22 April 2014: Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) at LL 1979 in Hawai'i supporting IAM members
Representatives and members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) and Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) today called on United Airlines to rethink its outsourcing plans in Kona, Maui and Lihue.
"I am not sure what's worse; losing my job after three decades of loyal service, or the fact that when United was going through tough times our families sacrificed and now that better times are here we are discarded for higher profits'" said IAM member and United employee in Lihue, Gary Betzen. "Loyalty is obviously a one-way street and I will fight alongside my union because if we don't who will?"
Press Release From the IAMAW: Download
Letter to Jeff Smisek from U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI): Download
United Airlines: Senator Schatz Rally and Press Conference Today: Download
Rich Delaney, 22 April 2014: Download
Representatives of District Lodge 141 and United Airlines reached a tentative agreement today on behalf of our Centralized Load Planners. The new contract covers the classification of CLP and the current 72 agents performing load planning work at the Network Operations Center at the Willis Tower in Chicago.
The new agreement provides the highest compensation in the airline industry for the classification and includes wage increases, benefit improvements, a restoration of company paid pensions for all CLP members, and job security protection against contracting out and other protections.
This agreement is another step in bringing all IAM members of United together under collective bargaining agreements as s-UA and s-CO Load Planners join together.
Detailed information regarding this tentative agreement will be presented to all CLP members as soon as possible. Information meetings and a ratification schedule will be developed and communicated as quickly as can be arranged.
I thank Assistant General Chairman Mike Quartuccio and his Negotiating Team, Chris Allendorf and Sharon Alexander for their hard work and focus in reaching this agreement on behalf of the IAM and their coworkers.
United Airlines: Rich Delaney, 19 April 2014: Download
Representatives from ABQ, BUF, CLT, CMH, CHS, DSM, ELP, DTW, FSD, ICT, KOA, LIH, OGG, PNS, and SLC met this past week to begin the process of discussion regarding these stations, now that United has announced their interest in contracting out all of these operations. The provisions of our current contract prohibit United from entering into contracts with vendors related to work performed by IAM members without first notifying and negotiating with the IAM over the work. Each station was reviewed concerning current operations costs and potential costs of vendor bids. Since this was the first meeting with the company after their notification, the cost of vendor bids was an initial and unofficial figure that will change as any future negotiations with the vendor are held. More detailed vendor information is expected within the next month.
Company representatives from the Finance, Labor Relations, Human Resources, and Airport Ops Depts. were at the two day meetings and presented information and answered questions from our representatives regarding both specific stations and the general approach United takes in considering contracting out work. An open discussion was held concerning different aspects of station operations such as scheduling issues and work assignments, wage and benefit costs per station, and the value these components have in determining the overall cost per station. Since the value of any individual issue changes in each station based on the population and seniority of the station, it is necessary to look at each station as a stand-alone cost structure. While absolutely no commitments were made as to areas of our contract that could be discussed further, the values assigned to the different contract provisions will help our representatives in future discussions.
Follow up meetings will be held in the upcoming weeks with smaller groups of representatives to continue to exchange information and ideas of possible solutions to the contracting out problem. It is not expected that final decisions for any station could or would be made until mid-summer.
It is important to remember that this additional negotiations on behalf of line stations is built into our agreement as an option for the members in affected stations to consider alternatives to contracting out. These negotiations do not require contract changes and stations can determine that this type of negotiation is not in their best interest and can determine not to participate. Many of the station representatives that participated in this week’s discussions saw, for the first time, the difficulty we face in trying to keep members working in the cities they want to work in on the one hand, and maintaining the high level of wages, benefits, and work rules that make this a job worth keeping on the other. Our current contract placed our members ahead of our closest competitors in terms of total compensation and benefits. It also widened the difference between United members and the already lower paid vendor employees. Seeing whether or not that difference can, or should be, reduced in order to keep United members working in these stations is the test of these negotiations.
These negotiations are unique. The issue is not job security – every member in every station named has guaranteed employment with United Airlines as long as they want it. The issue is can we find a way to insure that employment remains in the locations members would most like to work in.
Members in CLE that have been notified by United they will be affected by the downsizing of the station are completing their decision making this week. Some have chosen to retire, some elected the special Early Out buy out, some have accepted furlough and will wait for their recall, and about 175 have opted to look at system options and have indicated they are willing to move to other cities in order to remain working. The options members have been given vary between the Above the Wing members and the Below the Wing members. ATW options include IAD, DEN, PIT, DCA, and MCO. BTW options are SFO and PHX. All of these options are currently identified vacancies. Because of the recent agreement to insource work in DEN, IAD, and PHX, along with the normal vacancies in the other stations, there will be no need to disrupt any other employees through a bumping procedure. CLE members may choose not to fill these vacancies and accept furlough; the vacancies would then be filled through the transfer process or off the street hiring.
