Contract talks at US Airways have been stalled since contracts for the two work groups became amendable 22 months ago on Jan. 2, 2012. Talks have been delayed by the airline’s merger efforts and by a failed effort by the Teamsters to organize the mechanics. That effort began late in 2012 and ended in August, when the Teamsters lost a representation election.

At United, the IAM also represents about 1,500 fleet technical instructors, maintenance instructors, food service and security officers, who remain in negotiations.

In mid-afternoon trading on Tuesday, US Airways shares were up 21 cents to $22.22 after the carrier said it has sought mediation in the DOJ’s merger case. Shares are up 65% for the year. United shares were up $1.53 to $37.65, perhaps reflecting investor approval of the contract approval. Shares are up 44% this year.


US/AA Extend Merger Deadline

American Airlines and US Airways announced last week they will extend their merger deadline into January, giving the companies more time as they face an antitrust challenge from the U.S. Department of Justice.

The extension pushes the date that either airline could abandon the merger from Dec. 17 to Jan. 18.

"The boards and management teams of AMR and US Airways remain committed to completing this combination to create the new American, and the extension of this outside date is a reflection of this commitment," said AMR Corp. CEO and President Tom Horton and Doug Parker, CEO and president of US Airways, in a joint statement. "Our focus is on mounting a vigorous defense and winning our court case so the new American can enhance competition, provide better service to our customers and create more opportunities for our employees."

The airlines' antitrust trial is slated to begin Nov. 25. A Dec. 17 deadline would give only 16 business days between the beginning of the trial and the merger deadline, so there might be a verdict by then.

The antitrust trial is expected to take about two weeks.

The revised agreement would also allow the airlines a timeline to abandon the merger if the judge strikes down the deal.

The Justice Department is seeking to derail the merger, contending the airline industry has become too concentrated and that a combination of American Airlines and US Airways would increase fares on hundreds of routes across the country.

American Airlines' main maintenance base is in Tulsa, where it employs the bulk of the area's AMR Corp. employees.

The two airlines have been working toward a merger since Feb. 14, first getting bankruptcy court approval. European authorities have already granted antitrust approval to the deal.

The airlines have been putting pressure on the Justice Department to settle the case before the trial date. Last week, the companies flew employees to Washington, D.C., to lobby lawmakers, who in turn could put political pressure on the White House to end the antitrust challenge.

The airlines argue that other airline mergers were allowed to go forward and that their merger would create a stronger competitor to bigger rivals United Airlines and Delta Air Lines.

American and US Airways also confirmed that they dropped an agreement to pay Horton nearly $20 million in severance. If the merger is completed, he would step aside soon afterward while Parker runs the combined company.

The judge in AMR's bankruptcy case ruled this month that the payment to Horton would violate bankruptcy law.


Machinists to US Airways: Contract Now

The National Mediation Board (NMB) this week held a “status conference” with  IAM Districts 141 and 142 regarding the ongoing US Airways Mechanic and Related and Fleet Service contract negotiations. The NMB also met separately with the carrier.

Amid the continuing uncertainty surrounding the American-US Airways merger, the purpose of the conference was to discuss outstanding issues and both parties’ positions on these issues.

“During this entire process we have been crystal clear with US Airways that our contracts come before merger distractions,” said IAM District 141 President Rich Delaney. “But all we have seen from US Airways is delay and diversion. IAM members at US Airways are unified and prepared to take this dispute public and will be fully supported by the substantial resources of the Machinist’s Union to achieve the agreements they deserve.”

“All IAM members at US Airways stand in solidarity with the same goal; contracts now!" said IAM District 142 President Tom Higginbotham. “US Airways needs to stop babbling about this merger circus and do what’s right by IAM members at US Airways.”

IAM-represented Mechanic and Related, Maintenance Training Specialist and Fleet Service workers have been in negotiations for well over two years with US Airways. The IAM has requested a release to strike from the NMB for the Mechanic and Related and Fleet Service groups earlier this year.

The IAM represents approximately 14,000 workers at US Airways and is the largest union at the carrier.


