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.”

Broken Promises: Informational Picket Draws Crowds at LAX

Broken Promises: Informational Picket Draws Massive Turnout at LAXIAM141.org January 25, 2023Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) - A coalition of unions representing all unified workers at United Airlines held an informational picket on Wednesday at LAX Airport in...

Hundreds of Union Members Join Forces at SFO

Tony Parker, President of Machinists Union Local 1781 holds a CONTRACT NOW sign at an informational picket held at San Franciscos' International Airport. Hundreds of Union Members Join Forces at SFO to Demand Fair ContractsIAM141.org January 19, 2023SAN FRANCISCO...

Winpisinger Center Announces Inaugural Education Conference

Winpisinger Center Announces Inaugural Education ConferenceGoIAM.org January 17, 2023The Winpisinger Center is excited to announce the call for the inaugural IAM Education Conference, to be held Sunday, March 26 through Friday, March 31, 2023, at the William W....

Make JetBlue a Better Place to Work With a YES VOTE!

Make JetBlue a better place to work with a YES VOTE! Justice at JetBlue January 10, 2023We are all proud to work for JetBlue, and we work extremely hard to make JetBlue a successful airline, even though we have been placed in difficult circumstances over the last few...

Flight Attendants Endorse JetBlue GO Unionization

Flight Attendants Stand with JetBlue Ground OperationsJustice at JetBlue January 9, 2023Dear GO crewmembers: Flight Attendants across the industry count you as family. We are inspired that you are voting to join the International Association of Machinists and...

McGee Air Services Workers Forge Tentative Agreement

Machinists Union Reaches Tentative Agreement for Over 2300 Members at McGee Air Services, a subsidiary of Alaska Airlines AIR TRANSPORT December 20, 2022 WASHINGTON, Dec. 21, 2022 –The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) has reached a...

Southwest Airlines Union Contract; Top Out Pay Rate $35 per hour

Southwest Airlines IAM Members Vote In Industry Leading Contract; Top Out Pay Rate $35 per Hour Justice at JetBlue16 December 2022IAM members at Southwest Airlines voted yesterday to approve an industry-leading contract. The four-year contract provides for the below...

JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes Extends his Contract

JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes Extends his ContractJustice at JetBlue14 December 2022In a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing yesterday, JetBlue Airways announced that CEO Robin Hayes’ CONTRACT has been extended two years to 2025. At the same time, JetBlue...

Related News

Help Needed: Airlines Add More Workers

Help Needed: Airlines Add More Workers

Help Needed: Airlines Add More WorkersIAM141.org January 30, 2023According to top industry analysts, airlines face a tight labor market and need to ramp up hiring to accommodate an estimated 4 billion air travelers by 2024.  According to the Bureau of Transportation...

Broken Promises: Informational Picket Draws Crowds at LAX

Broken Promises: Informational Picket Draws Crowds at LAX

Broken Promises: Informational Picket Draws Massive Turnout at LAXIAM141.org January 25, 2023Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) - A coalition of unions representing all unified workers at United Airlines held an informational picket on Wednesday at LAX Airport in...

Hundreds of Union Members Join Forces at SFO

Hundreds of Union Members Join Forces at SFO

Tony Parker, President of Machinists Union Local 1781 holds a CONTRACT NOW sign at an informational picket held at San Franciscos' International Airport. Hundreds of Union Members Join Forces at SFO to Demand Fair ContractsIAM141.org January 19, 2023SAN FRANCISCO...

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.”

Related News

Help Needed: Airlines Add More Workers

Help Needed: Airlines Add More Workers

Help Needed: Airlines Add More WorkersIAM141.org January 30, 2023According to top industry analysts, airlines face a tight labor market and need to ramp up hiring to accommodate an estimated 4 billion air travelers by 2024.  According to the Bureau of Transportation...

Broken Promises: Informational Picket Draws Crowds at LAX

Broken Promises: Informational Picket Draws Crowds at LAX

Broken Promises: Informational Picket Draws Massive Turnout at LAXIAM141.org January 25, 2023Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) - A coalition of unions representing all unified workers at United Airlines held an informational picket on Wednesday at LAX Airport in...

Hundreds of Union Members Join Forces at SFO

Hundreds of Union Members Join Forces at SFO

Tony Parker, President of Machinists Union Local 1781 holds a CONTRACT NOW sign at an informational picket held at San Franciscos' International Airport. Hundreds of Union Members Join Forces at SFO to Demand Fair ContractsIAM141.org January 19, 2023SAN FRANCISCO...

The JetBlue / Spirit Merger and the Threat to Job Security

The JetBlue / Spirit Merger and the Threat to Job Security

The JetBlue-Spirit Merger and the Risk to Job Security

Organizing
9 August 2022

The JetBlue and Spirit merger presents a significant risk to the job security of those workers who do not have contractual employment protections. Why?

