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US/AA Merger Watch

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 www.iamdl142.org.

For more information on the fleet service contract visit www.iam141.org.


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

Read the story in The Street.

US Airways Negotiation Update

IAM representatives met with US Airways management and Linda Puchala, Chair of the National Mediation Board over the past 3 days trying to resolve the contract proposals that must be addressed in order to reach a tentative agreement on behalf of all IAM US Airways members.

The main focus of the discussions was our demand for real, durable job security for our members and in that regard we believe significant progress has been made. The continued employment of all members, especially through the period of time it will take to reach a fuller joint agreement with our Alliance partner, the Transport Workers Union, and the new American Airlines must be the basis of any agreement that could be made with US Airways.

While we believe that this week's movement by the parties has the potential to resolve this area of our contract, it remains one of several issues that have to be completed in order to reach a comprehensive agreement. Our economic proposals are still being discussed and the differences between our position and the company's are narrowing.

As we left Dallas today we have left the future negotiations in Linda Puchala's hands. She will determine when and if we return to this type of negotiations or move into the next phase of the Railway Labor Act. We have made it clear to the Company and the NMB that there is little room for adjusting our stated positions on the remaining issues but will follow the directive of the NMB and attend any and all negotiation sessions in an effort to conclude these talks and move forward to the next step in this process.

We appreciate and thank our entire membership for their continuing support and solidarity as we work on your behalf to bring you the contracts you have earned and deserve.

IAM Negotiators Report Progress at US Airways

IAM District 141 and 142 representatives and Transportation Department officials met Tuesday and Wednesday with US Airways representatives with National Mediation Board (NMB) assistance in Washington D.C.

Due to progress in the fleet service, maintenance and related and maintenance training specialist negotiations, the NMB has directed both sides to continue negotiations as soon as possible. These talks, due to scheduling conflicts, will take place on Monday May 19, 2014 in Dallas, Texas.

“We’re making progress but we’re not there yet,” said IAM District 141 and 142 Presidents Rich Delaney and Tom Higginbotham in a joint statement. “We’re hopeful we can get these negotiations concluded soon. We thank IAM members for their support and patience during this process. It’s been invaluable.”

IAM Districts 141 and 142 have been in negotiations with US Airways for approximately three years, bargaining stand-alone contracts for the fleet service, maintenance and related and maintenance training specialist classifications.

“We’ve said all along that IAM members at US Airways must have fair contracts in place before any other merger related issues can be discussed,” continued Delaney and Higginbotham. “We’re almost done with the first step of this process, after which we will enter joint contract bargaining with our TWU sisters and brothers.”

The Machinists Union has demanded that IAM members achieve fair interim contracts at US Airways before merger related issues, such as filing for a determination of single carrier status at the “new” American or joint contract negotiations can take place.

As developments occur, the IAM membership will be updated.

US Airways Update

The National Mediation Board has requested the principles from both the Union and the Company reconvene at the offices of the National Mediation Board in Washington, D.C. for further discussions on April 30 and May 1, 2014. We have no indication that the Company has changed its position or that it plans to adequately address our bargaining issues. However the process requires that we meet when the Board calls us together.

Recently a letter was sent to Doug Parker, from the Union Labor Coalition of U S Airways (ULC). This letter resulted from discussions among the listed labor groups as to their experiences with management post-merger. This letter was also referenced in an article in TheStreet.com.

Your active support and participation in the informational picketing, leafleting and strike preparedness meetings is both gratifying and appreciated. Together we will prevail to bring about the stand alone agreements you deserve.

Fraternally,

Tom Higginbotham                                           Rich Delaney

PDGC District 142                                          PDGC District 141

IAM Pickets US Airways

Massachusetts Treasurer Receiver-General and candidate for governor Steve Grossman (second from left, front) and TWU members join IAM members' informational picket at Boston's Logan Airport.

Massachusetts Treasurer Receiver-General and candidate for governor Steve Grossman (second from left, front) and TWU members join IAM members' informational picket at Boston's Logan Airport.

IAM-represented ground workers at US Airways conducted informational pickets across the country to protest the carrier’s insistence that they accept second class status and agree to lower wage rates than other employees at the “new” American Airlines who perform the exact same work.

IAM members were joined by Transport Workers Union (TWU) members who perform similar jobs at pre-merger American Airlines. Together they informed passengers about the dire and deteriorating state of labor relations at the airline.

“Doug Parker wants the flying public, shareholders, Wall Street and anyone else who will listen to believe that all is going well with the merger of US Airways and American Airlines. That is simply untrue,” said IAM District 141 President Rich Delaney.”

