United Invests $32 Million into IAH Stores Expansion

United Invests $32 Million into IAH Stores Expansion

$32 Million into IAH Stores Expansion

United Invests $32 Million into IAH Stores Expansion

IAM141.org

HOUSTON / IAH: United Airlines is planning to expand its Stores operation in Houston, which, when completed, will be the largest Stores facility at the airline. The deal was approved at a City Council meeting on January 11.

Herve Lavenant, United’s Managing Director for Logistic Services, said that the new distribution center is integral to the airline’s growth strategy. The deal includes a commitment of $32.6 million for property upgrades, $5.4 million for enhancements in personal property, and the creation of job opportunities in the surrounding area.

The plan would see United acquire a massive 500,000-square-foot, 41-acre facility that will handle warehousing and stores operations at Bush Intercontinental Airport and 100 new flights systemwide. According to Stores Committeeman Satchel Thorpe, the airline currently employs about 300 Storekeepers at IAH. The expansion will require an additional 150 employees, bringing the total number of Storekeepers at IAH to 400.

This center, which United is calling a “Global Distribution Hub,” will play a critical role in managing inventory and providing resources for pilots and terminal operations globally.

United has said wages at the facility will average $64,000 a year, which amounts to roughly $30 an hour.

The move comes as the airline is announcing plans to add 40 new domestic flights at IAH, including the resumption of nonstop service between Houston and Ontario and a new service to Fairbanks, Alaska. In total, United is planning to add more than 100 new flights to destinations in the United States and Canada. The Canadian routes will include cities like Calgary, Vancouver, and Halifax. The new routes will be added to various stations across the United network. Over the summer, United expects to have more US-Canada routes than any other US-based carrier.

In a press release, United Senior Vice President Patrick Quayle said that the idea was to streamline the travel process in a way that would allow passengers to stay on United flights and not make multiple connections with airline partners like Air Canada. Service to locations such as Tampa. Miami, Boston, and Charleston are also planned. United’s presence in the Canadian market has grown by 70% since Air Canada’s partnership expanded in 2022.

Related News

Honoring the Fallen, Protecting the Living

Honoring the Fallen, Protecting the Living

Honoring the Fallen, Protecting the LivingMARYLAND- On April 28, the Machinists Union gathered to honor workers lost to preventable accidents on Workers Memorial Day, pledging to continue the fight for safer working conditions.Honoring the Fallen, Protecting the...

Association Update

Association Update

Today the TWU-IAM Association has served notice to American Airlines of our intent to commence negotiations on all TWU-IAM Association Collective Bargaining Agreements. Recording Secretaries - Please print and post on all IAMAW Bulletin Boards. GET PRINTABLE COPY...

Stay up to date with all the latest news and information from the District 141 of the Machinists Union

United Invests $32 Million into IAH Stores Expansion

30 January 2024

HOUSTON / IAH: United Airlines is planning to expand its Stores operation in Houston, which, when completed, will be the largest Stores facility at the airline. The deal was approved at a City Council meeting on January 11.

Herve Lavenant, United’s Managing Director for Logistic Services, said that the new distribution center is integral to the airline’s growth strategy. The deal includes a commitment of $32.6 million for property upgrades, $5.4 million for enhancements in personal property, and the creation of job opportunities in the surrounding area.

The plan would see United acquire a massive 500,000-square-foot, 41-acre facility that will handle warehousing and stores operations at Bush Intercontinental Airport and 100 new flights systemwide. According to Stores Committeeman Satchel Thorpe, the airline currently employs about 300 Storekeepers at IAH. The expansion will require an additional 150 employees, bringing the total number of Storekeepers at IAH to 400.

This center, which United is calling a “Global Distribution Hub,” will play a critical role in managing inventory and providing resources for pilots and terminal operations globally.

United has said wages at the facility will average $64,000 a year, which amounts to roughly $30 an hour.

The move comes as the airline is announcing plans to add 40 new domestic flights at IAH, including the resumption of nonstop service between Houston and Ontario and a new service to Fairbanks, Alaska. In total, United is planning to add more than 100 new flights to destinations in the United States and Canada. The Canadian routes will include cities like Calgary, Vancouver, and Halifax. The new routes will be added to various stations across the United network. Over the summer, United expects to have more US-Canada routes than any other US-based carrier.

In a press release, United Senior Vice President Patrick Quayle said that the idea was to streamline the travel process in a way that would allow passengers to stay on United flights and not make multiple connections with airline partners like Air Canada. Service to locations such as Tampa. Miami, Boston, and Charleston are also planned. United’s presence in the Canadian market has grown by 70% since Air Canada’s partnership expanded in 2022.

Related

Honoring the Fallen, Protecting the Living

Honoring the Fallen, Protecting the Living

Honoring the Fallen, Protecting the LivingMARYLAND- On April 28, the Machinists Union gathered to honor workers lost to preventable accidents on Workers Memorial Day, pledging to continue the fight for safer working conditions.Honoring the Fallen, Protecting the...

Association Update

Association Update

Today the TWU-IAM Association has served notice to American Airlines of our intent to commence negotiations on all TWU-IAM Association Collective Bargaining Agreements. Recording Secretaries - Please print and post on all IAMAW Bulletin Boards. GET PRINTABLE COPY...

Air Rage: Congressman Crenshaw Loses it Over Pet Carrier

Air Rage: Congressman Crenshaw Loses it Over Pet Carrier

Air Rage: Congressman Crenshaw Loses it Over Pet Carrier

Air Rage: Congressman Crenshaw Loses it Over Pet Carrier

IAM141.org

Tara Blake, the wife of Texas Congressman Dan Crenshaw (R-Houston), has gone viral for a video in which she appears to physically assault a ticket Counter Agent working at Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH).

