Association Update: Holiday Arbitration

Association Update: Holiday Arbitration

Recording Secretaries – Please print and post on all IAMAW Bulletin Boards. GET PRINTABLE COPY >>

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Association Update: Holiday Arbitration

 November 7, 2022 

TO: TWU/IAM Association Members 

RE: Holiday Arbitration 

At the end of last week, we were informed by Arbitrator Dana Eischen that he needs to reschedule the Article 22 – Holiday Arbitration scheduled to start on December 1, 2022. At his request, we have rescheduled the hearing to begin on February 2 and, if necessary, Feb 3, 2023. 

We understand the frustration this delay poses; however, the change in schedule is beyond our control. 

Fraternally, 

Recording Secretaries: Please print and post on all IAMAW bulletin boards.

Dennis Spencer Named New Safety Director for American, Spirit

Dennis Spencer Named New Safety Director for American, Spirit

Dennis Spencer Named Safety Director for American, Spirit Members

Safety
18 October 2022

Dennis Spencer, Safety Chairman from Local Lodge 1776, has been appointed to Safety Director for District 141, overseeing safety programs for Union Members at American Airlines and Spirit.

The promotion was announced at the District Convention in September and became official on October 1. Dennis will be taking the helm following the retirement of Tony D’Aloiso, who held the position for years.

Dennis Spencer is a well-respected safety professional who has worked in the airline industry for over 30 years. Hired initially as a  Catering Agent at US Air in 1989, Dennis worked his way up to Station Trainer, navigating through a merger with American Airlines along the way. 

In 2008, Spencer decided to enter the world of Union Activism and immediately made an impact; he became a Union Steward, Headed up the Safety Committee as Chairman, and served as a Local Trustee – all in the space of a single year.

“I am very competitive in everything I do,” Spencer said of his rapid rise in the union. But, he stressed that his goal has always been clearly trained on the purpose of safety. “Our members have a very physically demanding job,” he said. “There’s a lot of involved in what they do. I feel a deep sense of responsibility to do everything I possibly can to keep our members safe on the job.”

Dennis will coordinate and lead safety initiatives for American Airlines members across the country in his new role. Among his many responsibilities, he will help ensure the safety and health of all fleet service members for American Airlines and fleet service members of Spirit Airlines in (FLL). His jobs will include serving as the primary member of the GSAP ERC Board, making him responsible for all GSAPs filed by Machinists Union Members.

He will also continue to administer the UnionSafe141.org website, which was the subject of special praise at the District 141 Committee Conference, held earlier this year. “I have no doubt that this website has saved lives,” said District Media Director Eric Price at the time. “The site that Spencer’s running allows anyone to report, track and record safety concerns – on the scene, right from their cellphones,” he said. “The work that Spencer’s doing is truly, truly groundbreaking,” he continued, pointing out that the safety tracking done by Spencer at American has won many court cases and prompted sweeping, nationwide changes in how American Airlines operates. 

District 141 President Mike Klemm released a statement saying, “Dennis Spencer is a proven leader with a wealth of experience in aviation safety. I am confident he will do an outstanding job in his new role as Safety Director at the District. I can’t wait to see what his imagination and energy are able to accomplish at the national level.”

“I am honored to be given this opportunity to lead the safety program for District 141, and I will do everything in my power to protect our members,” Spencer said of his assignment. He thanked his family for their patience over the years, as his work often requires long hours and extended time in the field. “And Tony D’Alosio. He was very instrumental in my development professionally and personally, preparing me for the role.”

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Dennis Spencer Named Safet Director for American, Spirit Airlines

18 October, 2022

Dennis Spencer, Safety Chairman from Local Lodge 1776, has been appointed to Safety Director for District 141, overseeing safety programs for Union Members at American Airlines and Spirit.

 The promotion was announced at the District Convention in September and became official on October 1. Dennis will be taking the helm following the retirement of Tony D’Aloiso, who held the position for years.