“The TWU and IAM are partners,” said TWU President Harry Lombardo. “We will not sit idly by as management tries to drive a wedge between workers.”

“The ‘new’ American will remain divided as two separate airlines and possibly suffer a strike before this merger happens,” said IAM District 142 President Tom Higginbotham. “Doug Parker is out of touch. US Airways needs to show some respect to IAM ground workers or this situation will rapidly deteriorate.”

At Boston’s Logan Airport, current Massachusetts Secretary Receiver-General and candidate for governor Steve Grossman walked the picket line with IAM workers.

"I was proud to stand in solidarity with the men and women from Machinists Local 1726 this afternoon," said Grossman. "These workers deserve a fair contract that pays fair wages with fair benefits, and I will stand with them every day as governor."

IAM-represented ground workers have been in negotiations with US Airways for almost three years and requested a release from mediated talk from the National Mediation Board (NMB) last year. The IAM and TWU alliance represents over 30,000 ground workers at the ‘new’ American and is the largest union at the airline.

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 Press NMB for Right to Strike US Airways

The fight for fair contracts continues at US Airways.

The fight for fair contracts continues at US Airways.

After hearing American Airlines CEO Doug Parker lie about how wonderful labor relations are at the “new” American Airlines at a JPMorgan investor conference last week, Parker and his management team once again slapped IAM members at US Airways in the face by refusing to settle contracts that provide comparable wage rates to those negotiated with American’s employees who perform the same work.

The continued insult occurred at the offices of the National Mediation Board (NMB) in Washington D.C., where IAM Transportation Department officials met with NMB Chairwoman Linda Puchala to reiterate that an impasse has been reached and to press the NMB to release both parties from mediated talks.

“US Airways’ refusal to settle fair contracts that provides comparable wage rates to what it negotiated with American’s employees who perform the same work is an insult,” said IAM IAM District 141 President Rich Delaney. “We demand a release from these fruitless discussions so we can exercise our right to strike.”

“We will not walk away from years of negotiations because that is what US Airways wants,” said District 142 President Tom Higginbotham. “IAM members at US Airways sacrificed when needed to save the airline, and now’s the time for fairness, not disrespect.”

In a quarterly meeting in February, Parker stated that American’s goal is to achieve single joint contracts with all its labor unions. IAM members at US Airways have been in contract negotiations with the carrier for almost three years and have demanded that they settle stand-alone agreements before any joint negotiations take place.

“The IAM has stated all along that fair stand-alone contracts for IAM members at US Airways must be achieved before the idea of joint negotiations is entertained,” said IAM General Vice President Sito Pantoja. “With our TWU sisters and brothers, there are almost 30,000 voices at the ‘new’ American who are demanding fairness and respect.”

“The TWU and IAM are partners,” said Transport Workers Union President Harry Lombardo, in a public show of support for IAM ground workers. “Both unions belong to the AFL- CIO. We represent workers that share the same skills and classifications; the nearly 30,000 ground workers represented by IAM and TWU at the new American Airlines are union brothers and sisters. We will not sit idly by as management tries to drive a wedge between workers.”

“I thank TWU President Harry Lombardo for his public statement of solidarity,” continued Pantoja. “Mr. Parker should take notice that clear lines of division have formed at his airline. All we ask for is fairness, and we are prepared to fight for it.”

The TWU and IAM formed an official representation alliance last year after the merger of American and US Airways, and plan to combine both union’s considerable resources to represent TWU-IAM ground workers at the “new” American.

The NMB has yet to issue a decision to release both parties from mediated negotiations and extend a proffer of arbitration.

The IAM-TWU alliance represents nearly 30,000 ground workers at the “new” American Airlines and is the largest union at the carrier.

Biggest US Airways Union Seeks Strike for Equal Pay With American Airlines

Please read the following article from the "TheStreet":

Dayshift Mechanics in Charlotte stand in solidarity.

Dayshift Mechanics in Charlotte stand in solidarity.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (TheStreet) -- US Airways' biggest union said it wants to be able to strike because its members are paid less than American (AAL_) workers who do the same jobs, despite the two carriers' merger on Dec. 9.

The airline has said it wants to wait until mechanics and fleet service workers at US Airways and American have a joint contract before the work groups have the same wages and benefits. At US Airways, both groups are represented by the International Association of Machinists, while at American they are represented by the Transport Workers Union.