Ironically, the video of the attack went viral after being shared by her husband, Congressman Dan Crenshaw himself. As of Wednesday afternoon, Crenshaw’s video of his wife attacking the Ticket Agent had been viewed more than 4 million times. Surveillance footage shows an unidentified United Ticket Counter Agent, possibly a supervisor, trying to pull a yellow notice, called a “Pet Travel Policy Tag,” from a dog carrier as Blake and her mother attempted to check two dogs at the IAH Ticket Counter.

The dogs, a pair of mixed breeds named “Joey,” and “Luna,” whom Crenshaw identifies as rescue dogs, were stuffed into small soft-sided carriers that would not have permitted the animals to stand or turn around during the flight.

It is unclear how many dogs were actually involved. In the beginning of the post, Crenshaw claims there were “a pair of small dogs,” involved. Later in the post he stops referring to two dogs, and only mentions one, named “Joey.”

To prevent animal cruelty, United Airlines does not allow pets that cannot comfortably fit beneath a passenger seat. According to United Policy, a pet carrier must slide easily under the seat, and the pet must be able to stand up and turn around without being removed from its crate or bag.

The Ticket Counter Agent had no choice but to uphold company policy and follow laws related to animal cruelty.

While Crenshaw’s dog, Joey, is a smaller breed, it is still too large to fit under the seat on a commercial airline. Photos of Joey that Crenshaw has posted online make this clear.

The entire available space for a dog is only 18 inches deep, by 14 inches by 8 inches. This space must accommodate not just the animal  -but also its crate.

In the post, Crenshaw claims to have shoved this dog underneath airplane seats, in violation of policies designed to prevent animal abuse, more than 500 times. 

Texas Penal Code 42.092, Titled “Cruelty to Nonlivestock Animals,” defines “Cruelty” as any act that causes or permits unjustified or unwarranted pain or suffering to an animal.” The statute also defines “Torture,” as “any act that causes unjustifiable pain or suffering,” to an animal.

There is a very real possibility that a jury would decide that forcing the dog to squat under an airplane seat for a three or four-hour flight from Washinton’s Regan International Airport to Bush without being able to stand or turn around would be an example of cruelty or even torture under Texas law. 

Moreover, Tara Blake claimed one dog was a service animal for her husband, who was injured in combat during the Iraq War. 

In Texas, attacks on service animals constitute a separate offense. Under Federal Law (75 FR 56266), a service animal is defined as “any dog that has been specifically taught to carry out duties or complete tasks for the benefit of a person who is disabled, whether they have a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental impairment.”

A person has committed an offense if that person is found to have “carelessly, deliberately, or knowingly attacked, hurt, or murdered an assistance animal.” A jury would likely conclude that forcing a dog the size of Joey or Luna into a confined space, such as the area beneath an airplane seat, would constitute a violation of Texas Law protecting service animals from abuse, since it would certainly cause the dog severe pain.

Additionally, falsely claiming a pet is a service animal constitutes another offense under Texas Law. As of September 1, 2023, anyone found to have falsely represented a pet as a service animal without having undergone special straining can be fined up to $1000 and 30 hours of community service. House Bill 4164 defines a service animal as a “canine that is specially trained or equipped to help a person with a disability.” 

In the post, Crenshaw claims that his wife and her mother took the dog onto a Southwest flight because, he says, Southwest employees are “nice people.”

Southwest Airlines has pet-travel policies that are almost identical to those of United. Southwest, like United, requires that any animal carried onto any of its flights has to remain in a crate or bag, and the pet carrier must easily fit beneath the seat on the flight. Southwest also has policies in place that are designed to comply with Texas Law and prevent animal abuse. 

 

In the 8-minute rant that included homophobic insults and racist insinuations, Crenshaw repeatedly accused a United Ticket Counter Agent at Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport of going on a “crazed, unhinged” attack that forced Crenshaw’s wife to move to protect the couple’s, two-month-old baby. Then, according to Crenshaw, the “Unhinged United Agent” began “ripping things off” the dog carrier, and his wife was again forced to step in to stop the attack. The whole incident was captured on security cameras, which Congressman Crenshaw posted to his Twitter account. 

The videos, produced by the City of Houston’s Airport System, completely contradict Crenshaw’s accusations. 

Despite the Agent’s calm demeanor, Crenshaw’s wife is seen snatching violently at the Ticket Counter Agent, refusing to let her remove the Pet Policy Tag. A few seconds later, Tara Blake did not attack the Agent the second time she attempted to remove the bright yellow tag.

According to Crenshaw, the Agent was attempting to “Violently Assault” the dog. At the same time, earlier in the video, he claimed she was trying to photograph the dog to add Blake (Crenshaw’s wife) to a “Do Not Fly” Registry. He did not elaborate on why his wife’s behavior warranted her addition to a do not fly list. “They wanted to take my dog out of the bag, and photograph him and report my wife so they could never fly again,” he said in the video.

United Airlines Ticket Counter Agents do not have the authority to add a passenger to the National “Do Not Fly” registry. Such a move would usually be done in conjunction with security teams in a process that would involve airline management. A single Agent could only add a person to the Do Not Fly Registry with oversight. 

Crenshaw then launches a profanity-laced tirade against the Agent’s supervisor, Vice President Phillip Griffith. (At the beginning of the post, the Congressman suggests that United Airlines hires minorities as part of “DEI” or Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion policies. Vice President Griffith is black.)

He then provides a play-by-play account of the video that is diametrically opposite to what the video actually shows. The video shows “Angela,” the ticket counter agent, calmly reaching for the bag as Crenshaw narrates that she is violently “assaulting” his dog. As his wife is shown lunging towards the Agent, Crenshaw describes her as peaceful and calm. 