Trial Date Endangers American-US Airways Deal

Airline Mergers ConsumersAmerican Airlines, its unsecured creditors committee and US Airways have come right out and said it – the American-US Airways merger would be endangered if the antitrust lawsuit seeking to block it doesn’t start until March 2014.

In a filing Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., the airlines argue that a long delay endangers the deal, “as plaintiffs [DOJ] are well aware.”

Read the full story here.

Teamsters Pull Plug on American Raid

Amid charges of forged election authorization cards and after more than a year of causing conflict and division among workers at American Airlines and US Airways, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) today abandoned its raid of mechanic and related workers at American Airlines.

Citing the federal government’s opposition to the proposed US Airways/American Airlines merger, the Teamsters now claim “continued conflict between labor organizations is not in the best interest of the workers.”

Just days after the IAM soundly defeated the Teamsters in their attempted raid on US Airways mechanics, and just days before a National Mediation Board (NMB) hearing into charges they forged election authorization cards in their raid at American, the Teamsters are now posing as champions of labor unity.

“The Teamsters don't care about unity," said IAM General Vice President Sito Pantoja. "They have never had the support they claimed at US Airways or American. They were afraid of the process to move forward at American."

Earlier this year the Teamsters claimed to have obtained 2800 signed authorization cards from mechanic and related workers at US Airways but only garnered 1400 votes in this week’s election, giving credence to the IAM's charges that many of the cards that led to the election were forged. IAM continues to insist the NMB investigate the forgery allegations.

Machinists Union Presses for Contracts at US Airways Amid Merger Uncertainty

USAA PicThe Department of Justice (DOJ) and six state attorneys general today filed suit to block the proposed merger of US Airways and American Airlines.

“This is the exact reason why we have continually demanded US Airways negotiate a fair contract with IAM members before any merger related issues are discussed,” said General Vice President Sito Pantoja. “ It’s time US Airways stop playing games and sign new contracts with IAM members that are reflective of the record profits at the airline.”

“Because of the size of the airline industry, if this merger were approved, even a small increase in the price of airline tickets, checked bags, of flight change fees would cause hundreds of millions of dollars of harm to American consumers annually,” stated the lawsuit filed today in Washington D.C.

“Nothing changes for the IAM,” said IAM District 142 President Tom Higginbotham. “With or without this merger US Airways needs to immediately get back to the table and negotiate agreements that IAM members want, need and deserve or the National Mediation Board (NMB) should release us to strike.”

“We warned US Airways months ago against focusing exclusively on a merger instead of negotiating new contracts with IAM members,” said District 141 President Rich Delaney. “If US Airways can’t get serious, then the NMB should release us.”

The federal government’s lawsuit is expected to at least delay the conclusion of the US Airways/American Airlines merger or possibly prevent the tie-up altogether. IAM represented Mechanic and Related, Fleet Service, Maintenance Training Specialists and Stockroom workers have been in negotiations with US Airways for over two years for new contracts covering approximately 14,000 workers.

Breaking News: Teamsters Charged With Card Forging Scheme at American

In a submission this week to the National Mediation Board in Washington, D.C., the Transport Workers Union (TWU) presented the sworn testimony of former Teamster organizers alleging that the Teamsters forged authorization cards of Mechanic and Related employees at American Airlines.

The testimony of the two witnesses alleged that instead of making assigned house call visits, a Teamster organizer sat in his car and forged authorization cards and then turned them in to supervisors along with false house call visitation records.

Witness testimony also alleged that the Teamsters Organizing Department learned of this practice when they compared multiple authorization cards with different signatures from the same AA employee and told Teamsters’ senior managers who removed an organizer from the AA campaign but otherwise ignored the issue.

Click here to read the TWU's challenges and objections.

Click here to read the sworn testimony of the IBT organizers.

Click here to read the story from The Street.


Mechanic Pensions on the Line in US Airways Election

It’s not often a group of workers can save their pensions and protect their seniority by the simple act of casting a ballot, but that’s exactly what’s happening right now right now as IAM-represented Mechanic and Related workers at US Airways vote in the current representation election.