“Asset divestitures can smooth the way to antitrust approval.We have a path to close this deal,”
-CEO Robin Hayes

The JetBlue-Spirit merger will have to receive approval from the federal government to be finalized. With airfares soaring and countless operational problems, it is expected that the Biden Administration will be VERY apprehensive to approve any airline merger. This is especially true for the JetBlue-Spirit merger, as the Biden Administration has already sued JetBlue and American, alleging the airlines’ Northeast Alliance is a de facto merger that hurts competition in the New York and Boston markets. So what will JetBlue have to do to gain regulatory approval for its merger with Spirit?

Two words: Divest operations to address the issue of competition. So, for example, where JetBlue and Spirit both have significant operations—think FLL, MCO and other locations—to gain approval for the merger JetBlue will have to give up a portion of its flight schedule to other airline/s. That means JetBlue is bound to divest in many locations, which means a reduction of the current combined flights of Spirit and JetBlue. And that affects jobs. 

And, if the merger is ultimately approved, a big if, it will not happen until the first half of 2024. A lot can happen in 15-18 months. There can be an economic slowdown, happening now as the GDP has decreased in the last two quarters, or a significant change in the leadership philosophy of the combined carrier. 

JetBlue management’s objective, as stated in its latest second-quarter earnings report, is to get the merger with Spirit approved and to implement a severe cost containment strategy with its newly announced “Enterprise Planning Team.” 

What does that mean for outsourcing and general job security? Future wage and benefit improvements? Work rule enhancements? 

The only way that JetBlue GO Crewmembers will be able to have a say in their future is by having a seat at the table. Not by being on the menu.

Help Needed: Airlines Add More Workers

Help Needed: Airlines Add More WorkersIAM141.org January 30, 2023According to top industry analysts, airlines face a tight labor market and need to ramp up hiring to accommodate an estimated 4 billion air travelers by 2024.  According to the Bureau of Transportation...

Broken Promises: Informational Picket Draws Crowds at LAX

Broken Promises: Informational Picket Draws Massive Turnout at LAXIAM141.org January 25, 2023Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) - A coalition of unions representing all unified workers at United Airlines held an informational picket on Wednesday at LAX Airport in...

January Helping Hands: Depression

EAP Peer Volunteers:       Helping Hands is very late this month due to vacation. This month we address depression - FOH (Federal Occupational Health) reports that anxiety and depression in males is up 82 and 134 percent (respectively) since the pandemic. Phenomenal...

Hundreds of Union Members Join Forces at SFO

Tony Parker, President of Machinists Union Local 1781 holds a CONTRACT NOW sign at an informational picket held at San Franciscos' International Airport. Hundreds of Union Members Join Forces at SFO to Demand Fair ContractsIAM141.org January 19, 2023SAN FRANCISCO...

Related News

Help Needed: Airlines Add More Workers

Help Needed: Airlines Add More Workers

Help Needed: Airlines Add More WorkersIAM141.org January 30, 2023According to top industry analysts, airlines face a tight labor market and need to ramp up hiring to accommodate an estimated 4 billion air travelers by 2024.  According to the Bureau of Transportation...

Broken Promises: Informational Picket Draws Crowds at LAX

Broken Promises: Informational Picket Draws Crowds at LAX

Broken Promises: Informational Picket Draws Massive Turnout at LAXIAM141.org January 25, 2023Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) - A coalition of unions representing all unified workers at United Airlines held an informational picket on Wednesday at LAX Airport in...

Hundreds of Union Members Join Forces at SFO

Hundreds of Union Members Join Forces at SFO

Tony Parker, President of Machinists Union Local 1781 holds a CONTRACT NOW sign at an informational picket held at San Franciscos' International Airport. Hundreds of Union Members Join Forces at SFO to Demand Fair ContractsIAM141.org January 19, 2023SAN FRANCISCO...

Machinists Union: Defending Workers’ Rights is the Top Priority in JetBlue-Spirit Tie-Up

Machinists Union: Defending Workers’ Rights is the Top Priority in JetBlue-Spirit Tie-Up

Machinists Union Says Defending Workers’ Rights is the Top Priority in JetBlue-Spirit Tie-Up

Organizing
8 July 2022

JetBlue Airways and Spirit Airlines this morning announced that the two airlines plan to merge to create the nation’s fifth largest carrier. Spirit Airlines shareholders yesterday rejected Frontier Airlines’ bid to merge and cleared the way for JetBlue’s $3.8 billion all-cash offer to combine the two carriers.

“As we know from the history of airline mergers and acquisitions, top executives will promise the world to gain regulatory approval. But, when the dust is settled and approval is granted, airline workers almost always get the short end of the stick,” said IAM Air Transport General Vice President Richard Johnsen. “The Machinists Union is the most powerful and experienced union when it comes to defending airline workers’ rights during mergers. We have done it before and we will do it again. IAM members at Spirit Airlines and future IAM members at JetBlue Airways will have their interests defended, just as every IAM member has during previous mergers.”

It’s expected that the proposed merger will face stiff regulatory approval from the Biden Administration. JetBlue already faces opposition from the Justice Department, which has sued to break up its commercial agreement with American Airlines Group Inc. The regulators allege that the partnership — which targets the New York and Boston markets — is anti-competitive.