The Transition Resolution Boards established in the current agreement to address differences between the parties regarding contract language, met this past week. They worked on the protocol to be used in their discussions and set a schedule for future meetings. The parties agreed the TRB would not be used to replace the grievance procedure and that most currently active grievances should continue to follow the appeal process in the contract. The TRB will address contract provisions that both sides see as critical and time sensitive to the implementation of the agreement. As an example, an overtime bypass grievance would be handled through the grievance procedure while reaching a common understanding of what an irregular lunch is would be the responsibility of the TRB.
In order to reduce the issues that will be forwarded to the TRB discussions continue between District 141 and United regarding implementation subjects. An issue that was resolved this past week involves the new provision in the contract allowing members to defer fixed Holidays to a later date or combine them into a block week of vacation. Members will be able to defer the 8 hours (for full time employees) of Holiday pay to receive an additional paid day off while continuing to receive the time and one half pay they are now entitled to if they work their scheduled hours on a recognized Holiday. Members will be able to opt for this deferral in the coming weeks, prior to the first fixed holiday of Memorial Day.
US Airways: Rich Delaney, 13 April 2014: Download
The National Mediation Board has directed representatives of District 141 and our International to meet with Company representatives in Washington on April 30 and May 1st. The purpose of the meeting is unclear but we are hopeful that the long awaited response from management to our last proposal for contract settlement will finally be presented. As we have said throughout this process, we intend to follow the law (Railway Labor Act) and the directives of the NMB in order to get our members the best possible agreement prior to full integration with American Airlines and will attend all meetings called by the NMB.
As we have waited for communication from the NMB, our members and District and Local leaders have continued to actively prepare for the possibility of a release from mediation, the setting of a strike date and 30 day cooling off period, and possibly a work stoppage. We believe the solidarity our members have shown, along with the strengthened support and coordination with our Brothers and Sisters in Maintenance and Related classifications has impressed the NMB and the public. The commitment of our Alliance partners, the TWU, to support our efforts has added strength to our message. The coordinated efforts of all groups in informational picketing and hand billing has helped lead us to the meetings now scheduled for the end of the month. We must continue to work together to reach our goal.
It surprises no one that all employee groups are having issues with current management. The recent letter from the Union Labor Coalition, in which the IAM is an active participant, to Mr. Parker outlined what most of us have known - the promise of improved labor relations after his merger was empty. It is through collective action that we will force the changes we need and we are working together to see that happen and we will continue to work with our ULC partners.
We will approach the meetings at the end of the month as the needed step to complete our negotiations. We will view any response from US Airways as a serious attempt to outline the company’s position on the outstanding issues. Our position is well known by both the company and the NMB and is not going to change.
The full Negotiating Team thanks our members for their support and encouragement as we make our way through the many obstacles preventing us from reaching the agreement they have told us they need. That support and commitment to each other is becoming more important every day as we head to Washington. Please stay informed by visiting our website, attending Union meetings, and asking questions of your local and District representatives over the coming weeks.
Union Labor Coalition of US Airways (ULC), 4 April 2014: Download
United Airlines: Rich Delaney, 13 April 2014: Download
Job security continues to be, and appears will always be, a concern of working people, including members of District 141. This past week gave several examples of the scope of security issues and a Union’s response to them. Whether it was US Airways negotiations, CLE downsizing, or preparations for Line Station negotiations, the core issue was job security. This week showed that there is no single answer or approach to combatting the threat of job insecurity and those that are looking for simple answers to this problem will not find them.
District 141 continues to focus on many fronts to secure jobs, from negotiations, organizing, political solutions, domestic and global labor alliances to create employment standards in the airline industry. In negotiations with all of the airlines we represent, we have been aggressive in negotiating a commitment for security in United stations that includes Express work and insourcing – and we have been defensive in negotiating a status quo station protection commitment for US Airways members.
We have tried to protect the future through unique Line Station negotiations and we have honored the past (seniority) through improved furlough options and recall rights. All of these things have served a purpose and have reduced or minimized the impact of job loss but none of them, either by themselves or together, has stopped the decision makers in airlines from continually looking to reduce their cost and increase their profit by operating with fewer employees, having someone else do the work, or downsizing their own operations. As companies find new or different ways to accomplish their goal unions have to react with fresh approaches too.