After the “assault” on his dog, Tara Blake then shoves her baby carriage about 15 feet away and storms out of the frame. The Agent is seen calmly walking away to help other passengers. 

“At this point,” Crenshaw narrates, “I’m feeling pretty happy because the video shows exactly what my wife said it would show,” even though the video shows that none of his wife’s statements were accurate in any way.

Beginning at 4:45 in the video, the Agent appears to be walking from a ticket printer and approaches the bag before Mrs. Crenshaw snatches at the Agent’s hand. At 4:54, the Agent returns to the dog bag and seems to resume whatever she was doing in the first place. 

WATCH THE VIDEO HERE

Crenshaw then recounts the position of United Airlines’ Phillip Griffith, who informs him that his wife was “handsy” and “agitated,” right from the very start. He also indicates at several points in the audio recording that Crenshaw secretly made of his conversation that the Crenshaws are well-known to be difficult passengers. “I deal with people like you every day,” Griffith tells the Congressman. “I deal with people like your wife every single day,” he said. 

Crenshaw then tells viewers that he frequently swears at airport agents and that he thinks such behavior is expected. “We’ve all been in that situation,” he says, “You know how you’re not allowed to curse around airline agents?” he asks. “When a bad thing happens to your travel… and, ‘F-Bomb… and they’re like ‘We can’t work with you anymore! You’re out of here!” He then accuses Ticket and Gate Agents subjected to passenger abuse of having their “delicate sensibilities” offended.

For his part, Phillip Griffith was shown defending the Agent and told Crenshaw to “shut up with that,” as the Congressman began to use profanity directed at him. Being told not to swear triggered the Congressman, who could then be heard breaking out into exaggerated, histrionic laughter in response.

Dan Crenshaw, known for his trademark eyepatch, represents North Houston in the United States Congress. A relatively new member of Congress, having been first elected in 2019, Crenshaw has come under fire from Republican voters for his efforts to distance himself from former President Donald Trump. Frequently called a “Never Trumper,” the 4.4K comments his post collected focused as much on his immigration stance and tacit support of Joe Biden as they did on criticisms of United Airlines or the Ticket Counter Agent. 

“Let’s be clear, Dan Crenshaw is a RINO and should not be in Congress representing the Republican Party,” said one response to his post. That comment garnered 2.8k loves. 

“Also, Dan… that same contempt Phillip and those United employees have for you and yours seems like the same contempt you have for Trump and his supporters…” Read another. 

As of Wednesday afternoon, the post had been viewed more than 4 million times. 

Tara Blake is an American legal expert who specializes in medical and healthcare litigation. She has a reported net worth of $700,000. According to Open Secrets.com, the Crenshaw household is worth an estimated $2.5 million.

Related News

Honoring the Fallen, Protecting the Living

Honoring the Fallen, Protecting the Living

Honoring the Fallen, Protecting the LivingMARYLAND- On April 28, the Machinists Union gathered to honor workers lost to preventable accidents on Workers Memorial Day, pledging to continue the fight for safer working conditions.Honoring the Fallen, Protecting the...

Association Update

Association Update

Today the TWU-IAM Association has served notice to American Airlines of our intent to commence negotiations on all TWU-IAM Association Collective Bargaining Agreements. Recording Secretaries - Please print and post on all IAMAW Bulletin Boards. GET PRINTABLE COPY...

Stay up to date with all the latest news and information from the District 141 of the Machinists Union

Air Rage: Congressman Crenshaw Loses it Over Pet Carrier

24 January 2024

Tara Blake, the wife of Texas Congressman Dan Crenshaw (R-Houston), has gone viral for a video in which she appears to physically assault a ticket Counter Agent working at Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH).

Ironically, the video of the attack went viral after being shared by her husband, Congressman Dan Crenshaw himself. As of Wednesday afternoon, Crenshaw’s video of his wife attacking the Ticket Agent had been viewed more than 4 million times.

Surveillance footage shows an unidentified United Ticket Counter Agent, possibly a supervisor, trying to pull a yellow notice, called a “Pet Travel Policy Tag,” from a dog carrier as Blake and her mother attempted to check two dogs at the IAH Ticket Counter.

The dogs, a pair of mixed breeds named “Joey,” and “Luna,” whom Crenshaw identifies as rescue dogs, were stuffed into small soft-sided carriers that would not have permitted the animals to stand or turn around during the flight.

It is unclear how many dogs were actually involved. In the beginning of the post, Crenshaw claims there were “a pair of small dogs,” involved. Later in the post he stops referring to two dogs, and only mentions one, a mixed-breed dog named “Joey.”

To prevent animal cruelty, United Airlines does not allow pets that cannot comfortably fit beneath a passenger seat. According to United Policy, a pet carrier must slide easily under the seat, and the pet must be able to stand up and turn around without being removed from its crate or bag.

The Ticket Counter Agent had no choice but to uphold company policy and follow laws related to animal cruelty. 

 

While Crenshaw’s dog, Joey, is a smaller breed, it is still too large to fit under the seat on a commercial airline. Photos of Joey that Crenshaw has posted online make this clear.

The entire available space for a dog is only 18 inches deep, by 14 inches by 8 inches. This space must accommodate not just the animal  -but also its crate.

 

In the post, Crenshaw claims to have shoved this dog underneath airplane seats, in violation of policies designed to prevent animal abuse, more than 500 times. 

Texas Penal Code 42.092, Titled “Cruelty to Nonlivestock Animals,” defines “Cruelty” as “any act that causes or permits unjustified or unwarranted pain or suffering to an animal.” The statute also defines “Torture,” as “any act that causes unjustifiable pain or suffering,” to an animal.