On Tuesday, the IAM will ask the National Mediation Board for a release from negotiations, which would trigger a 30-day countdown until the union would be free to strike. The IAM has been negotiating new contracts for the two groups since before their contracts became amendable 26 months ago on Jan. 2, 2012.

"We're close, but the big sticking point is that US Airways wants our members to accept less than they have already given to American employees for the same work," said IAM spokesman Joe Tiberi. "We will never agree to that.

"We want everybody to be on the same level," Tiberi said. "Then we can talk about a single contract for everybody, negotiating alongside the TWU as part of our alliance with them." For now, he said, the union and the airline have reached an impasse after a year and a half of mediated negotiations. If the NMB were to agree that the two sides are at impasse, they could release the parties.

The airline, which will also be represented at the meeting with the NMB, is expected to argue that the sides have not reached an impasse.

Tiberi said union locals are involved in strike preparations. He said it is ironic that CEO Doug Parker declared a week ago at an investor conference that he is making improvements at American, where prior management was so hamstrung by conflicts with labor that its ability to manage the airline was reduced. "Doug Parker is talking about great labor relations when he has thousands of employees ready to go on strike," Tiberi said. "He's a hypocrite."

American became "an airline that couldn't really achieve its potential because the management-labor relations had gotten so bad," said Parker, CEO of American following a merger with US Airways, at a JPMorgan investor conference last week. "There is so much to do when you get everybody excited and working together than you can't do when they're not."

American labor spokesman Bill McGlashen declined to comment for this story. However, in a quarterly meeting with union leaders, which took place on Feb. 4, Parker said the company's goal is to get to single joint contracts and single union representation with all of its unions.

Flight attendants have agreed that the Association of Professional Flight Attendants will represent them, while the IAM and the TWU have agreed to joint representation. The pilots have agreed to merge into the Allied Pilots Association, but the timing is in dispute.

At US Airways, top scale mechanics make $71,323 annually, with no increases scheduled, according to the IAM. Top-scale mechanics at American earn $75,254 annually with an increase to $77,126 scheduled for September, the union said.

Top-scale US Airways fleet service workers are paid $42,785 annually. Top-scale American fleet service workers are paid $47,526 annually, with an increase to $48,526 scheduled for September.

Tiberi acknowledged that some of the benefits in the IAM contract are better, but said some benefits in the TWU contract are also better. For instance, TWU members were awarded stock in the new American, while IAM members do not hold any stock. Apart from wages, the benefits in the two contracts are "a wash," Tiberi said.

Even if the NMB were to release the parties, that does not mean the IAM will strike. A more likely outcome would be stepped-up negotiations that could lead to higher pay for IAM members.

Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.

 

IAM District 141 Extends Fleet Service Job Protections to 2015 at US Airways

USA FleetIAM District 141 and US Airways this week reached an understanding that extends existing scope protections to fleet service workers . The current contract allows for an annual "snapshop" of each station to determine the level of flight activity and assess whether or not that station could be outsourced. The annual "snapshot" is taken every April 5th.

In April 2013, during contract negotiations with US Airways, we agreed to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that kept fleet service staffing levels stable during the expected period of time it would take to reach a replacement collective bargaining agreement. The MOU also allowed for the "snapshot" process to resume on April 5, 2014.

Since we have not been able to reach agreement regarding a new contract with US Airways to date, IAM District 141 and US Airways have agreed to extend the MOU reached last year until April 4, 2015.

The Company has agreed it will not outsource ramp work covered by our contract at any station currently served by IAM represented fleet service employees during this period.

It is our hope and expectation that a full agreement that addresses this and all other outstanding issues will be promptly negotiated before the expiration of this extended MOU. If not, members in all current stations shall remain under the terms of the MOU.

Read the MOU.

NMB Meeting Scheduled for US Airways Negotiations

NMBThe National Mediation Board (NMB) has scheduled meetings between the principal representatives in the US Airways – IAM negotiations. The meetings are set for March 18 and 19, 2014 at the offices of the NMB in Washington, DC.

While preparations continue for a proffer of arbitration, rejection of that proffer and the establishment of a 30-day cooling off period, we plan to attend the meetings. The IAM will enter these meetings skeptical that US Airways management has changed its position that US Airways employees must accept a second-class contract.

The full negotiating committees from IAM Districts 141 and 142 will move their strike preparedness meetings to Washington, DC during that time in order to be responsive to the outcome of the meetings, whatever that outcome may be.

All members must continue their full-throated support of their negotiating committees and their unwavering support of the fight to achieve fair contracts before entering any merger related activity between US Airways and American Airlines.

