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TWU-IAM Association Stand-Alone Contracts Trigger Wage Hikes as Negotiators Prepare to Achieve More in Upcoming Joint Contract Negotiations

up_arrow_sign_TIn yet another example of the TWU-IAM Association’s combined power and strategically negotiated pre-merger, stand-alone contracts, Association represented Mechanic and Related, Fleet Service and Stores workers will receive top-of-scale wage increases of between approximately three percent to almost 10 percent, depending on work classification and pre-merger carrier employment in mid-September.

“When the TWU-IAM Association formed after the merger of American and US Airways, the guiding principle was to ensure members at the ‘New American Airlines’ were treated fairly considering their prior sacrifices in creating the largest global carrier,” said Sito Pantoja and Harry Lombardo, Association Chair and Vice Chair, respectively. “These deserved wage hikes are an example of this philosophy, and we aren’t stopping here. Your Negotiating Committees continued the contract reconciliation process last week in Chicago and will be back at the table in short order to fight for further deserved wage increases among other improvements."

Both Legacy American (LAA) and Legacy US Airways (LUS) stand-alone contracts mandate “industry comparable wage rate adjustments” so that both LAA and LUS Association members’ wages never become “industry-trailing” while in joint contract negotiations.

In mid-September, Aircraft Mechanics will earn a top-of-scale “all in” rate of $38.71, Fleet Service employees’ top-of-scale rate increases to $24.39 (Crew Chief/Lead premium not included) and Stores workers will earn $25.34 at top-of-scale. Maintenance Control Technicians, part of the Mechanic and Related class and craft, will surpass $46 per hour at top-of-scale, and those rates will rise while in joint contract negotiations.

“Association members’ will continue to receive wage increases while in negotiations for a joint contract,” continued Pantoja and Lombardo. “This is critical wage protection as there are many other issues that need to be resolved in joint contract negotiations. Each stand-alone contract ensures that Association members’ wages will not fall behind the industry as we fight for other equally important aspects of compensation, such as healthcare and pension benefits, job-security and work-rule improvements."

Click here to view the modified wage scales as of September 12, 2015.

Click here to print, post on all union bulletin boards and distribute in the workplace.

TWU-IAM Association Negotiating Committees Continue Reconciliation Process in Chicago

Mechanic and Related Update:
As we continue to prepare for negotiations, your committee met for two weeks in Chicago from July 26th through August 7th.

We continued the The TWU-IAM Association Mechanic and Related and Fleet Service Negotiating Committees met in Chicago this week to continue the reconciliation process. The Mechanic and Related Negotiating Committee, above, prepare for joint contract negotiation with American Airlines.reconciliation process and began writing new language in preparations for the upcoming joint contract negotiations. We have made great progress, as we addressed some of the most challenging Articles. However, there is still much more to be done.

There are many differences between the two pre-merger contracts and we will continue to work to build a joint agreement that recognizes the past sacrifices of our members, which has allowed American Airlines to post their largest profits in industry history.

We have started and will continue to bring in subject matter experts to help draft specific language for individual work groups as needed.

We have dates scheduled in Dallas-Fort Worth from August 31st through September 4th to continue this process.

We appreciate your continued support during this monumental process.

Fraternally,

Mechanic and Related/Stores Negotiations Committee:

Jason Best
Mike Bush
Ken Coley
John Coveny
Dale Danker
Mark Huffman
Bennie Martino
Gary Peterson
Larry Pike
Sean Ryan
Jay Sleeman
Mark Strength

Fleet Service Update:
Your Fleet Service Negotiating Committee met over the last two weeks in Chicago to continue the reconciliation of our contracts in preparation for our upcoming negotiations with American.

This is a tedious but necessary process as we decide which language to keep, remove or enhance while writing new proposal language for the

The TWU-IAM Association Mechanic and Related and Fleet Service Negotiating Committees met in Chicago this week to continue the reconciliation process. The Fleet Service Negotiating Committee prepares for joint contract negotiation with American Airlines.

joint collective bargaining agreement.

We have been working together for the last two weeks and it has been a very successful endeavor. The team has become a cohesive unit with one goal: to provide you with the best contract in the airline industry.

We have future meetings in Dallas-Fort Worth and will inform the membership of the dates when the schedule is finalized.

We look forward to a bright future for the TWU-IAM Association and we appreciate your support during this critical process.

Fraternally,

Fleet Service Negotiations Committee:

Mark Baskett
Mike Fairbanks
Pete Hogan
Tim Hughes
Mike Mayes
Steve Miller
Brian Oyer
Pat Rezler
Art Risley
Andre Sutton
Rodney Walker
Bill Wilson

TWU-IAM Association Determines Servicing and Negotiating Responsibilities for Work Groups Within the Mechanic & Related, Fleet Service and Stores Classes and Crafts

The TWU-IAM Association determined servicing and bargaining responsibilities for the following work groups, which were included as part of the TWU-IAM Association’s certification for the Mechanic & Related, Fleet Service and Stores classes and crafts, but were only represented by either the TWU or the IAM (or were unrepresented) prior to the US Airways/American Airlines merger.