This week, in Washington D.C. and the Hawaiian Islands, District 141 and the IAM expanded our defense of our members by meeting with key legislators from states most affected by the recent decisions of United Airlines to downsize and contract out work. The offices of Senators Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Brian Schatz of Hawaii and Ohio Congresswoman Marcia Fudge met with District 141 and Grand Lodge representatives to hear directly from their constituents about the impending loss of jobs in their states and our request for help from our government. The inclusion of political pressure from the federal government level is an additional level of activism beyond the self-help methods we have used to this point through direct negotiations. It is another option we are using to exhaust all means of protection prior to losing any members. The congressmen were very supportive and have pledged to work with the IAM to push United to revise their plans for stations all across the country. They have committed to look for additional support from congressmen in other states that have stations affected by United’s decisions.
Preparations continued this week for the beginning of individual station negotiations concerning the 15 stations United has notified us are under consideration to be outsourced. Monday morning, April 14, representatives from each of the stations will meet in Chicago with District 141 Officers and then together meet with United management to begin the contractually required negotiations for each station’s future. Detailed information regarding the financial status of each station, the cost of the vendor bids received regarding each station, and the value of specific contract components that apply to each station will be shared with the station representatives. This information is necessary for the IAM and the members in each station to realistically address options that could prevent the station from being contracted out. The two day meetings will set the stage for the next step in the process which is to conduct individual station discussions using the information specific to that station. Any agreement as a result of those discussions that would modify existing contract language would require a vote by the members in that station and would only apply to that station.
This week also pointed out that our concern about contracting out will not go away anytime soon. Delta Global Services, the ground handling vendor owned by Delta Airlines and that has threatened our jobs in stations all across the system, announced that even they are not immune to outsourcing. DGS notified approximately 400 workers in MSP they would be laid off due to the contracting out of the work they were doing as contract employees themselves. This follows DGS’s decision to contract out almost 800 jobs in DTW. Remember, DGS is a contract company providing ground handling services to airlines, including United and Delta. They now are contracting out the work they contracted in.
This downward spiral of companies and their employees always willing to perform work for less than the going rate is going to make the work of our station representatives very difficult. They need the full support of our Union and members as they sort through the information they will receive this coming week and look for viable options for their coworkers.
This week District 141 reached an agreement with United Airlines regarding the scheduling and seniority rights of Reservations Agents. The company has agreed to revise the current practice used in the recent shift bid and return both 4 hour shift opportunities for part time agents and 10 hour shift opportunities for full time agents and again honor seniority by resuming the Write Your Own schedule for the most senior agents. In addition, United has committed to procedure to systematically review the full time/part time population in order to provide full time opportunities for those that want them. Adjustments in the flexibility of the trade policy and the minimum work hours requirement will give agents, both in offices and at home, the options they have been looking for their individual scheduling needs. Both United and the IAM see these agreements as examples of the transition resolution process negotiated in our current contract.
The Transition Resolution Boards outlined in our contract will begin their work this coming week. The permanent members of the Boards from each side will meet on Tuesday. The issues that have been raised by members regarding the meaning and application of some specific contract provisions will be brought to the Boards so they can be finalized and implemented correctly. The Boards will continue to meet on a scheduled basis and address implementation issues. This process is not intended to replace the Grievance Procedure or the possibility of arbitration decisions but it is planned to resolve issues together, find the ones that cannot be agreed to, and speed up the time it takes for a contract dispute to reach arbitration.
Rich Delaney, 08 April 2014: Download
IAM Enlists Pol’s Help to Oppose United’s Outsourcing Plans
The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) today announced it has coordinated efforts with lawmakers in several states to press United Airlines not to outsource operations to low-paid sub-contractors and protect workers after its recent decisions to reduce flight operations at Cleveland’s Hopkins Airport and possibly outsource passenger service and fleet service work at 15 stations across the United States and Hawaii.
Both the IAM’s Transportation and Legislative Departments have met, and will be meeting, with US senators, representatives, state and local officials to plan a course of action to possibly maintain IAM-represented workers in 15 locations United targeted for outsourcing.
“I’d like to thank IAM Airline Coordinator Ira Levy and our Legislative Department’s Co-Director Hasan Solomon for enlisting help from Capitol Hill,” said General Vice President Sito Pantoja. “The IAM will have the backing of US senators, representatives and state and local officials in our efforts to keep IAM members in these cities. While IAM members’ contracts at United protect their employment, there is no good economic reason why United should consider outsourcing this work.”