There is a very real possibility that a jury would decide that forcing the dog to squat under an airplane seat for a three or four-hour flight from Washinton’s Regan International Airport to Bush without being able to stand or turn around would be an example of cruelty or even torture under Texas law. 

Moreover, Tara Blake claimed one dog was a service animal for her husband, who was injured in combat during the Iraq War. 

In Texas, attacks on service animals constitute a separate offense. Under Federal Law (75 FR 56266), a service animal is defined as “any dog that has been specifically taught to carry out duties or complete tasks for the benefit of a person who is disabled, whether they have a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental impairment.”

A person has committed an offense if that person is found to have “carelessly, deliberately, or knowingly attacked, hurt, or murdered an assistance animal.” A jury would likely conclude that forcing a dog as big as Joey or Luna into a confined space, such as the area beneath an airplane seat, would constitute a violation of Texas Law protecting service animals from abuse since doing so would certainly cause the dog to feel severe pain.

Additionally, falsely claiming a pet is a service animal constitutes another offense under Texas Law. As of September 1, 2023, anyone found to have falsely represented a pet as a service animal without having undergone special straining can be fined up to $1000 and 30 hours of community service. House Bill 4164 defines a service animal as a “canine that is specially trained or equipped to help a person with a disability.” 

In the post, Crenshaw claims that his wife and her mother took the dog onto a Southwest flight because, he says, Southwest employees are “nice people.”

Southwest Airlines has pet-travel policies that are almost identical to those of United. Southwest, like United, requires that any animal carried onto any of its flights has to remain in a crate or bag, and the pet carrier must easily fit beneath the seat on the flight. Southwest also has policies in place that are designed to comply with Texas Law and prevent animal abuse. 

 

In the 8-minute rant that included homophobic insults and racist insinuations, Crenshaw repeatedly accused a United Ticket Counter Agent at Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport of going on a “crazed, unhinged” attack that forced Crenshaw’s wife to move to protect the couple’s, two-month-old baby. Then, according to Crenshaw, the “Unhinged United Agent” began “ripping things off” the dog carrier, and his wife was again forced to step in to stop the attack. The whole incident was captured on security cameras, which Congressman Crenshaw posted to his Twitter account. 

The videos, produced by the City of Houston’s Airport System, completely contradict Crenshaw’s accusations. 

Despite the Agent’s calm demeanor, Crenshaw’s wife is seen snatching violently at the Ticket Counter Agent, refusing to let her remove the Pet Policy Tag. A few seconds later, Tara Blake did not attack the Agent the second time she attempted to remove the bright yellow tag.

According to Crenshaw, the Agent was attempting to “Violently Assault” the dog. At the same time, earlier in the video, he claimed she was trying to photograph the dog to add Blake (Crenshaw’s wife) to a “Do Not Fly” Registry. He did not elaborate on why his wife’s behavior warranted her addition to a do not fly list. “They wanted to take my dog out of the bag, and photograph him and report my wife so they could never fly again,” he said in the video.

United Airlines Ticket Counter Agents do not have the authority to add a passenger to the National “Do Not Fly” registry. Such a move would usually be done in conjunction with security teams in a process that would involve airline management. A single Agent could only add a person to the Do Not Fly Registry with oversight. 

Crenshaw then launches a profanity-laced tirade against the Agent’s supervisor, Vice President Phillip Griffith. (At the beginning of the post, the Congressman suggests that United Airlines hires minorities as part of “DEI” or Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion policies. Vice President Griffith is black.)

He then provides a play-by-play account of the video that is diametrically opposite to what the video actually shows. The video shows “Angela,” the ticket counter agent, calmly reaching for the bag as Crenshaw narrates that she is violently “assaulting” his dog. As his wife is shown lunging towards the Agent, Crenshaw describes her as peaceful and calm. 

After the “assault” on his dog, Tara Blake then shoves her baby carriage about 15 feet away and storms out of the frame. The Agent is seen calmly walking away to help other passengers. 

“At this point,” Crenshaw narrates, “I’m feeling pretty happy because the video shows exactly what my wife said it would show,” even though the video shows that none of his wife’s statements were accurate in any way.

Beginning at 4:45 in the video, the Agent appears to be walking from a ticket printer and approaches the bag before Mrs. Crenshaw snatches at the Agent’s hand. At 4:54, the Agent returns to the dog bag and seems to resume whatever she was doing in the first place. 

WATCH THE VIDEO HERE

Crenshaw then recounts the position of United Airlines’ Phillip Griffith, who informs him that his wife was “handsy” and “agitated,” right from the very start. He also indicates at several points in the audio recording that Crenshaw secretly made of his conversation that the Crenshaws are well-known to be difficult passengers. “I deal with people like you every day,” Griffith tells the Congressman. “I deal with people like your wife every single day,” he said. 

Crenshaw then tells viewers that he frequently swears at airport agents and that he thinks such behavior is expected. “We’ve all been in that situation,” he says, “You know how you’re not allowed to curse around airline agents?” he asks. “When a bad thing happens to your travel… and, ‘F-Bomb… and they’re like ‘We can’t work with you anymore! You’re out of here!” He then accuses Ticket and Gate Agents subjected to passenger abuse of having their “delicate sensibilities” offended.

For his part, Phillipe Griffith was shown defending the Agent and told Crenshaw to “shut up with that,” as the Congressman began to use profanity directed at him. Being told not to swear triggered the Congressman, who could then be heard breaking out into exaggerated, histrionic laughter in response.