“IAM Mechanic and Related workers at US Airways will lose the best pension plan in the airline industry if they vote IBT,” said Transportation GVP Sito Pantoja. “Losing IAM representation would also jeopardize valuable seniority protections that are written into the IAM-TWU joint representation agreement.”

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) filed with the National Mediation Board (NMB) in May for a representation election for the Mechanic and Related class and craft at US Airways, continuing the union’s divisive strategy of raiding other unions instead of focusing on organizing workers who want and need a union.

“The Teamsters have a dismal track record in the airline industry,” said Pantoja. “I strongly urge US Airways Mechanics and their families to watch the video below where Mechanics at United Airlines provide grim testimony about the IBT’s ability to deliver promised pension benefits.”

The NMB mailed voting instructions to all eligible voters on July 8, 2013. Election results will be announced on Monday August 12, 2013.

If any US Airways Mechanic and Related employee has not received voting instructions from the NMB, please click here to request duplicate voting instructions.

The deadline to request duplicate voting instructions is August 5, 2013.

Former Teamster Talks About Superior IAM Representation

Listen to former Teamster Paul Dutily talk about superior IAM representation. Real talk, real experiences not scripted Teamster campaign propaganda.

The Teamsters like to talk a lot about "power" during campaigns, but the truth is the Teamsters are weak in negotiations and even weaker on the servicing side.

Vote IAM today to protect you pension, seniority and superior representation!

Arrests Show Mob Running Long Island Teamsters: N.Y. District Attorney

The Manhattan District attorney unveiled indictments on Tuesday of nine reputed Mafia gangsters, saying that a two-year investigation had cracked a $10 million scheme run an organized criminal enterprise that had infiltrated a labor union.

The attorney, Cyrus Vance, said the criminal gangs had been engaged in mob staples such as extortion, loan sharking, and gambling around the New York City region, but also new ventures such as trading in prescription drugs dealing from Oxycodone to Viagra.

"While in the last few decades we have seen a decline, organized crime is by no means extinct," Vance told reporters at a news conference.

The nine reputed members of the Bonanno crime family, including a Teamsters union president, were charged with enterprise corruption, the state version of the federal crime of racketeering.

According to the indictment, the election of reputed Bonanno associate Nicholas Bernhard to president of Teamsters 917 on Long Island "was explicitly promoted" by his fellow reputed mobsters. He then "used his position in Local 917 to benefit himself and a crew of the Bonanno organized crime family," the indictment said.

The union, which represents about 1,900 workers in liquor, automotive, parking and other industries, became a hub for gambling and loan sharking, Vance said.

"Whatever name you call it, the Mafia, Cosa Nostra, the mob, the 158-pages long indictment demonstrates that organized crime is still operating in New York City and it still has its hooks in the labor movement," he said.

All but one of the defendants was arrested on Tuesday.

Investigators used court-ordered wire taps and search warrants in their probe.

View the video:

The Dark Side of the Teamsters

View the video below and hear firsthand about the Teamsters' track record of poor representation, corruption, decertification and anti-labor activity.

In the Teamsters Union you pay higher dues for less of a voice in directing your union. As you will see in the video, the Teamsters spend millions of dollars annually for internal and external supervision due to countless cases of illegal activity.

Vote IAM today!

The Truth About Teamster Pension Promises

After unelected Teamster Boss Captain David Bourne blew off US Airways Mechanics and Related employees in last night's conference call, the Teamsters rolled out the propaganda machine regarding pensions.

There was alot of "ifs" and "shoulds" but nothing of substance. The bottom line is a vote for the Teamsters is a vote to lose your guaranteed IAM pension for Teamster hot-air promises.

Check out the video below and hear from 25-year United Mechanic Jim Seitz regarding the Teamster promises and the actual results. Sadly, it will sound all too familiar.

Voting will start as early as today and the reality is if you don't vote IAM you stand to lose a great deal.

Pittsburgh Mechanics Support IAM


In true "Fighting Machinist's" fashion, US Airways Mechanics on the midnight shift in Pittsburgh show their support for the IAM.

More and more US Airways Mechanics have been confirming their support for the IAM as the facts regarding the Teamster's record in the airline industry are becoming known.

