Dear TWU-IAM Association Member,
As the regular Joint Association bulletins report, your Mechanic and Related/Stores and Fleet Service Negotiating Committees are working hard to finalize joint contract proposals. In the meantime, TWU-IAM Joint Association Leadership is preparing a longer term strategy and formal rollout plan to initiate joint contract negotiations with American Airlines, ensuring we enter the process in the strongest possible position to fight for our members. It has become necessary to correct the recent misconception—perpetuated by some individuals—that the TWU-IAM Association has somehow dragged its feet in this process.
The TWU-IAM Association was certified by the National Mediation Board (NMB), the federal agency that determines representation issues in the airline industry, on May 19, 2015, five months ago. Although the TWU-IAM Association was created in 2013, it did not have legal certification and thus could not act as a certified bargaining agent before NMB certification.
Since the Association was certified by the NMB five months ago, it has named the negotiating committees, conducted individual and joint committee training, and determined servicing and negotiating responsibilities for all work groups in all classes and crafts. The Mechanic and Related/Stores and Fleet Service Negotiating Committees have both met for six separate weeklong sessions to reconcile contract language from existing pre-merger agreements and write new joint contract language for 30,000 ground workers at American Airlines.
These are complex tasks and the committee members should be thanked for their hard work on behalf of Association members, not wrongly criticized for any delay.
What should be pointed out, however, is a less well known and politically motivated ploy that needlessly delayed the Association’s certification, thereby delaying the entire joint collective bargaining process. Due to the frivolous objection to the Association’s NMB’s certification by a misguided individual on August 21, 2014, the process to certify the TWU-IAM Association as the legal collective bargaining agent was set back for months. This unwarranted objection to the NMB came days after the TWU-IAM Association filed for a determination of single carrier status on August 6, 2014. Certification came 10 months later in May, 2015.
The failed attempt to derail the Association was dismissed by the NMB, but nonetheless had to be investigated and needlessly delayed the process of ultimate certification for many months. In contrast, both flight attendants and passenger service employees at American received a determination of single carrier status in less than two months and American pilots waited less than seven months for their NMB determination.
The TWU-IAM Association will be at the negotiating table shortly with American Airlines and will demand the industry’s best contracts for all 30,000 Association members. Rest assured, we will be prepared, and will not cut corners.
We understand the membership’s desire to gain the industry-best terms of employment you rightfully deserve. And terms of employment are more than just wage rates; they are strengthened job security provisions, fair health insurance, better working conditions, and enhanced retirement security, among many other components.
To obtain accurate information regarding joint contract negotiations, please refer to Negotiating Committee bulletins at www.usaamerger.com, www.twu.org, www.iam141.org, www.iamdl142.org and other applicable TWU local websites.
For more clarification, you can contact the below Negotiating Committee members for further information:
IAM—Mechanic and Related/Stores, Sean Ryan, [email protected], (757) 618-4652.
TWU—Mechanic and Related/Stores, Sean Doyle (primary), [email protected], (614) 214-3454 and David Virella, [email protected], (817) 773-4054.
Sincerely and fraternally,
Sito Pantoja, TWU-IAM Association Chairman, IAMAW General Vice President, Transportation
Harry Lombardo, TWU-IAM Association Vice Chairman, TWU International President
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