Your Union, your leaders and your negotiating committees will not accept second class status for our IAM members. And, as you have made clear, neither will you!

In solidarity,

Rich Delaney                                                                Tom Higginbotham

President, IAM District 141                                       President, IAM District 142

For more information and past updates visit www.iam141.org and www.iamdl142.org

Machinists Union Prepares for Fight at US Airways

District 141 Assistant General Chairman briefs IAM US Airways workers.

District 141 Assistant General Chairman briefs IAM US Airways workers.

After more than two years of intense bargaining by your IAM negotiating committees, US Airways management continues to demand that US Airways IAM represented employees accept second-class contracts compared the industry and to merger partner, American Airlines.

IAM District 141 and 142 negotiators met in person and via conference call with the IAM Transportation Department's leadership last week to discuss strategy and to prepare for a probable proffer of arbitration. The IAM has indicated it would reject arbitration, which would then lead to a 30-day cooling off period. If both parties still could not settle a contract, IAM members at US Airways would be free to strike.

The committees were also updated regarding National Mediation Board (NMB) Chairwoman Puchala's efforts to bring both parties to a fair agreement. The NMB's efforts, however, resulted in US Airways management affirming its demand that IAM members accept a contract that is both far below industry average, and inferior to the contract the same management team bargained for our brothers and sisters at American Airlines.

Your negotiating committees, your District 141 and 142 leadership and your IAM Transportation Department leadership has loudly and clearly told the NMB and US Airways that you will not be sold down the river. The entire IAM membership is lining up in solidarity to support IAM members at US Airways in their fight to achieve the fair contracts they deserve.

It is time for each and every IAM member at US Airways to step up and tell US Airways management that you will not accept second-class status. Tell your supervisor, tell Doug Parker and be sure to tell Al Hemenway, who sits at the table and insults you every time he insists you deserve less and should be down on your knees thanking him just for working at US Airways.

Begin your preparations for the battles that may lie ahead. Your district representatives will be visiting stations and locations in the next several weeks to provide details and answer questions.

Most critically, now is the time to come together in solidarity. Every break table, every work area and every union hall should be filled with discussion of unity and solidarity. Brothers and sisters, only by sticking together, will we achieve the fair contracts we deserve.

Thank you for your continued support and resolve.

Please visit IAM District 141 and IAM District 142 for more information and past updates.

US Airways Negotiations at Impasse

USA Fleet 2

Ramp workers in Boston unite in solidarity.

After months of face to face negotiations with US Airways and after several meetings called by the Chairperson of the National Mediation Board, discussions have ended with no agreements in sight.

Both IAM District 141 and 142 negotiating committees made very serious efforts to pare away issues that could be negotiated in the future while holding fast to the issues our respective membership(s) need and demand in order to reach agreements. All of those efforts ended with US Airways management advising both the IAM and the National Mediation Board that they are not willing to come to fair agreements. US Airways demands the US Airways employees enter a merger with American Airlines with second class contracts.

That is simply unacceptable.

The IAM has restated to the National Mediation Board that it is time to move the process to the next step, which is to make a proffer of arbitration to both parties. The Machinists Union will reject that proffer, triggering a 30 day cooling off period, at the end of which IAM members can legally strike the airline. . To the membership everywhere: Begin to prepare yourselves for a fight that could lead to a strike on US Airways, if necessary.

Dayshift Mechanics in Charlotte stand in solidarity.

Dayshift Mechanics in Charlotte stand in solidarity.

US Airways has tried since the inception of the US Airways – American Airlines merger process to divide the employees of both carriers by making offers and negotiating contracts with American’s employees through their unions, while ignoring their own IAM represented employees. We will not enter our partnership with the American TWU represented employees as a group divided. We will fight whatever battle we face to enter our partnership and the merger between our airlines on equal footing.

Your General Chairs will be visiting your work locations in the coming days and weeks to answer your questions and help you prepare for the action necessary to achieve the contract you deserve.

Stay strong and stay united

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!

We Take Care of Our Own

Please watch the video below and hear how the IAM fought the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and reinstated the licenses of Pittsburgh Mechanics Mark White and Doug Tinlin.

To read the Mark and Doug's letter click here.

Please Vote IAM Today!

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.

The Real Story About Teamster Outsourcing at United

Please view the video below of 25-year United Mechanic from San Francisco Jim Seitz talking about the Teamsters' failures to prevent outsourcing, conduct outsourcing audits and enforce the United Mechanics' contract.

Real talk from a United Mechanic who has worked under poor Teamster representation.

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.

 

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