"We support the IAM in Pittsburgh," said US Airways Mechanic Bill Hollowood. "We will not allow Teamster misinformation and empty promises risk our retirement and job security. We intend to make sure every US Airways Mechanic is fully aware of the all the facts so he or she can cast an informed vote."

"We've went through tough times together and our unity and solidarity has pulled us through," said PIT Mechanic Bruce Mead. "The IAM has been here through thick and thin and we're not going to switch unions for slogans and smoke blowing. Is the IAM perfect? No, no organization is. But at least we have the right to vote on our representatives and control our union. That's not the case with the Teamsters."

IAM members continue outreach efforts to communicate with their brothers and sisters around the system and are being met with solid support.

Teamsters Isolated

IsolationThe Transportation Trades Department of the 12.5 million member AFL-CIO blasted the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) for its raids at American Airlines and US Airways.

“At a time when the labor movement – and more importantly, its membership – is under constant attack in Washington, at the state and local government level and on the job, these raids are weakening our movement and should not be tolerated,” said TTD President Ed Wytkind.

“This is of course a very challenging time for the labor movement and for the workers we represent,” said Wytkind. “The last thing we need is to spend time, money and other resources on these types of destructive raids. It is my sincere hope that the IBT raids will be rejected and that this predatory behavior will end. More than 9 out of 10 private sector workers in America do not have collective bargaining. Surely, IBT could redirect its organizing resources to giving voice to those workers that desperately need union representation.”

“I applaud the actions taken by the TTD,” said General Vice President Sito Pantoja. “We stand in solidarity with the 32 TTD member unions in our collective effort to hold the Teamsters accountable for dividing the labor movement to serve the narrow interests of its leadership.”

Click here to read the President Wytkind’s statement.

Listen to the TWU-IAM Town Hall Conference Call

On Monday June 17, 2013 the IAM and TWU held a Town Hall Conference Call to discuss the TWU-IAM labor alliance at the "new" American Airlines, the IBT raid at both American Airlines and US Airways and other important issues.

AFL-CIO President Rich Trumka, IAM International President Tom Buffenbarger and TWU International President James Little offer opening remarks followed by two panels of mechanic and related employees from US Airways, American Airlines and United Airlines, with two former Teamsters and one current IBT member.

Teamster Corruption Rears Its Ugly Head… Again

Teamster Business Agent Michael Townsend was indicted on bribery and conspiracy charges.

Teamster Business Agent Michael Townsend was indicted on bribery and conspiracy charges.

In what seemingly appears to be a monthly occurrence, another representative of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) has been indicted on bribery and conspiracy charges.

Michael Townsend, 64, of Dearborn Heights, a business agent and trustee of Teamsters Local 337, was indicted last Thursday by a federal grand jury in Detroit and faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted.

According to the government, the unelected Townsend took bribes from a produce company, LaGrasso Brothers Produce Inc., in exchange for his participation in a scheme that made it appear that the company's workers were unionized, when in fact they were not.

“This defendant was a union official who was entrusted to help working people organize,” U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said in aJune 14 statement announcing the indictment. “He betrayed workers for his own profit. We are seeking to hold him and the company accountable for their conduct.”

Townsend and his co-conspirators, the indictment said, would use LaGrasso family members and managers of LaGrasso Brothers Produce to pose as employees of Sam LaGrasso Produce and enroll them as union members of Teamsters Local 337. Then, they entered into collective bargaining agreements between Local 337 and Sam LaGrasso Produce to make it look like the employees at LaGrasso Brothers Produce were unionized.

Click here to read the article from the Detroit Free Press

Transport Workers and Machinist Union to Jointly Represent Ground Workers at the “New” American Airlines

TWU IAM LogosThe International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) and the Transport Workers Union of America (TWU) today announced a partnership to jointly represent nearly 30,000 ground workers at the “new” American Airlines following the merger of American Airlines and US Airways.

This week the two international unions have signed joint agreements to cover the Mechanic & Related, Fleet Service, and Stores employee work groups at the soon to be merged airline. The new labor partnership, to be known as the TWU/IAM Employee Association, will ask the federal National Mediation Board (NMB) to hold elections among the combined employees for each classification after the close of the American-US Airways merger.  The election will formalize the joint-council agreement reached this week.