The TWU will maintain all servicing and negotiating responsibilities for Flight Simulator Technicians and Engineers as it did prior to the US Airways/American Airlines merger.

The IAM will maintain all servicing and negotiating responsibilities for Quality Assurance, Planners (including CLP/Weight & Balance) and Technical Document Specialists (including the previously unrepresented persons in these work groups that are included in the NMB class & craft determinations) as it did prior to the US Airways/American Airlines merger.

Both the TWU and IAM will assume servicing responsibilities for all Tower Planning and Tower Operations personnel in accordance with the TWU-IAM Association’s station allocation agreement.

All of the other work classifications that were commonly represented by TWU and IAM on either pre-merger US Airways or American Airlines will continue to be jointly represented in negotiations and future servicing on the New American Airlines.

These Association determinations are critical as they will lead to joint contract negotiations for the above specialized work groups, as well as maintain and extend representation to existing and newly represented workers.

TWU-IAM Association Schedules New Meetings: Reconciliation Process Continues

meetings-rfp-1570x576In continuing the process to initiate joint contract bargaining with American Airlines, your TWU-IAM Association Negotiating Committees have scheduled meetings the weeks of July 27th and August 3rd in Chicago, Illinois.

The Negotiating Committees will continue the “reconciliation process.” “Reconciliation” simply means that the committees examine contractual language—article by article—analyze the provisions and identify the best aspects of each collective bargaining agreement. Your negotiators will then “reconcile” the language of each existing contract and compose new provisions for the joint agreement that reflect membership proposals.

This important work will build on the substantial progress made at the Winpisinger Center last week.

We thank you for the continued support and solidarity, and are anxious to get to the table with American Airlines to secure the contracts that TWU-IAM Association members rightfully deserve.

Click here to print and distribute bulletin.

Fraternally,
Mechanic and Related/Stores Negotiations Committee:



Jason Best                 Mike Bush
Ken Coley                  John Coveny
Dale Danker             Mark Huffman
Bennie Martino       Gary Peterson
Larry Pike                 Sean Ryan
Jay Sleeman             Mark Strength

Fleet Service Negotiations Committee:

Mark Baskett           Mike Fairbanks
Pete Hogan              Tim Hughes
Mike Mayes             Steve Miller
Brian Oyer               Pat Rezler
Art Risley 
               Andre Sutton
Rodney Walker      Bill Wilson

TWU-IAM Association Moves Closer to Joint Contract With American

TWU-IAM Association Negotiating Committees with Association leadership at the Winpisinger Center for Negotiations Preparations.

TWU-IAM Association Negotiating Committees with Association leadership at the Winpisinger Center for Negotiations Preparations.

The Mechanic & Related/Stores/MCT and Fleet Service TWU-IAM Association Negotiating Committees met for the first time this week at the IAM’s William W. Winpisinger Training Center in Hollywood, MD. The Contract Preparation Program was launched by TWU-IAM Association Chair and Vice-Chair, Sito Pantoja and Harry Lombardo, who pledged the full support of the Association to attain our goal of industry-best collective bargaining agreements.

Association negotiators broke out in separate Committee sessions and began contract preparations with great success. The Negotiating Committees shared their philosophies and histories, and gained a deeper understanding of each other’s contracts. The Committees then began to reconcile contract language separately and compared benefits from all contracts.

Both Negotiating Committees have come together as excellent working teams.

We are planning additional joint meetings to continue the reconciliation process so all groups can initiate joint contract negotiations with American Airlines. Our goal is to present contracts that reflect and address the memberships’ proposals and past sacrifices. Association members deserve nothing less.

To achieve this we all must show solidarity at all times.

Combining different contracts with different histories will be a monumental task for each Negotiating Committee. We will, however, achieve our goals together if we tell American Airlines with one loud and clear voice that we deserve the dignity and respect of a fair contract.

Click here to print and distribute the bulletin.

Fraternally,

Mechanic and Related/Stores Negotiations Committee:

Jason Best            Mike Bush
Ken Coley             John Coveny
Dale Danker        Mark Huffman
Bennie Martino  Gary Peterson
Larry Pike            Sean Ryan
Jay Sleeman        Mark Strength

Fleet Service Negotiations Committee:

Mark Baskett      Mike Fairbanks
Pete Hogan         Tim Hughes
Mike Mayes        Steve Miller
Brian Oyer          Pat Rezler
Art Risley 
          Andre Sutton
Rodney Walker   Bill Wilson

NMB Certifies TWU-IAM Associations at American

The National Mediation Board (NMB) today certified the TWU-IAM Association for the Fleet Service, Mechanic and Related and Stores classifications as the 
collective bargaining agent for each of the above classifications at American 
Airlines.

