Joe Bartz, Mike Cyscon, Mike Quartuccio, and Erik Stenberg share their background and experience in the airline business and the IAMAW. This is a very experienced group, with the junior man having 32 years of service.
141 Report: What Does an AGC Do?
Dave Lehive is on another Zoom trip to Chicago to ask: What does an AGC do? Dave talks with four union brothers elected Assistant General Chairs of District 141. They are part of the District 141 Executive Board, where there are 20 other AGCs like them, representing almost 40,000 members working in the United States and US territories. Joe Bartz, Mike Cyscon, Mike Quartuccio, and Erik Stenberg share their background and experience in the airline business and the IAMAW. This is a very experienced group, with the junior man having 32 years of service. They all began representing members as Shop Stewards in their respective work areas. Mike Quartuccio reminds Stewards that their status as a fellow employee gives them the best perspective when they face problems. At the same time, he advises them not to be intimidated by company managers, and keep in mind that when they are representing a member, they engage with supervisors and managers as equals.
Mike Cyscon prioritizes the return to work of every member who is on furlough, especially at JFK, one of his assigned cities. He also works to build the grievance committees at all locations, so they can use every resource and work collectively to resolve issues.
Erik Stenberg performs dual roles as District 141 Safety Chairman and AGC He was elected AGC in 2008, and also represents District 141 at the National Safety Council Labor Advisory Board. His priority is to promote safety in a dangerous environment and to listen to members so he can take advantage of every organizing opportunity. “We are all organizers,” said Erik. He is especially proud of the organizing work his team did during the UA-CO merger, which brought a previously non-union group of instructors into the IAM.
For Joe Bartz, who was the first Storekeeper elected President of Local 1487, note-taking is paramount, and he encouraged transparency above all. “Don’t be afraid to tell a member, ‘I don’t know, I’ll get back to you,’” he said. But “equally important,” is to follow up.
So what does an AGC do? “Administer the contract, handle grievances and make sure they are handled properly start to finish,” said Joe Bartz. “And, negotiations,” he added.
When you represent 40,000 members in the United States and US territories, there are also station visits, engaging with members, and continuing education. In an industry constantly in flux with a changing world, the role of District 141 AGCs is to lead with a steady hand to promote and defend the rights, lives, and livelihoods of all union members.