“I am proud that our two great unions put the members first in a true demonstration of solidarity,” said IAM International President Tom Buffenbarger. “These agreements protect our members’ representation, pensions and seniority. Working jointly with the TWU, we will ensure both unions’ members are rewarded in this merger.”

“This agreement allows us to use our combined strength and resources on behalf of all our members as we move forward at the new American Airlines,” said TWU International President James C. Little.  “Both unions have decades of experience representing workers at US Airways and American Airlines and both unions are members of the AFL-CIO.”

Following certification, negotiating committees comprised of an equal number of representatives from each union will begin working out the details of collective bargaining agreements to cover the combined carriers’ employees.

The accords reached this week, designate which union will enforce a post-merger agreement in specific cities, as well as providing a mechanism to designate contract enforcement responsibilities if the carrier expands to new markets.

The IAM currently represents Mechanic and Related, Fleet Service, and Stores employees at US Airways; TWU represents these classifications at American. TWU also currently represents Aircraft Dispatchers, Flight Crew Training Instructors and Flight Simulator Engineers at both airlines. Additionally, IAM represents Maintenance Instructors at US Airways.

The full agreements and a Question and Answer document are available below, and at the Transport Workers Union’s website:


DOL Requested to Investigate Failing Teamster Pension Plans

IBT Pension CollapseA recent article in Forbes reports that retired Teamster members are requesting that the Department of Labor investigate why multi-employer Teamster pension plans are woefully underfunded and is criminal activity the cause.

Teamster retirees are claiming the Teamster-run pension plans could have locked in an eight percent return on assets for 15 years back in 2000 when the plans were overfunded. Now the plans are heading for collapse and so is the retirement security of thousands of Teamster retirees.

"Some Teamsters want answers but aren’t getting them. What caused their pensions to plummet in the past decade," wrote Forbes reporterTed Siedle. "Was the demise of their pension entirely unforeseeable, due to unknowable market forces or was foul-play involved?"

Read the article here.


Buffenbarger Says No to Cuts in Earned Pension Benefits

Tom BuffenbargerIn a letter to President Barack Obama, IAM President Tom Buffenbarger urged the president to help prevent deep cuts to working Americans' hard-earned pension benefits.

"On behalf of the IAM, I write to express our strong opposition to the proposal being advanced by some in the multi-employer pension community," wrote Buffenbarger. "Some poorly-run multi-employer plans want to have the ability to slash retirement benefits for existing retirees to 110 percent of the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation's (PBGC) minimum of $1,072.50 per month, which would work out to only about $1,180 per month. For a worker planning on receiving a monthly benefit of $3,613, this would mean a 67 percent cut in promised benefits. A bigger pension would result in an even larger cut. Such an extreme cut is unconscionable."

The position staked out by IAM stands in stark contrast to that of Teamster President James P. Hoffa. Hoffa and the Teamsters are in lock-step with employers eager to renege on promises made to loyal employees and together are lobbying hard for new legislation to permit the slashing of current retiree benefits, even the benefits of retired Teamsters.

Many Teamster pension plans are in serious financial distress due to poor management and outright corruption and Hoffa Jr. views this legislation as a way out. Sadly, the well-being of retirees are not being considered.

Making note that pensions are not gifts from employers but deferred wages that employees have sacrificed based on the promise of a secure retirement after a lifetime of work, Buffenbarger shared with the president the findings of a recent study by the Pension Rights Center. The poll found that many Americans are extremely concerned about the benefits they rightfully earned and were promised years ago.

"An essential part of the American Dream is a secure retirement after a lifetime of toil," wrote Buffenbarger. "For many Americans that dream has turned into a nightmare of uncertainty and fear as incomes have stagnated and the number of workers receiving defined benefit pensions has shrunk. Allowing draconian cuts in retirement benefits will not ease these concerns nor provide for a more secure retirement."

"I respectfully request your support in stopping any proposal that cuts the hard-earned pension benefits of working Americans."

Click here to read the letter.