All three Associations were formed following the merger of US Airways and American Airlines. Both the Transport Workers Union (TWU) and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) agreed to jointly 
represent Fleet Service, Mechanic and Related, and Stores employees at the merged carrier instead of engaging in a long, costly and acrimonious representation dispute.

“With today’s ruling, the Associations can now get down to the business of negotiating the industry’s best contracts that our members deserve,” said TWU President Harry Lombardo and IAM General Vice President Sito Pantoja in a joint statement.

The Associations requested on August 16, 2014 that the NMB make a determination of single carrier status for all classes and crafts covered by the Employee Associations. The NMB ruled on April 15, 2015 that American was operating as a single carrier for all groups covered by the Associations’ filing. The NMB’s process allowed a 30-day period after a single carrier determination for any 
intervenor to supply a showing of interest to compete for representation of the 
employees affected. No such showing of interest was filed resulting in the Board issuing a certification of the TWU-IAM Associations as the recognized bargaining agents.

The TWU-IAM Association represents approximately 30,000 ground workers at American Airlines and is the largest union at the carrier.

 

US/AA Pension Q & A

IAMNPF LogoThe following Q& A is part one of a series of communications about pensions.

Q: Who administers the frozen American Airlines (AA) pension plan?

A: The frozen AA pension plan is administered by American Airlines.

Q: Does the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC)—the federal agency that insures pensions and administers standard and distressed pension terminations—have any involvement in the administration either the frozen AA pension plan or the IAM National Pension Fund (IAMNPF)?

A: No. As stated above, American Airlines administers the frozen AA pension plan. The IAMNPF, one of the largest and well-funded multi-employer pension plans in the United States, is administered by a Board of Trustees comprised of both union and management representatives and is currently over 100 percent funded. Visit www.iamnpf.org for more info.

Q: Does American Airlines want to merge the AA frozen pension plan into the IAM National Pension Fund (IAMNPF)?

A: Discussions about merging AA’s frozen pension plan into the IAMNPF have not occurred.

The IAM has never merged an airline industry pension plan into the IAMNPF.

In fact, when Northwest Airlines, United Airlines and US Airways either froze or terminated their employer-sponsored, defined-benefit pension plans, the IAM did not merge these frozen and terminated plans into the IAMNPF. They remained administered by either the company or the PBGC, resulting in IAM members receiving two pension checks in retirement – one from the IAMNPF and one from their previous employer-sponsored plan.

Q: How did IAM members then gain participation in the IAMNPF?

A: After Northwest, United and US Airways either terminated or froze their employer-sponsored pension plans, IAM members at those carriers proposed, negotiated and ratified contracts that contained IAMNPF participation and continued an accrual of guaranteed retirement income.

The IAMNPF provides very unique retirement options that no other pension can offer.

For example, pre-merger US Airways mechanic and related employees currently have an $85.46 multiplier based on a $2.00 per hour employer contribution. As the employer contribution rises, so does the multiplier.

The chart below demonstrates what the monthly benefit for life would be for a pre-merger US Airways mechanic and related employee who begins service today at the above rate, for five, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 and 35 years of credited service in the IAMNPF. Future negotiated increases in the employer contribution rate would increase the monthly benefit for life.

AA mechanic and related, fleet and stores employees will have the option to propose and negotiate into the IAMNPF to enhance their retirement income.

Years in IAMNPF  Monthly Benefit for Life

5

$427.30

10

$854.60

15

$1,281.90

20

$1,709.20

25

$2,136.50

30

$2,563.80

35

$2,991.10

NMB Rules American Airlines a ‘Single Carrier’

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

Brother and Sister TWU/IAM Members:
In an announcement that brings us one step closer to joint contract negotiations for more than 30,000 Mechanic and Related, Fleet Service and Stores employees at American Airlines, the National Mediation Board (NMB) today ruled that the carrier is operating as a single transportation system.

Today’s determination is a necessary precursor to certifying the TWU-IAM Association, an alliance formed by both unions after the merger of American Airlines and US Airways, as the collective bargaining representative for the above employees at the merged carrier.

Today’s ruling sets the stage for Association members to get to the table and do whatever it takes to get a labor agreement that recognizes the sacrifices our members and their families have made in order for American Airlines to become the largest and most profitable airline in the world.

30,000 TWU-IAM Association members determined to achieve the industry’s best contracts presents the most formidable labor alliance in the airline industry.

The TWU and IAM have been preparing for joint contract negotiations on the combined carrier, and contract surveys are already underway. Upon NMB certification, the Association will bring American Airlines to the bargaining table so the members the Association represents can achieve the contracts, pay and benefits that are long overdue.

Click here to read the NMB's determination.

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 usaamerger.com and twu.org.

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

PIT MX MIDS

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: www.twu.org.

 

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: www.iamdl142.org and www.iam141.org.

 

NMB Process Plods Along

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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.

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