Senator Brian Schatz’ (D-Hawaii) Chief of Staff, Andrew Winer, will attend IAM Local Lodge 1979’s meeting on Wednesday April 9, 2014 to speak with IAM members about efforts thus far and future plans to possible preserve IAM-represented jobs in the Hawaiian Islands.
IAM representatives and IAM-represented workers from Cleveland will meet on Wednesday April 9, 2014 with Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) in Washington D.C. to discuss the Cleveland downsizing and the possible outsourcing in Columbus, Ohio.
IAM-represented workers are encouraged to visit www.iam141.org for more information.
United Airlines today has announced their commitment to reduce their reliance on outside vendors performing ground handling work. United has previously announced the Above the Wing Express work in DEN will be insourced and performed by IAM represented United employees. Today’s announcement expands the insourcing work to Above the Wing in IAD and Below the Wing in PHX.
The work in PHX will be turned over to IAM represented Ramp Service in June 2014. The DEN and IAD work is planned for a full turn over in the fall. However, these planned vacancies will be made available right away in order to provide options for CLE employees choosing to exercise their seniority through system transfers. The currently vendored work will not completely transition to United until the 3rd Quarter of 2014 but members will be able to transfer to these stations and prepare to take over the work now.
This announcement comes after many discussions between the IAM and United and is the first movement towards meaningful insourcing under our current Agreement. The vacancies created by the shift away from outside contractors will not only provide opportunities for CLE members forced to choose between furlough and movement but will also open up opportunities for members in other stations to use their seniority to voluntarily transfer. As those jobs are filled through hiring new employees, all IAM members’ employment is more secure.
Discussions continued this week between District 141 and United Airlines regarding the announced downsizing of the CLE operation and its impact on IAM members. We have been talking about several components of what our members are facing and what is the right way to address them. We have heard from members that there are different needs concerning this downsizing and we have tried to look at each one. First, members anticipating they will be affected by a loss of job in CLE are telling us they are not in a position to pack up and move to another city at this time. For some, that means leaving United prematurely, through possible Early Out options. While we continue to talk about this option, United announced their willingness to offer an Early Out this week. The current program would allow members with at least 10 years seniority to resign from the airline and receive a lump sum payment between $10,000 and $20,000, depending on their eligibility for continuing pass travel. This is an option that may work for some members and we want to make it as beneficial as possible so we are continuing our discussions on this issue. Some members do not want to resign from United but cannot, at this time, consider moving. We have reaffirmed the recall rights of members, which were improved in the recent negotiations. Since CLE is getting smaller but still operating at a significant level, the ability to be recalled without limitation for members is really meaningful and important.
The focus of our talks this week has been to try to insure that those members that need or want to stay actively employed with United have the ability to do so. We are trying, as much as possible, to find opportunities for members while at the same time reducing the need to involuntarily displacing other members across the system. By that I mean looking to United to commit to insourcing work that will create vacancies by removing vendors. Our already announced agreement to insource United Express Customer Service work in DEN is part of this, but is not the only work we are looking for. United has agreed to look at other stations and other vendor work immediately. Follow up conversations with the company have shown that they evaluating several stations but have not committed to anything additional at this point. We will keep talking with the company throughout the next few days, prior to the scheduled employee notification of the need to opt for system options. Our goal is to reduce vendors in stations to not only provide vacancies for those that need them but also those members that want to transfer to new locations, thus creating future opportunities in additional stations. Our immediate concern is to limit the need to identify junior members across the system that may be affected by the decisions of others.
This week the first group of s-UA Reservations Agents finished their training and began the new experience of working from home. Agents in DTW, ORD, and HNL are now able to opt for this alternative work schedule, joining the more than 1,000 s-CO Agents that have voluntarily chosen this schedule. The first groups from each office were limited in number but the company is committed to expanding this option for our Res members in the coming weeks and months; especially as the company's newer technology is brought online. This new style of work will enable agents that are working in offices to perform reservations work in their current home and also give them the freedom to move to other locations of their choosing and keep working for United. This is especially good news for agents that have been effected by the closing Res Centers across the country prior to 2008 that can now consider returning home after working for years in the limited offices that remained. It also provides real chances for agents that needed to accept furlough when their office closed to be recalled and resume their career with United.
