In this week’s 141 Report, Brother Lehive brings the viewers to Houston, Texas, to meet up with the Local 811 Grievance Committee. The Committee includes Carlos Ayala, Bruno Pereira, and Chairman Gary Welch.  Welch is also a District 141 Vice President (At-Large).

 

141 Report: “Houston Strong” Grievance Committee

Oct 22, 2021

In this week’s 141 Report, Brother Lehive brings the viewers to Houston, Texas, to meet up with the Local 811 Grievance Committee. The Committee includes Carlos Ayala, Bruno Pereira, and Chairman Gary Welch.  Welch is also a District 141 Vice President (At-Large).

Carlos Ayala told viewers, “I started in the airline industry back in 2006. And have come up as a shop steward. And then eventually as a grievance committee person, here in Houston for local 811 under District 141.” Bruno Pereira told Dave, “I’ve been in the airline industry with United/Continental since 1999. I started as a shop steward, and now I’m a grievance committeeman.”

Brother Gary Welch was asked about the Houston membership, which includes roughly 2500 people at IAH. The local is large, he said. “Having SM Cargo in our local and recently, had American Airlines Fleet Service join the Lodge. The UA GC here also oversees the moving team as well as stores in Houston.” 

Brother Carlos agreed that the union workloads and responsibilities at 811 are significant, saying, “as the grievance Grievance Committee/ Secretary, I support the shop stewards and the committee with grievances.” 

“I’m technically the bookkeeper,” he said. “We don’t let titles define all the work that needs to be done.”

Carlos discussed the abundance of office space that Local 811 has access to. “We are blessed to have basically two offices, one inside the airport, But we also have an office here at the local Lodge.” Local 811 has an on-site office at the airport that allows easy access to members while they’re on the clock. It also has a suite off-site, which is home to Local 811 and its sister Local 2198. 

Brother Bruno said of the work, “we all take a hands-on approach when it comes down to working with our stewards. We’re very involved with them.” Bruno went on to talk about how they manage monthly steward meetings at the local Lodge. He also spoke about the 65 volunteer shop stewards and the critical work they perform for the Houston membership.

Brother Carlos talked about using modern communication stating they use live zooms. Along with WhatsApp groups along with several specialized Facebook pages. Carlos talked about walking the property and said the quickest and most secure way to communicate was via text, phone calls, and facetime. The Committee uses its Local website and bulletin boards to ensure all current updates and contact lists for shop stewards are available to the membership.

Dave asked Brother Gary about how the lives have changed for IAH members over the last ten years. Gary replied, “I always remember when we were non-Union and the company just came in and took money from us, they took our wages from us.” Gary reminded viewers how United tried to involuntarily furlough full-time agents to part-time in 2020 and how fiercely the IAM defended the membership. “And if you look back to this year, when the company was thinking about putting all the full timers down to part time and taking money from us. That right there showed it.” 

“So the union has done a tremendous job helping the overall lives of the Houston people.” In closing, the Committee thanks the Local Eboard and shop stewards for all the help and support.