Dan Crenshaw, known for his trademark eyepatch, represents North Houston in the United States Congress. A relatively new member of Congress, having been first elected in 2019, Crenshaw has come under fire from Republican voters for his efforts to distance himself from former President Donald Trump. Frequently called a “Never Trumper,” the 4.4K comments his post collected focused as much on his immigration stance and tacit support of Joe Biden as they did on criticisms of United Airlines or the Ticket Counter Agent. 

“Let’s be clear, Dan Crenshaw is a RINO and should not be in Congress representing the Republican Party,” said one response to his post. That comment garnered 2.8k loves. 

“Also, Dan… that same contempt Phillip and those United employees have for you and yours seems like the same contempt you have for Trump and his supporters…” Read another. 

As of Wednesday afternoon, the post had been viewed more than 4 million times. 

Tara Blake is an American legal expert who specializes in medical and healthcare litigation. She has a reported net worth of $700,000. According to Open Secrets.com, the Crenshaw household is worth an estimated $2.5 million.

Related

Honoring the Fallen, Protecting the Living

Honoring the Fallen, Protecting the Living

Honoring the Fallen, Protecting the LivingMARYLAND- On April 28, the Machinists Union gathered to honor workers lost to preventable accidents on Workers Memorial Day, pledging to continue the fight for safer working conditions.Honoring the Fallen, Protecting the...

Association Update

Association Update

Today the TWU-IAM Association has served notice to American Airlines of our intent to commence negotiations on all TWU-IAM Association Collective Bargaining Agreements. Recording Secretaries - Please print and post on all IAMAW Bulletin Boards. GET PRINTABLE COPY...

Federal Judge Slaps Down JetBlue-Spirit Merger, Citing Competition Concerns

Federal Judge Slaps Down JetBlue-Spirit Merger, Citing Competition Concerns

Federal Judge Slaps Down JetBlue-Spirit Merger, Citing Competition Concerns

Federal Judge Slaps Down JetBlue-Spirit Merger, Citing Competition Concerns

IAM141.org

U.S. District Judge William Young blocked the $3.8 billion attempt by Jetblue to purchase Spirit Airlines, citing monopolistic concerns. The decision is a victory for the Biden Administration, who had opposed the acquisition.

 

DALLAS — U.S. District Judge William Young ruled against JetBlue Airways’ proposed $3.8 billion acquisition of Spirit Airlines. The ruling, citing competition concerns, aligns with the Biden administration’s opposition to the merger. The ruling was handed down on Monday. 

In March, the Justice Department filed a lawsuit to block the merger, arguing it would increase fares by eliminating Spirit. The DOJ also found airfares were likely to rise if Spirit, a low-cost airline, was removed as an option for air travelers. JetBlue is considering an appeal of today’s ruling. The airline stated the deal is necessary to better compete with larger U.S. airlines.

The Transport Workers Union International President John Samuelsen issued a statement on Tuesday in which he said the decision would end a “period of uncertainty,” at both airlines.

“Both work groups gain in the end,” said Samuelsen. “We won hard-fought economic and work-rule improvements for our JetBlue Inflight Crewmembers while protecting our Guest Service Agents’ contract at Spirit.”

The Transport Workers Union represents 7,000 JetBlue Inflight Crewmembers. On top of regularly scheduled contractual raises, TWU recently wrested from the bosses at JetBlue an additional 17% in pay raises. The TWU also represents Spirit Guest Service Agents at Fort Lauderdale International Airport.

“Robust airline competition makes it more affordable to fly,” The DOJ said in a release dated March 7, 2203. “Travelers depend on low-cost flight options to see the world, go home for the holidays, visit their family and friends, show up to help in an emergency, or travel at the last minute. The Justice Department found that the proposed merger violates the Clayton Act by eliminating the largest, most aggressive ultra-low-cost competitor, grounding Spirit’s most cost-conscious customers, and substantially reducing competition on a significant number of concentrated, overlapping routes that carry millions of passengers.”

“We continue to believe that our combination is the best opportunity to increase competition and choice by bringing low fares and great service to more customers in more markets,” JetBlue said in a response to the decision.

The ruling is a victory for the Biden administration, which has challenged consolidation in various industries, claiming it harms consumers and adds to rising prices. The Justice Department said the JetBlue-Spirit merger would particularly affect travelers dependent on Spirit’s fares.

Judge Young, overseeing the trial last year, stated in his decision that the merger “would substantially lessen competition” in violation of antitrust law.

Following the decision, shares of Spirit Airlines Inc. dropped, while JetBlue shares rose by 8%.

For JetBlue, this is the second major setback in federal court in the space of a year, following the termination of a partnership with American Airlines. Joanna Geraghty will soon replace Robin Hayes, who oversaw both blocked deals in his tenure as CEO.

The decision may allow Frontier Airlines to attempt to buy Spirit again. The two airlines initially announced a deal in 2022, but JetBlue’s higher offer secured the bid for Spirit.

Judge Young’s decision read, in part, “The Court rules that the proposed acquisition violates Section 7 of the Clayton Act. Spirit is a small airline. But there are those who love it. To those dedicated customers of Spirit, this one’s for you. Why? Because the Clayton Act, a 109-year-old statute requires this result –- a statute that continues to deliver for the American people.”

“Summing it up, if JetBlue were permitted to gobble up Spirit -– at least as proposed — it would eliminate one of the airline industry’s few primary competitors that provides unique innovation and price discipline. It would further consolidate an oligopoly by immediately doubling JetBlue’s stakeholder size in the industry. Worse yet, the merger would likely incentivize JetBlue further to abandon its roots as a maverick, low-cost carrier.”