Discussions with United were also held this week regarding the scheduled Line Station meeting. Representatives of each station have been identified and are prepared to begin developing options to having work contracted out in their locations. The initial meetings to be held on April 14 & 15 will focus on the exchange of information for each station, a review of the responses United received from vendors, and the financial value of several contractual items on a per person cost. Further planning and preparation will be done this coming week by the District 141 Insource Committee, so that the group meeting will be productive and no time is lost in dealing with this critical subject. After the information exchange scheduling of individual station negotiations will be determined.
All United members that have 401(k) savings accounts will receive the company match contribution on April 29th. This addition to retirement savings is the first contribution for s-UA members, as called for in our new contract. S-CO members have participated in this plan in the past and have benefitted from this boost in savings. The company matching funds range between 1% and 3% of an employee's contribution, based on a sliding seniority scale that provides accelerated savings for senior members getting ready to retire. This retirement savings benefit is in addition to the company contributions on behalf of members to CARP and the IAM National Pension Fund. Taken together these company paid provisions pave the way for our members to have a dignified retirement unlike any other employee of the airline.
US Airways members from both Districts 141 and 142 took our message of the need for contracts for all USAir IAM members directly to the flying public this past week. Members in CLT, PHL, BOS, PHX, and DEN walked together and handbilled passengers informing them of our frustration with the company’s failure to negotiate fair agreements for Fleet Service, Maintenance and Related, and Instructor employees of the airline. Passengers were asked to contact Doug Parker directly and urge him to settle these contracts before any disruption in service would occur. We are waiting for a response from the National Mediation Board to our continuing request for a release from mediation and the establishing of a 30 day countdown period to bring these talks to a conclusion. The NMB is evaluating the positions of both parties and has not indicated when they would make a determination either to move forward under the Railway Labor Act and make a proffer of binding arbitration or direct both sides to return to the bargaining table and continue under mediation. The IAM has made it clear that a return to that kind of negotiations would be unproductive and just serve to further delay the process since we believe we have reached an impasse that cannot be resolved by continuing a failed practice.
The response from passengers and other airline employees was very positive and supportive. As we expand our support group, through our participation in the Union Labor Coalition of US Airways and our strengthening alliance with the American Airlines Transport Workers Union membership, additional public demonstrations will be held in airports throughout the system. Preparations for an undesired but potential work stoppage continue on a coordinated basis with District 142 and our Maintenance and Related Brothers and Sisters.
United Airlines members began receiving their delayed compensation this past week. Legacy Continental members, who are paid on a different schedule than s-UA members, received the first of the company termed “look back” payments owed to them from November 1, 2013. This recent payment was supposed to include a correction to the hourly rate of pay for each member. United had already informed members and the IAM that some elements of earnings – such as holiday pay, overtime rates, and shift differentials – would not be included in this payment as they were new components of compensation for s-CO members and had not been programmed completely into the payroll system. Immediate complaints and questions from members show that those are not the only earnings missing from the payment. Inaccurate calculations of hourly rates and earned overtime (besides the missing double time rate) are being challenged and the lack of detail regarding the calculations is causing concern. United has committed to establishing an email communication process in which individuals can get accurate information and specific details as to their outstanding earnings. Information regarding this email system will be made available this coming week.
Legacy United members, for the most part, will receive their retroactive pay this coming week in the normally scheduled paycheck of April 3rd. While we can make no claim as to the accuracy of the calculation at this time, the differential between what is owed and what is paid will be less of a problem than with our s-CO members. The issues of shift differentials and double time rate for qualified overtime do not need to be recalculated for s-UA members. The only delayed payment for s-UA members should be the increased payment to double time and one half for working on a holiday. The company claims that all full time s-UA members received the correct payment for hours worked on New Year’s Day and the outstanding earnings owed, after this week’s “look back” adjustment, will be the difference between the double time that was paid and the double time and one half that is owed for hours work on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Part time s-UA members are owed for all three holidays. There will be no adjustment for any potential overpayment during this period.
Discussions continued this week regarding the impact of United’s decision to downsize CLE and actively look at vendors’ bids in 15 stations. We have agreed to meet this coming week, April 2nd, to finalize talks regarding opportunities for our CLE membership. Included in these discussions will be what additional insourcing opportunities can be determined besides the already announced insourcing of Above the Wing work in DEN. CLE members will be asked in the next 2 weeks to declare their intention to take system option in the event they are reduced and they need to have a realistic understanding of what those options may be.