Dennis Spencer is a well-respected safety professional who has worked in the airline industry for over 30 years. Hired initially as a  Catering Agent at US Air in 1989, Dennis worked his way up to Station Trainer, navigating through a merger with American Airlines along the way. 

In 2008, Spencer decided to enter the world of Union Activism and immediately made an impact; he became a Union Steward, Headed up the Safety Committee as Chairman, and served as a Local Trustee – all in the space of a single year.

“I am very competitive in everything I do,” Spencer said of his rapid rise in the union. But, he stressed that his goal has always been clearly trained on the purpose of safety. “Our members have a very physically demanding job,” he said. “There’s a lot of involved in what they do. I feel a deep sense of responsibility to do everything I possibly can to keep our members safe on the job.”

Dennis will coordinate and lead safety initiatives for American Airlines members across the country in his new role. Among his many responsibilities, he will help ensure the safety and health of all fleet service members for American Airlines and fleet service members of Spirit Airlines in (FLL). His jobs will include serving as the primary member of the GSAP ERC Board, making him responsible for all GSAPs filed by Machinists Union Members.

He will also continue to administer the UnionSafe141.org website, which was the subject of special praise at the District 141 Committee Conference, held earlier this year. “I have no doubt that this website has saved lives,” said District Media Director Eric Price at the time. “The site that Spencer’s running allows anyone to report, track and record safety concerns – on the scene, right from their cellphones,” he said. “The work that Spencer’s doing is truly, truly groundbreaking,” he continued, pointing out that the safety tracking done by Spencer at American has won many court cases and prompted sweeping, nationwide changes in how American Airlines operates. 

District 141 President Mike Klemm released a statement saying, “Dennis Spencer is a proven leader with a wealth of experience in aviation safety. I am confident he will do an outstanding job in his new role as Safety Director at the District. I can’t wait to see what his imagination and energy are able to accomplish at the national level.”

“I am honored to be given this opportunity to lead the safety program for District 141, and I will do everything in my power to protect our members,” Spencer said of his assignment. He thanked his family for their patience over the years, as his work often requires long hours and extended time in the field. “And Tony D’Alosio. He was very instrumental in my development professionally and personally, preparing me for the role.”

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141 Report: Union-Made Safety Program at American Airlines

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YouTube
28 January 2022

This week on the 141 Report, the topic is the Ground Safety Action Program at American Airlines. Association Safety Advocates, IAM 141/1776 Dennis Spencer and TWU Local 568 Mitch Lieberman brief the viewers about concerns Association members have with safety reporting at American.

IAM District Lodge 141 Report with Host Dave Lehive is a weekly podcast featuring Machinist Union Members and Allies of the Labor Movement. Our Video report airs every Friday at 2:00 PM EST (1:00 CST) on Facebook and Youtube and is also on Spotify.

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141 Report: Paws for Pascarella

141 Report: Paws for Pascarella

Our 141 report this week takes us to IAM local lodge 1759 in Herndon, Virginia, as the membership conducted the annual Paws for Pascarella Guide Dogs of America charity event.

 

141 Report: Paws for Pascarella

Our 141 report this week takes us to IAM local lodge 1759 in Herndon, Virginia, as the membership conducted the annual Paws for Pascarella Guide Dogs of America charity event.

The video report begins with an update from District President Mike Klemm, who traveled to Dulles Airport to conduct a station visit with the United Airlines membership. In the Video podcast, Brother Klemm informs the membership about this week’s trip to the United Airlines hub at Dulles Airport and Local 1759.  

 On Tuesday, Mike attended the monthly Lodge meeting and spoke to the members about the vaccine mandates at American and United Airlines. He also talked about the status of the ongoing negotiations at Spirit Airlines. Spirit has recently entered mediation proceedings.

Mike said, “We’ll be working with the mediation board to hopefully get a tentative agreement for our members of Spirit to vote on.” Brother Klemm also talked about the upcoming negotiation with United Airlines. Mike stated, “We should be seeing a communication coming out on that in the very near future.” 