Click here to read how the Teamsters support cutting earned retirement benefits.

Machinists Union to US Airways: Contracts First, Merger Second

The proposed merger of US Airways and American Airlines would create the world's largest carrier.

The proposed merger of US Airways and American Airlines would create the world's largest carrier.

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) today declared renewed contracts for its US Airways members must be concluded before the IAM is willing to support the merger of US Airways and American Airlines.

"IAM members at US Airways need and deserve contracts now,” said IAM District 141 President Rich Delaney. “The Machinists Union will not allow US Airways to stall our members’ contract negotiations while it devotes its attention to merging with American Airlines. The IAM is prepared to support this merger only if it provides real value to employees.”

“The IAM has been in negotiations with US Airways to amend existing contracts for approximately two years,” said IAM District 142 President Tom Higginbotham.  “US Airways, however, has been more concerned with courting American Airlines than negotiating with its own employees."

While US Airways and American Airlines today declared their intention to merge, the pairing still faces many obstacles, including  shareholder and regulatory approval.

The IAM is the world’s largest airline union and its Air Transport Districts 141 and 142 represent more than 14,000 Mechanics and Related, Fleet Service, Maintenance Instructors and Stockroom employees at US Airways, making it the largest union at the airline. More information about the Machinists Union and the proposed merger is available at: and


GVP Pantoja Issues Statement Regarding American’s Wage Increase Announcement

AA PlaneThe following is a message from IAM General Vice President Sito Pantoja regarding American Airlines’ wage increase announcement:

"The IAM was very pleased to receive yesterday’s letter from American’s Chairman and CEO Doug Parker acknowledging the sacrifice and hard work of his unionized work groups that have contributed to the success of the new American. Unlike many CEOs, he should be commended for showing the company’s appreciation through more than kind words but through the promise of a four percent additional increase in wages for those work groups with ratified joint contracts.

However, for our members, this announcement makes the need for an immediate single carrier determination from the National Mediation Board (NMB) regarding the work groups currently represented by the IAM and TWU all the more critical. Once the NMB issues its decision, the Association representing the combined IAM and TWU work groups can move forward to the expedited negotiation of a long overdue jointly negotiated industry leading contract.

Our members deserve no less and the company has now acknowledged its ability to pay. Accordingly, the IAM will do all in its power to urge the NMB to make its single carrier determination on behalf of the Association immediately, which will trigger negotiations of a unified contract for our members so they can share in the profits they helped create.

With your continued support, and with the combined strength of the IAM and TWU, I am confident that the Association can achieve the industry leading contract that our members have earned.

On behalf of the IAM and the Association, I wish all of you and your families Happy Holidays."

IAM Continues American Airlines Joint Contract Preparations

AA US AircraftIAM District Lodge 141 and 142 Negotiations Committee members, District Lodge 141 and 142 leadership and Transportation Department officials met yesterday in Charlotte, NC to continue preparations for joint contract negotiations for Mechanic and Related, Fleet Service and Stores workers at American Airlines.

TWU-IAM Association bargaining strategies and priorities were discussed and previous seniority committee meetings were reviewed.

“Yesterday’s meetings were very productive and the business of the Association is moving along,” said IAM District 141 and 142 Presidents Rich Delaney and Dave Supplee. “We eagerly await a single carrier determination so the representation process is triggered.”

The National Mediation Board (NMB) has yet to rule on the TWU-IAM Association’s request for a single carrier determination. Although there is no specific timetable for the NMB to issue a determination, a ruling is expected soon.

“Getting to the table and achieving the industry’s best contracts for Mechanic and Related, Fleet Service and Stores workers at American Airlines is our single priority,” continued Delaney and Supplee. “We look forward to the TWU-appointed negotiators joining the process.”

The TWU-IAM Association represents more than 30,000 Mechanic and Related, Fleet Service and Stores workers at American Airlines and is the largest union at the carrier.

TWU–IAM Association Update

IAM representatives of the Joint Seniority Integration Committee met last week in Dallas, TX to discuss and examine issues related to seniority list integration. The IAM also named their respective joint contract negotiating committees comprised of members from Districts 141 and 142 (see below).

