An early supporter of unionization, Brother Leroy was a Shop Steward during the merger of United and Continental and is grateful and proud to be a member of the IAM. Driven by his desire to learn more about the union movement, he became active in Local 811 (he tells the story of how the number 811 was chosen), becoming a Trustee and Safety Advocate before he was elected President.  

141 Report: Leroy Taylor and the Local 811 Pushback

Apr 30, 2021

Dave speaks with Leroy Taylor, President of Local 811 in Houston, Texas.

Based in the largest city in Texas, IAMAW Local 811 represents below the wing workers at United and American Airlines. Leroy Taylor began his airline career with Continental Airlines in 1986, attracted primarily by the flying benefits the job offered. He initially kept his full-time job at a local hotel until a year later when full-time Lead RSE positions became available. Leroy decided to make a change and “lose a gig with the hotel but earn a career with the airline.”

He speaks passionately about how the union provides benefits that go well beyond travel, and how important it is to have legal representation and “go to the table and be strong.” Leroy cites the airline’s attempt to cut workers’ schedules at the beginning of the pandemic, and how the IAM forced the company to honor the contracts we have negotiated. “I wouldn’t change it for the world,” says Leroy, and he urges non-union workers to choose union solidarity to make sure their voices are heard and they have a say about their future. 

An early supporter of unionization, Brother Leroy was a Shop Steward during the merger of United and Continental and is grateful and proud to be a member of the IAM. Driven by his desire to learn more about the union movement, he became active in Local 811 (he tells the story of how the number 811 was chosen), becoming a Trustee and Safety Advocate before he was elected President.  

Local 811 represents 2,400 members in IAH and several smaller airports including BHM, LFT, MAF, and SHV. They share space and building costs with their sister Local 2198 that represents above the wing workers. Similar to many locals, Local 811 has seen many member retirements over the past year because of the coronavirus and the voluntary programs offered by companies to reduce staff. 

As the interview wraps up, Leroy urges every union worker to “get the shot, let’s get back to where we need to be.”