The ruling concluded a 17-day trial featuring Young’s testimony from 22 witnesses, hundreds of exhibits, and extensive evidence submissions. 

Related News

Honoring the Fallen, Protecting the Living

Honoring the Fallen, Protecting the Living

Honoring the Fallen, Protecting the LivingMARYLAND- On April 28, the Machinists Union gathered to honor workers lost to preventable accidents on Workers Memorial Day, pledging to continue the fight for safer working conditions.Honoring the Fallen, Protecting the...

Association Update

Association Update

Today the TWU-IAM Association has served notice to American Airlines of our intent to commence negotiations on all TWU-IAM Association Collective Bargaining Agreements. Recording Secretaries - Please print and post on all IAMAW Bulletin Boards. GET PRINTABLE COPY...

Stay up to date with all the latest news and information from the District 141 of the Machinists Union

Federal Judge Slaps Down JetBlue-Spirit Merger, Citing Competition Concerns

16 January 2024

U.S. District Judge William Young blocked the $3.8 billion attempt by Jetblue to purchase Spirit Airlines, citing monopolistic concerns. The decision is a victory for the Biden Administration, who had opposed the acquisition.

 

DALLAS — U.S. District Judge William Young ruled against JetBlue Airways’ proposed $3.8 billion acquisition of Spirit Airlines. The ruling, citing competition concerns, aligns with the Biden administration’s opposition to the merger. The ruling was handed down on Monday. 

In March, the Justice Department filed a lawsuit to block the merger, arguing it would increase fares by eliminating Spirit. The DOJ also found airfares were likely to rise if Spirit, a low-cost airline, was removed as an option for air travelers. JetBlue is considering an appeal of today’s ruling. The airline stated the deal is necessary to better compete with larger U.S. airlines.

The Transport Workers Union International President John Samuelsen issued a statement on Tuesday in which he said the decision would end a “period of uncertainty,” at both airlines.

“Both work groups gain in the end,” said Samuelsen. “We won hard-fought economic and work-rule improvements for our JetBlue Inflight Crewmembers while protecting our Guest Service Agents’ contract at Spirit.”

The Transport Workers Union represents 7,000 JetBlue Inflight Crewmembers. On top of regularly scheduled contractual raises, TWU recently wrested from the bosses at JetBlue an additional 17% in pay raises. The TWU also represents Spirit Guest Service Agents at Fort Lauderdale International Airport.

“Robust airline competition makes it more affordable to fly,” The DOJ said in a release dated March 7, 2203. “Travelers depend on low-cost flight options to see the world, go home for the holidays, visit their family and friends, show up to help in an emergency, or travel at the last minute. The Justice Department found that the proposed merger violates the Clayton Act by eliminating the largest, most aggressive ultra-low-cost competitor, grounding Spirit’s most cost-conscious customers, and substantially reducing competition on a significant number of concentrated, overlapping routes that carry millions of passengers.”

“We continue to believe that our combination is the best opportunity to increase competition and choice by bringing low fares and great service to more customers in more markets,” JetBlue said in a response to the decision.

The ruling is a victory for the Biden administration, which has challenged consolidation in various industries, claiming it harms consumers and adds to rising prices. The Justice Department said the JetBlue-Spirit merger would particularly affect travelers dependent on Spirit’s fares.

Judge Young, overseeing the trial last year, stated in his decision that the merger “would substantially lessen competition” in violation of antitrust law.

Following the decision, shares of Spirit Airlines Inc. dropped, while JetBlue shares rose by 8%.

For JetBlue, this is the second major setback in federal court in the space of a year, following the termination of a partnership with American Airlines. Joanna Geraghty will soon replace Robin Hayes, who oversaw both blocked deals in his tenure as CEO.

The decision may allow Frontier Airlines to attempt to buy Spirit again. The two airlines initially announced a deal in 2022, but JetBlue’s higher offer secured the bid for Spirit.

Judge Young’s decision read, in part, “The Court rules that the proposed acquisition violates Section 7 of the Clayton Act. Spirit is a small airline. But there are those who love it. To those dedicated customers of Spirit, this one’s for you. Why? Because the Clayton Act, a 109-year-old statute requires this result –- a statute that continues to deliver for the American people.”

“Summing it up, if JetBlue were permitted to gobble up Spirit -– at least as proposed — it would eliminate one of the airline industry’s few primary competitors that provides unique innovation and price discipline. It would further consolidate an oligopoly by immediately doubling JetBlue’s stakeholder size in the industry. Worse yet, the merger would likely incentivize JetBlue further to abandon its roots as a maverick, low-cost carrier.”

The ruling concluded a 17-day trial featuring Young’s testimony from 22 witnesses, hundreds of exhibits, and extensive evidence submissions. 

Related

Honoring the Fallen, Protecting the Living

Honoring the Fallen, Protecting the Living

Honoring the Fallen, Protecting the LivingMARYLAND- On April 28, the Machinists Union gathered to honor workers lost to preventable accidents on Workers Memorial Day, pledging to continue the fight for safer working conditions.Honoring the Fallen, Protecting the...

Association Update

Association Update

Today the TWU-IAM Association has served notice to American Airlines of our intent to commence negotiations on all TWU-IAM Association Collective Bargaining Agreements. Recording Secretaries - Please print and post on all IAMAW Bulletin Boards. GET PRINTABLE COPY...

SMX Cargo Negotiations Update

SMX Cargo Negotiations Update

SMX Cargo Contract Negotiations Update

18 December 2023

IAM District 141-SMX Cargo Negotiations Update

Your District Lodge 141 negotiating team met with SM Cargo management negotiators this past week in Chicago.