Mike continues the report by saying he went over to the airport to visit multiple shifts and multiple briefings for members at United. He answered questions about the mandate and vaccine, as well as responding to questions about negotiations. Mike said it was “a real good visit.” Mike walked the property with 141 VP at East Barb Martin, who also serves as the committee chairman in Dulles, Mike Cyscon, the AGC assigned to the ramp, and Rich Creighton, who serves as AGC to customer service above the wing. Joe Washburn, the southeast regional EAP, also joined Mike on the visit. Brother Klemm thanked the local committee, Bill Hoover, Bill Peer, Sherry Curtis, President Bill Huston, and his entire 1759 executive board for their hospitality. 

Mike then talked about the fundraising event for guide dogs that he attended. The 1759 Charity event was In honor of his former AGC, Rich Pascarella, who unfortunately passed away a few years ago. “Rich not only was a phenomenal union rep and an outstanding AGC but also a personal friend of mine and it’s actually his birthday today.” Mike said of the beloved unionist.

The following guest speaker was Sherrie Curtis from local 1759, the UA Customer Service Committee person at Dulles Airport. “We’re here tonight celebrating our second annual event for Rich Pascarella.” The Charity Top Golf event took place in Loudoun County, having about 60 people that showed up to celebrate and raise funds for Guide Dogs of America. IAM members came from Boston, Newark, Philadelphia, and Chicago. Sherrie reports that Rich Passcarella families came to town driving in from Pittsburgh to celebrate a good time with us. 

Donations came rolling in from Locals 914 in Newark and 1776 in Philadelphia, donating $500 each to sponsor a golfing bay to support GDA. 

In the last part of the report, Dave talks to 1759 UA member Ron Rukenbrod who describes how he and his committee put the event together. He spoke of getting donations from local stores, wineries, and brewhouses for many charity baskets they put together. Ron said, “If you send out 100 letters and you only get 20 people to donate, you’re still 20 people ahead. So it’s always good to just overextend. Ron speaks about the support from the 141 Community Service Director, Cristina Odoardi, saying, “she’s been wonderful reaching out to us; what can I do? What can I do? We’ve been very fortunate”. 

If your local is interested in putting a community service event together, be sure to contact Sister Cristina at codoardi@iam141.org.

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DOJ: JetBlue, American Airlines Deal is a “De-Facto Merger.”

DOJ: JetBlue, American Airlines Deal is a “De-Facto Merger.”

DOJ: JetBlue, American Airlines Deal is a “De-Facto Merger.”

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This sweeping partnership is unprecedented among domestic airlines and amounts to a de facto merger between American and JetBlue.

The U.S. Department of Justice, together with Attorneys General in six states and the District of Columbia, is suing to stop the virtual merger of  American Airlines and JetBlue. The two airlines are trying to consolidate their Boston and New York City operations with the “Northeast Partnership,” as the arrangement is called.

In a civil antitrust complaint, the DOJ argues that the partnership will act as a de-facto merger, eliminating important competition in the New York and Boston markets, and greatly diminish competition between the two carriers everywhere they interact. The deal would create a level of coordination that violates antitrust laws, according to the DOJ.

If allowed to proceed, the near-merger will further consolidate an already highly concentrated industry.

Federal law prevents a single company, entity, or partnership from eliminating competition within a given market, and creating a monopoly on goods and services. Monopolistic power allows companies to completely control the prices and availability of their products, creating dangerous economic bottlenecks that can destabilize markets. According to the DOJ allegations, this is exactly what American Airlines has been attempting to do for years. American executives have created informal mergers since the airline cannot legally control more markets through a legal merger process. 

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers union has expressed concern that the informal merger between American Airlines and JetBlue could threaten the jobs of JetBlue Ground Operations Crewmembers. In examples where the two airlines have overlapping services, union workers at American would be impossible to remove from their jobs, thanks to unbreakable job protections that American ramp workers negotiated and ratified in 2020. However, non-union JetBlue Crewmembers would have no such job protections, and could potentially be fired and replaced with the unionized workers at American. 