The TWU–IAM Associations were formed in May, 2013 after the merger of American Airlines and US Airways and is the largest union at the new American Airlines. The IAM and TWU both determined that joining forces would bring the best unity and strength to secure the joint contracts that Association represented members rightfully deserve.

While there are three separate and distinct Associations for negotiations and representation purposes (Mechanic & Related, Fleet Service and Stores), our combined strength will bring us the best contracts at the bargaining tables.

“We are excited about moving the Associations forward, so 30,000 ground workers at the new American can attain the industry’s best contracts at the World’s largest carrier,” said IAM District 141 and 142 Presidents Rich Delaney and Dave Supplee in a joint statement. “The new American just reported record third quarter profits. Now is the time to be prepared and get to the table.”

Mechanic & Related/Stores
Sean Ryan
John Coveny
Bennie Martino
Mark Strength
Ken Coley
Mark Huffman

Mike Fairbanks
Pat Rezler
Bill Wilson
Steve Miller
Mark Baskett
Rodney Walker

The TWU will separately name members from TWU to the joint negotiating committee. We look forward to joining forces.

Machinists Overwhelmingly Approve
 New Contracts at US Airways

IAM members at US Airways voted overwhelmingly to approve new contracts.

IAM members at US Airways voted overwhelmingly to approve new contracts.

Washington D.C., July 19, 2014 – The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) today announced that approximately 11,000 maintenance training specialist, fleet service and mechanic and related employees approved new contracts by 96, 86 and 67 percent respectively at the "new" American Airlines.

The three year accords provide for significant wage hikes, industry-best job security, retains affordable health insurance and preserves defined-benefit pension plans at the carrier.

"I'd like to thank all IAM members and their negotiating committees at US Airways for their patience, support and determination during this tenuous process," said General Vice President Sito Pantoja. "We are now well situated to begin joint contract talks with our Transport Worker Union (TWU) sisters and brothers to achieve the best contracts in the airline industry at the world’s largest airline."

The TWU-IAM representation Alliance, formed last year after the merger of US Airways and American Airlines, will begin talks with American Airlines for agreements that will bring over 30,000 TWU-IAM Alliance members under joint contracts.

The IAM is the world’s largest airline union and represents approximately 11,000 pre-merger US Airways workers.

For more information on the mechanic and related and maintenance training specialist contracts visit

For more information on the fleet service contract visit

Machinists, US Airways Reach Tentative Agreement on Contracts for 11,000

SignatureWashington, D.C., June 16, 2014 –The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) today announced it reached tentative agreements with US Airways on contracts covering approximately 11,000 mechanic and related, fleet service, maintenance training specialist and stock clerk employees.

The three-year accords provide for substantial wage hikes, significant job security improvements and maintain industry-best healthcare benefits, among many other improvements. A ratification schedule is being developed.

"We thank the negotiating committees for their dedication and resolve during these difficult negotiations," said IAM District 141 and 142 Presidents Rich Delaney and Tom Higginbotham in a joint statement. "These tentative agreements provide a solid starting point for joint collective bargaining with our Transport Workers Union (TWU) brothers and sisters.”

The IAM has been in negotiations with US Airways for the mechanic and related, fleet service, maintenance training specialist and stock clerk employees for approximately three years and has demanded a fair contract first for IAM-represented pre-merger US Airways workers before any merger-related issues would be discussed.

"My sincere thanks to the IAM membership at US Airways," said General Vice President Sito Pantoja. "When these tentative contracts are ratified by IAM members at US Airways, the IAM-TWU Alliance will then begin the process of negotiating joint contacts that will cover over 30,000 alliance members at the 'new' American Airlines. These tentative agreements provide unprecedented job security provisions that will protect IAM members as the merger of US Airways and American Airlines proceeds. I'd also like to thank the NMB, and especially Chairwoman Linda Puchala, for their help in brining these negotiations to a successful conclusion.”

The IAM and TWU, the union that represents ground workers at pre-merger American Airlines, formed a representation alliance last year after the merger of US Airways and American Airlines was announced.

For more detailed information, visit and

Read the story in The Street.

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