Talks continued to flow in a positive direction. Although we didn’t reach a final Tentative Agreement on any articles this session, we did make progress. This progress was made on Article 3, which covers compensation and pay; Article 9, which applies to Vacation and holidays; and Article 10, which deals with sick leave.

Most items still under discussion are related to economic issues.

Once again, the articles on which we have reached a tentative agreement remain:

Article 2
Article 7
Article 8
Article 26

Our next session will take place the week of January 2, 2024. After that negotiating session, we will report back and let you know what work has been done on your behalf.

Your Negotiating Committee

Rich Robinson
Gary Welch
Julius Broady

Michael G Klemm
President and Directing General Chair,
District 141,
International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers

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

Important Letter from the United Labor Coalition

Important Letter from the United Labor Coalition

Important Letter from the United Labor Coalition

Important Letter from the United Labor Coalition

IAM141.org

Nathan Lopp

Vice President, Labor Relations

United | Corporate Support Center | 233 S. Wacker Drive WHQLR 25th Floor | Chicago, IL  60606

Dear Mr. Lopp,

Just over one year ago, the United Airlines Labor Coalition raised its concern over United’s codeshare agreement with Emirates Airlines, based partly on accounts of unfair labor practices and employee intimidation in the United Arab Emirates.  Today, we raise our concern over employee treatment much closer to home.

Labor relations at United Airlines have deteriorated to the point that lacking labor standards halfway around the world now seem suited to describe the current situation at our own airline.  At the forefront is a draconian and one-sided approach to employee investigations and discipline.  Human Resources is now involved in the smallest and simplest infractions, resulting in consequences orders of magnitude worse than the deed.  Most grievance cases are denied and sent up to the next level with little discretion given to local managers who best know their workforce and issues.

United Airlines filed a supplement to its application for a Haneda slot, which was surrendered by Delta Airlines.  In this long and detailed document, United outlines the reasons it should be awarded authority to fly to Haneda from Houston.  The Labor Coalition finds it instructive that nowhere in this exhaustive brief is mention of a single benefit to United’s labor force, should United be awarded this coveted slot.  In fact, the point is made that IAH-Haneda flights would not be additive, but rather a replacement for existing IAH-Narita service.

Recently, the leaders of United’s unionized employees were asked to submit letters to the Department of Transportation in support of United Airlines’ application for Houston-Haneda authorization.  Such collaboration stems from relationships centered on mutual respect and fair treatment.  Sadly, we believe the current labor/management relationship falls far short of this standard.  For the sake of the employees we represent, we sincerely hope for an improved climate, where cooperation and collaboration can exist and thrive.  Such a climate does not exist today, and as a result, the United Airlines Union Coalition agrees it is inappropriate to support United’s application for Houston-Haneda service.

Respectfully,

Ken Diaz

Mike Klemm

Garth Thompson

Craig Symons

Joe Ferreira

MEC President

President

Master Chair

President

Dir. Airline Div.

AFA-UAL

IAM-UAL

ALPA-UAL

PAFCA-UAL

IBT-UAL

Related News

Honoring the Fallen, Protecting the Living

Honoring the Fallen, Protecting the Living

Honoring the Fallen, Protecting the LivingMARYLAND- On April 28, the Machinists Union gathered to honor workers lost to preventable accidents on Workers Memorial Day, pledging to continue the fight for safer working conditions.Honoring the Fallen, Protecting the...

Association Update

Association Update

Today the TWU-IAM Association has served notice to American Airlines of our intent to commence negotiations on all TWU-IAM Association Collective Bargaining Agreements. Recording Secretaries - Please print and post on all IAMAW Bulletin Boards. GET PRINTABLE COPY...

Stay up to date with all the latest news and information from the District 141 of the Machinists Union

Important Letter from the United Labor Coalition

17 November 2023

Nathan Lopp

Vice President, Labor Relations

United | Corporate Support Center | 233 S. Wacker Drive WHQLR 25th Floor | Chicago, IL  60606

Dear Mr. Lopp,

Just over one year ago, the United Airlines Labor Coalition raised its concern over United’s codeshare agreement with Emirates Airlines, based partly on accounts of unfair labor practices and employee intimidation in the United Arab Emirates.  Today, we raise our concern over employee treatment much closer to home.

Labor relations at United Airlines have deteriorated to the point that lacking labor standards halfway around the world now seem suited to describe the current situation at our own airline.  At the forefront is a draconian and one-sided approach to employee investigations and discipline.  Human Resources is now involved in the smallest and simplest infractions, resulting in consequences orders of magnitude worse than the deed.  Most grievance cases are denied and sent up to the next level with little discretion given to local managers who best know their workforce and issues.

United Airlines filed a supplement to its application for a Haneda slot, which was surrendered by Delta Airlines.  In this long and detailed document, United outlines the reasons it should be awarded authority to fly to Haneda from Houston.  The Labor Coalition finds it instructive that nowhere in this exhaustive brief is mention of a single benefit to United’s labor force, should United be awarded this coveted slot.  In fact, the point is made that IAH-Haneda flights would not be additive, but rather a replacement for existing IAH-Narita service.

Recently, the leaders of United’s unionized employees were asked to submit letters to the Department of Transportation in support of United Airlines’ application for Houston-Haneda authorization.  Such collaboration stems from relationships centered on mutual respect and fair treatment.  Sadly, we believe the current labor/management relationship falls far short of this standard.  For the sake of the employees we represent, we sincerely hope for an improved climate, where cooperation and collaboration can exist and thrive.  Such a climate does not exist today, and as a result, the United Airlines Union Coalition agrees it is inappropriate to support United’s application for Houston-Haneda service.

Respectfully,

Ken Diaz

Mike Klemm

Garth Thompson

Craig Symons

Joe Ferreira

MEC President

President

Master Chair

President

Dir. Airline Div.