Under the terms of our contract United must enter into negotiations with the IAM to determine if anything can be found to keep s-UA members working in specific stations before the company can contract out work. We have agreed this past week to begin that negotiation process by bringing in representatives of each station, along with the established Insourcing Committee of District 141, to receive the financial information United is using to drive their decisions. The meetings will be held in Chicago on April 14 and 15. The meetings will include all stations. Future negotiations, based on the information received, will be held separately for each station.
The purpose of these negotiations is to determine what, if anything, can be reasonably considered under our contract, and acceptable to the employees of each standalone station, to maintain the in station employment of IAM members. This language was included in our agreement as an additional layer of employment security. Our previous contracts did not permit any type of deviation for individual stations and prevented us from having meaningful discussions that might have saved some line stations in the past. There is no history of this type of negotiations in our industry; our contract is the first to include this requirement to negotiate, so there is no way to predict the success or outcome of these talks. The station representatives that will participate in these negotiations will be pioneers in labor relations and need the support of all IAM members as we begin this new challenge to protect our members. Any tentative agreement that can possibly be reached through these negotiations will have to be ratified or rejected by the individuals that may be affected by it; those that work in the station.
United began holding meetings with local committees this past week to talk about their proposed process for calculating time spent by Union Representatives in enforcing our contracts. While the particulars of this process are still being discussed at a higher level and have not been completely agreed to, local management has decided to go forward and announce their plan as if it is a punishment to Union Reps. The fact is the contract commits United to pay for a set amount of time out of the operation for designated representatives to conduct Union business without interference from the company. What is being discussed is how to accurately account for the time used in order to guarantee we get full credit and use of the time negotiated. The contractual commitment of 150,000 hours of company paid time out of the operation is a system wide number and is not controlled by a single station or office. It is an annual figure that can only be determined after the year is complete and a total usage is identified and agreed to. What is being discussed is how to account for this time on an ongoing basis in order to properly evaluate a year end total. Current station representatives that are allowed time out of the operation for Union business will continue in the same manner until told otherwise by the IAM, not United. The month of April will be used to try to determine a baseline of usage, so reps may be requested to document their time – not their activity. Discussion among IAM representatives will be held during the scheduled Chairmen’s Conference in May to determine and identify any areas of concern this program has on the enforcement of our contract and the representation of our membership.
This past week District 141 assisted representatives of IAM District 140, who represent United Airlines employees in Canada, in their discussions with the company regarding the contracting out of all IAM positions in Calgary and Vancouver. Their discussions were limited to the severance packages and exit payments that could be provided to our Canadian Brothers and Sisters as United pushes towards contracting out all work by early May. These were difficult discussions to observe since there were no real options available to the workers – no station transfer option, no renegotiation option, no meaningful recall option – only a separation payment option. The District 140 representatives worked very hard on behalf of their members to get them the best, and last, agreement with United they could.
TWU Express Full Support for Machinist Union: Download
Our fight on USAir for a contract that gives us the same level of compensation and respect that management has already given to American employees struck a new level this past week. After two days of talks with the Chairwoman of the National Mediation Board it was obvious the New American was sticking with the Old USAir positions that we have had to deal with for the past 2 years. The company did not move from their position of substandard wage increases and no benefit improvements and we did not move from our demands for equal pay for equal work and a return of benefits lost through previous bankruptcy. We again asked the NMB to release us from federal mediation and allow us to move towards the showdown we recognize is inevitable. While we began the week with the slim hope of movement from the company, the reality that would not happen changed our focus towards strike preparation. Members of District 141’s Negotiating Team met with District 142’s Negotiating Team to refine plans for joint action of fleet service and maintenance during a 30 day cooling off period. Joint communication plans, both public and internal were made. The emphasis of the week was the need and willingness of both work groups to stand together. The commitment of both Districts to work together shows the benefit of having different work classifications in the same Union. While negotiations focus on the needs of each contract, the strength and support of other groups will lead to a successful strike, if that becomes necessary.
Our plans for mutual support and action were unexpectedly improved on Wednesday when we received a letter of support from Harry Lombardo, leader of the Transport Workers Union. The public support of our brothers and sisters of the TWU should show the New American management that our Alliance is real and has the power of 30,000 American Airlines workers who are demanding fairness for all employees.
