Brothers Nic Haberman (Secretary), Mark Chavez (Chairman), and Ed Horvath (Assistant Committee Chair) show that while they represent a smaller group of members at DEN when compared with their counterparts at United, their commitment, activism, and dedication are strong.
141 Report: DEN Local 1886 Committee for American Airlines
Dave returns to Denver International Airport to speak via Zoom with Local 1886 Grievance Committee members from American Airlines.
Brothers Mark Chavez, Chairman, Nic Haberman, Secretary, and Ed Horvath, Assistant Committee Chair show that while they represent a smaller group of members at DEN when compared with their counterparts at United, their commitment, activism, and dedication are strong. One of the larger field stations in the American system, DEN has a very active group of union representatives.
These three union brothers are veterans of airline mergers, and as a result, have worked in other cities during their careers. Their experiences have shown them the importance of having a sense of ownership of work and how this builds solidarity and pride amongst unionized workers.
Besides the essential work of identifying and resolving grievances, each one of these Committee members also takes part in other aspects of union work. Committee Chair Chavez also serves as a Safety Rep, Secretary Haberman is a local Trainer, and Horvath is an EAP Representative. They incorporate these skills into their leadership roles to solve problems at the lowest level. “If the problem never happens, that’s the lowest level,” says Haberman, stressing the value of a proactive approach.
The conversation covers many areas of interest, including how the GSAP program is proving to be an effective tool to promote safety. Mark points out how the program provides for training and non-punitive solutions to problems and incidents that members report voluntarily.
American Airlines is expanding operations in DEN, and Nic states that with transfers and new hires, the station has surpassed the pre-COVID number of employees. The station has a mixed IAM/TWU Association membership, with a majority as IAM and about 9% members of TWU. He proudly stated that out of a recent group of preferential hires who had the option, all chose to remain members of the IAM.
Always a trainer, Nic never misses an opportunity to educate airport workers who approach him to ask questions about the IAM. He specifically calls out workers from jetBlue who claim they are too busy to learn about the union and sign an authorization card. He also engages in inside organizing and mentions the dangers of internal divisions that give company executives opportunities to take advantage of workers.
Mark speaks about the importance of communication between stations to ensure consistency in the way issues are handled. This is another way we can build strength in numbers and solidarity within our union.
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