JetBlue does not formally lay off non-union employees, the company just fires them. 

From the Department of Justice statement:
“Millions of consumers across America rely on air travel every day for work, to visit family, or to take vacations. Fair competition is essential to ensuring they can fly affordably and safely,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “In an industry where just four airlines control more than 80% of domestic air travel, American Airlines’ ‘alliance’ with JetBlue is, in fact, an unprecedented maneuver to further consolidate the industry. It would result in higher fares, fewer choices, and lower quality service if allowed to continue. The complaint filed today demonstrates the Justice Department’s commitment to ensuring economic opportunity and fairness by protecting consumers and competition.”

“The Northeast Alliance would eliminate significant competition in this important industry,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Richard A. Powers of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division. “This sweeping partnership is unprecedented among domestic airlines and amounts to a de facto merger between American and JetBlue in Boston and New York City. The impact on consumers extends far beyond Massachusetts and New York, as evidenced by the participation and our ongoing cooperation with Attorneys General from across the country, including Arizona, California, Florida, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia and the District of Columbia, in this lawsuit.” 

The Northeast Alliance combines American’s and JetBlue’s operations at four major airports: Boston Logan, John F. Kennedy, LaGuardia, and Newark Liberty. The airlines have committed to coordinate “on all aspects” of network planning, including which routes to fly, when to fly them, who will fly them and what size planes to use for each flight. The two airlines will also share revenues earned at these airports, eliminating their incentives to compete. The Northeast Alliance will also allow the parties to pool their gates and takeoff and landing authorizations, known as “slots.” According to the complaint, this unprecedented combination would raise prices and reduce choices for air passengers traveling to and from Boston and New York City. 

As alleged in the complaint, American is the largest airline in the world. Just four airlines — American, Delta, United, and Southwest — collectively control 80% of domestic air travel. According to the complaint, American has relentlessly pursued an industry consolidation strategy in the United States and worldwide. Unable to combine with foreign airlines through formal mergers, American has pursued consolidation through a series of international joint ventures. The complaint alleges that JetBlue’s CEO stated, “it may look as if a dozen or more airlines [are] providing service. But when you go under the surface, it’s really just three big mega-alliances controlling 87% of the traffic…Consumers effectively have very little choice in markets where JVs have a stranglehold – and they also face higher fares.” The Justice Department alleges that American now seeks to import this strategy to domestic air travel.

According to the complaint, JetBlue has positioned itself as an essential source of competition against American and the other large airlines, particularly in the northeast. According to the complaint, JetBlue’s reputation for lowering prices is so established that the industry refers to it as the “JetBlue Effect.” JetBlue’s internal estimates show that it has saved customers at least $10 billion since its launch, offering lower fares and better service and forcing its competitors to do the same.     

According to the complaint, the Northeast Alliance will cause hundreds of millions of dollars in harm to air passengers across the country through higher fares and reduced choice. The complaint alleges that JetBlue and American planned to compete more intensely before entering the Northeast Alliance, including Boston, New York City, and other areas. If allowed to proceed, the Northeast Alliance would eliminate this important existing and future competition — creating, as American’s senior executives put it, “further domestic consolidation.” The Northeast Alliance will dampen American’s incentive to expand service elsewhere in its network and will significantly reduce JetBlue’s incentives to challenge its much more significant partner across the country.  

American Airlines Group Inc. is a Delaware corporation with its headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas. In 2019, it flew over 215 million passengers to approximately 365 locations worldwide, earning about $45 billion in revenues.  

JetBlue Airways Corporation is a Delaware corporation with its headquarters in Long Island City, New York. In 2019, JetBlue flew over 42 million passengers to approximately 100 locations worldwide, earning about $8 billion in revenue. 

 

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