AFA-UAL

IAM-UAL

ALPA-UAL

PAFCA-UAL

IBT-UAL

Related

Honoring the Fallen, Protecting the Living

Honoring the Fallen, Protecting the Living

Honoring the Fallen, Protecting the LivingMARYLAND- On April 28, the Machinists Union gathered to honor workers lost to preventable accidents on Workers Memorial Day, pledging to continue the fight for safer working conditions.Honoring the Fallen, Protecting the...

Association Update

Association Update

Today the TWU-IAM Association has served notice to American Airlines of our intent to commence negotiations on all TWU-IAM Association Collective Bargaining Agreements. Recording Secretaries - Please print and post on all IAMAW Bulletin Boards. GET PRINTABLE COPY...

Unruly Woman Fined $40,000

Unruly Woman Fined $40,000

Unruly Woman Fined $40,000

Unruly Woman Fined $40,000

IAM141.org

PHOENIX – Cayla Farris, a passenger on an American Airlines flight from Phoenix to Honolulu on February 13, 2022, has been ordered by United States District Judge Susan M. Brnovich to pay $38,952 in restitution to the airline. Farris, who pleaded guilty to interfering with a flight crew member, exhibited unruly behavior that included using profanity and threatening the crew and other passengers. Her actions led to significant delays and disruptions, including the flight’s return to Phoenix and the rerouting of several other flights.

The investigation, conducted by the FBI and the Phoenix Police Department, highlighted the severity of the incident, which was part of a broader trend of increased unruly passenger incidents during the pandemic. In 2021, nearly 6,000 such incidents were reported, a stark increase from the approximately 1,100 incidents in 2019. Though these numbers have declined, they remain higher than pre-pandemic levels.

As part of her sentence, Farris served 3.6 months in prison and is now under three years of supervised release. During this time, she is prohibited from traveling on commercial aircraft without prior authorization. This case underscores the government’s heightened efforts to combat air rage incidents and enforce federal laws requiring passengers to comply with crewmember instructions.

Experts note that cramped and stressful flight conditions often lead to disruptive behavior. This case serves as a reminder of the legal consequences of such actions and the importance of maintaining a safe and orderly environment on commercial flights.

While Cayla Farris faced a substantial $40,000 fine for her disruptive behavior on an American Airlines flight, this isn’t the heftiest penalty the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued since the pandemic. An earlier incident in July 2021 resulted in an even larger fine. In that case, a woman on a flight from Dallas-Fort Worth to Charlotte was fined $81,950 for physically assaulting a flight attendant and attempting to open the cabin door.

Related News

Honoring the Fallen, Protecting the Living

Honoring the Fallen, Protecting the Living

Honoring the Fallen, Protecting the LivingMARYLAND- On April 28, the Machinists Union gathered to honor workers lost to preventable accidents on Workers Memorial Day, pledging to continue the fight for safer working conditions.Honoring the Fallen, Protecting the...

Association Update

Association Update

Today the TWU-IAM Association has served notice to American Airlines of our intent to commence negotiations on all TWU-IAM Association Collective Bargaining Agreements. Recording Secretaries - Please print and post on all IAMAW Bulletin Boards. GET PRINTABLE COPY...

Stay up to date with all the latest news and information from the District 141 of the Machinists Union

Unruly Woman Fined $40,000

16 November 2023

PHOENIX – Cayla Farris, a passenger on an American Airlines flight from Phoenix to Honolulu on February 13, 2022, has been ordered by United States District Judge Susan M. Brnovich to pay $38,952 in restitution to the airline. Farris, who pleaded guilty to interfering with a flight crew member, exhibited unruly behavior that included using profanity and threatening the crew and other passengers. Her actions led to significant delays and disruptions, including the flight’s return to Phoenix and the rerouting of several other flights.

The investigation, conducted by the FBI and the Phoenix Police Department, highlighted the severity of the incident, which was part of a broader trend of increased unruly passenger incidents during the pandemic. In 2021, nearly 6,000 such incidents were reported, a stark increase from the approximately 1,100 incidents in 2019. Though these numbers have declined, they remain higher than pre-pandemic levels.

As part of her sentence, Farris served 3.6 months in prison and is now under three years of supervised release. During this time, she is prohibited from traveling on commercial aircraft without prior authorization. This case underscores the government’s heightened efforts to combat air rage incidents and enforce federal laws requiring passengers to comply with crewmember instructions.

Experts note that cramped and stressful flight conditions often lead to disruptive behavior. This case serves as a reminder of the legal consequences of such actions and the importance of maintaining a safe and orderly environment on commercial flights.

While Cayla Farris faced a substantial $40,000 fine for her disruptive behavior on an American Airlines flight, this isn’t the heftiest penalty the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued since the pandemic. An earlier incident in July 2021 resulted in an even larger fine. In that case, a woman on a flight from Dallas-Fort Worth to Charlotte was fined $81,950 for physically assaulting a flight attendant and attempting to open the cabin door.

Related

Honoring the Fallen, Protecting the Living

Honoring the Fallen, Protecting the Living

Honoring the Fallen, Protecting the LivingMARYLAND- On April 28, the Machinists Union gathered to honor workers lost to preventable accidents on Workers Memorial Day, pledging to continue the fight for safer working conditions.Honoring the Fallen, Protecting the...

Association Update

Association Update

Today the TWU-IAM Association has served notice to American Airlines of our intent to commence negotiations on all TWU-IAM Association Collective Bargaining Agreements. Recording Secretaries - Please print and post on all IAMAW Bulletin Boards. GET PRINTABLE COPY...