While we wait for a response from the NMB to our request for a release we intend to push our message to management and the public. Demonstrations of support are planned in stations across the system this coming week. All District 141 members, especially USAir members, should check with their local Committees to see how they can help. A strike is never considered the first option of negotiations but when an impasse is reached and talks stop a strike becomes a necessary tool. A successful strike will take the involvement and support of our entire Union and our Alliance partners
Meetings will resume this coming week with United Airlines regarding their recent announcements of downsizing CLE and evaluating bids from vendors in 15 line stations. Our first concern is the freeing up of positions, both Above and Below the Wing, through the insourcing of currently contracted out work in stations across the system. This insourcing will provide openings for involuntarily reduced members and also allow voluntary transfers that will then create vacancies in other stations in the future. We will also begin the process of evaluating each affected stations to see if there is a way to modify scheduling, work rules, or other contract provisions to keep United/IAM members in the station performing the work and reject the vendors bid. This process will deal with one station at a time and will include a representative from the station in the discussions in order to get input from the members that will be impacted.
Review and evaluation of Retroactive/Signing Bonus Disputes continued this past week and is near completion. Financial advisor Tom Roth, and Arbitrator Tom Gibbons are finishing their work involving the recalculation of individual’s payment and determining if additional money is owed. Those cases that have been determined to be entitled to an adjustment, based on the criteria established for the December payment have been sent to United Airlines for payment. When the dispute review is finalized the remaining funds in the retro pool will be fully distributed to eligible IAM members using the seniority and work status formula used for the Signing Bonus.
April is the effective start of the increased pension accrual for United participants. This increase will provide the richest defined benefit in the airlines. This benefit is part of the fully company paid pension plan that is called for in our contract and is separate from any 401(k) benefits members may receive from their individual savings. The IAM has always focused on the “defined benefit” approach to retirement benefits as it provides guaranteed monthly payments for life and is not tied to the success of individual investing. The 401(k) plan is seen as a great supplemental savings plan that adds to each person’s ability to have a dignified retirement. Our current contract calls for, in addition to company funding of the pension plan, matching contributions by United to employees’ 401(k) accounts. The matching funds plan started on January 1, 2014 with the company required to deposit that money in members’ accounts on a quarterly basis. The first company contribution is due in early April under our contract. The sliding scale of matching contributions provides up to a maximum of 3% additional money in a person’s retirement savings account.
Meetings will also be held this coming week to finalize outstanding seniority integration issues, especially those concerning the recent Above the Wing/Below the Wing selection determinations.
USAIRWAYS NEGOTIATIONS UPDATE: 19 March 2014
Machinists Press NMB for Right to Strike US Airways: Download
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.
|Rich Delaney||Tom Higginbotham|
|President & Directing General Chairperson||President/General Chairman|
|District Lodge 141||District Lodge 142|
Dues Check-Off: 19 March 2014
Dues check-off is being conducted around the system and at-home-res agents are receiving information in the mail. If you have any questions or have not received your paperwork yet, the District has set-up a Hotline for all concerns:
Dues Check-Off Hotline
800 411-6069 option 4
United Airlines today announced an agreement with IAM District 141 to insource a significant amount of above-the-wing work to service the United Express (UAX) operation in Denver, which includes Station Operations Control positions. IAM District 141 today also received notification from United Airlines of its intent to contract out work in the following stations - ABQ, BUF, CHS, CLT, CMH, DSM, DTW, ELP, FSD, ICT, KOA, LIH, OGG, PNS, SLC (Below the Wing).
We have been aware that United solicited Requests For Proposals (RFPs) from multiple vendors in many line stations. United’s announcement indicates that it has received responses from vendors in the above-mentioned stations and will now review its outsourcing options.
In every other instance before today, our only option was to assist affected members in the difficult process of moving away from their homes or accepting furlough. Last fall, during negotiations, United outsourced six line stations without discussion. Our attempts to change the Company’s decision were rejected, as vendor contracts had already been signed. We determined then that we would exhaust every option to outsourcing in the future and not leave a decision of such importance to United exclusively.
Our contracts now have language that prevents United from making the unilateral decision to outsource our work without first entering into negotiations with the IAM over each and every station considered. Negotiations designed to find alternatives to losing our work are now required before a final decision can be made. Today's announcement is a notification to the IAM, not a dictate. IAM members now have options they never had before, options that may keep IAM members working in these stations, even if the particular location is serviced exclusively by United Express. Notably, UAX flights comprise 90 percent of the flight schedule in the above-mentioned stations.
Immediately after receiving notification from United we informed the Company negotiations to preserve this work will commence as soon as possible. Every option will be considered, but no agreement to modify any provision of our contracts will be entered into without a two-thirds majority of voting IAM members ratifying any change in those locations.
IAM District 141 has been pressing United continually to insource the work gained during negotiations. It is now more important than ever for the company to insource this work and eliminate vendors in named stations. This will allow any involuntarily effected member the real opportunity to fill vacancies in other stations and minimize the displacement of other members. We have not limited our conversations to the contractually mandated insourcing; we continue to look at all opportunities to reduce reliance on vendors. Hence, the agreement to insource above-the-wing UAX work in Denver. We will continue to press United to insource work because we know when IAM United employees do the work the job gets done right.
The Denver insourcing will provide almost 150 positions for IAM members that were not available yesterday. This is a very good first step towards fulfilling the commitment of our contract and will offer many IAM members opportunities if they choose to remain employed by United Airlines.
Negotiations will begin as soon as possible and deal with each station separately. Discussions will be based on what the RFP has shown as a potential cost, and what, if any, adjustments can be made to current contract provisions to keep IAM members in their locations. Each station will be treated as unique and the discussions will include in-station representation before any possible tentative agreement can be reached.
Our contracts have several employment security provisions that will serve to give members the greatest chance to remain working, and working in their home stations whenever possible. No other labor agreement in the airline industry has these types of protections and all will be used to protect our members.
Memorandum of Understanding - Re: Station Classification: Download
Update: 25 February 2014 - NMB Meeting Scheduled: Download
United Airlines "look-back" pay commitment letter: Download
IAM Transportation Newswire, 20 February, 2014: Download
Railway Labor Act (RLA): Where are we at, 19 February 2014: Download
Rich Delaney, 16 February 2014: Download
12 February, 2014: download
Links to Skynet and some of the documents that the Company has created are listed below:
- UA Benefits Contact list
- IAM Enrollment Fairs schedule
- Benefits Glossary
- IAM Special Benefits Magazine
Benefits page: look for the "Read More" link to get to most information:
Special Enrollment Page:
Lists all the documents the company produced.
Links to "Your Benefits Resource" where the changes are made.
US Airways Updates: Download
Us Airways Negotiations
United Airlines Updates: Line Station Bidding
May health, happiness and unity be among your many reasons to give thanks.
Happy Thanksgiving from District Lodge 141.
US Airways Update 27 November 2013: US Airways and American Press Release
United Airlines Update 26 November 2013: Seniority Integration Process: Corrections
Philippine Airlines Update 21 November 2013:
Philippine Airlines and DL141 signed a collective bargining agreement with details to follow.
Rich Delaney, 12 November , 2013: Download US Airways Update
Rich Delaney, 12 November 2013: Download United Airlines Update
IAM - HAL – Negotiation Bulletin
IAM District Lodge 141 and 142 Joint Negotiation Preparation
Sunday through Thursday this week the Negotiation Preparation started with Hawaiian Airlines Negotiating Teams at District Lodge 141 and 142.
We would like to thank President Brian Simonson and the members of Local Lodge
1979 – HNL for hosting the joint Training Class.
We would like to give special thanks to the Director of the IAM, William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center, Chris Wagoner. Chris prepared and presented the Negotiation Preparation Class, IAM Deputy General Counsel, Carla Siegel for Tele Conferencing her presentation on the Railroad Labor Act and Collective Bargaining, IAM Strategic Resources, Peter Greenberg for Tele Conferencing Bargaining Survey and Bargaining Strategies, IAMAW Airline Coordinator Ira Levy for his over view of the entire negotiating process.
The training session opened with Chris Wagoner and Ira Levy giving opening Statements. The training reviewed team dynamics, power analysis, legal, health care, pension, communication, committee planning, contract costing, language drafting, just to name a few, there was also break out sessions to focus on both District 141 and 142 issues.
The week of December 16, 2013 the National Mediation Board will be presenting Interest Based Bargaining program designed by the Mediation Board to the IAM and HAL Negotiating Teams. This process was used at United Airlines, and contracts were just ratified for 31,000 IAM members. Negotiations will open for District 141 immediately after the training.
I.A.M.A.W. District Lodge 141
IAM – HAL Negotiating Team
Mahalo for your thoughts: the Hawaiian Airlines Survey
Members of District 141 employed by Hawaiian Airlines are requested to participate in the new Membership/Contract Proposal survey now available on the District 141 website.
We encourage you to take a few minutes and share your opinions regarding the important issues in our contract, as we begin the process to shape our proposals for the future negotiations. The survey will run from 12 October - 02 November, 2013.
We thank you for your participation and look forward to receiving your opinions and reading your comments regarding your contract.
Time Sensitive Information: Early Out
With this announcement, www.contract.iam141.org will be the direct source of information for United Airlines PCE, Fleet and Stores contracts.