“I want all IAM members at Spirit Airlines to know the Machinists Union will ensure your contract is enforced during this process and that your rights will be defended,” continued Johnsen. “I also want all the JetBlue Ground Operations Crewmembers to know that your campaign to gain IAM representation takes on even more importance now. It is urgent that you have a seat at the table, so you’re not on the menu.”

Related News

Help Needed: Airlines Add More Workers

Help Needed: Airlines Add More Workers

Help Needed: Airlines Add More WorkersIAM141.org January 30, 2023According to top industry analysts, airlines face a tight labor market and need to ramp up hiring to accommodate an estimated 4 billion air travelers by 2024.  According to the Bureau of Transportation...

Broken Promises: Informational Picket Draws Crowds at LAX

Broken Promises: Informational Picket Draws Crowds at LAX

Broken Promises: Informational Picket Draws Massive Turnout at LAXIAM141.org January 25, 2023Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) - A coalition of unions representing all unified workers at United Airlines held an informational picket on Wednesday at LAX Airport in...

Hundreds of Union Members Join Forces at SFO

Hundreds of Union Members Join Forces at SFO

Tony Parker, President of Machinists Union Local 1781 holds a CONTRACT NOW sign at an informational picket held at San Franciscos' International Airport. Hundreds of Union Members Join Forces at SFO to Demand Fair ContractsIAM141.org January 19, 2023SAN FRANCISCO...

Machinists Union Contract Will Remain In Effect After Spirit / Frontier Merger

Machinists Union Contract Will Remain In Effect After Spirit / Frontier Merger

8 February 2022

Machinists Union Contract Will Remain In Effect After Spirit / Frontier Merger

As you are aware, Spirit Airlines has entered into a merger agreement with Frontier Airlines. First and foremost, I want you to know that our newly-ratified contract with Spirit remains in full force, including essential provisions that protect ramp workers’ jobs, seniority, and wages, among other vital protections, during a merger. 

Article One (Section G) of the Agreement between your union and Spirit Airlines contains Merger Protections that will specifically protect the seniority rights of union members. Our contract requires that any seniority integrations with non-union employees at Frontier be fair and that all union rights be respected. Additionally, Article Three (Section I) states very clearly, “The Company shall not outsource any Ramp Service work at its FLL station during the term of this Agreement.” 

Undergoing a merger can be stressful for non-union employees who lack the protection of a legally-binding union contract. However, I want to reassure all union members that our agreement will remain legally binding for the new company. I encourage everyone to study these contractual rights and how well they protect union members at Spirit. Machinists Union Members can find the Spirit Agreement online at IAM141.org. Look for the Spirit Contract under the “Airlines and Agreements” tab. 

Over the next few weeks, we will be working with Spirit to ensure that the rights of Machinists Union members are respected and that every provision of our collective bargaining agreement is honored. If you have any questions or concerns about this topic, please do not hesitate to contact Assistant General Chair Tony Gibson by email at tgibson@IAM141.org or by phone at (313) 815-9622.

In Solidarity,

Michael G. Klemm

President & Directing General Chair,
IAMAW District 141

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

98% At Spirit Vote YES on New Contract!

98% At Spirit Vote YES on New Contract!

98% At Spirit Vote YES on New Contract!

[supsystic-social-sharing id='3']

Following nearly seven months of concentrated negotiations, union members at Spirit Airlines voted to approve a five-year contract with the airline by an astonishing 98% margin. 

The agreement will include retroactive pay raises, overall compensation hikes, and create new, higher-earning positions for union members to fill. The new deal will also give paid vacations to part-time workers for the first time. Previously, part-time agents at Spirit were only given unpaid time off instead of vacation time. 

The higher wages will bring Spirit ramp workers significantly closer to industry-standard income levels, a long-standing goal for union members at the airline. As the largest transportation and aerospace union in North America, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW) has played a leading role in establishing wage standards for gate and ticket counter agents in commercial aviation. Contracts negotiated by Machinists-represented airline workers at airlines like American, United, Hawaiian, Southwest, and others have created upwards pressure on airlines to pay their employees well. 

Images courtesy of Tim Nestler

The new Spirit Agreement creates the most significant pay increases for ground workers in the airline’s history. The average wage increase is about 30% and includes retroactive payments dating back to October 24. Before the new contract was ratified by union members at Spirit, the top wage was $15.15 an hour. The highest pay bracket will now increase to $23 an hour, and over the life of the agreement will rise to $24.78.

The new contract will also provide part-time agents with sick pay and doubles the time union members can remain on sick leave and retain their seniority. 

For Lead Negotiator Tony Gibson, the deal represents a victory not only for what it wins – but also for what it doesn’t lose. “We’re coming out of a pandemic right now, the same pandemic that crippled airlines for nearly a year,” Gibson said. “And, despite all that, our members at Spirit didn’t give up anything. This contract will make the Spirit workplace better – and only better. There are no concessions in this agreement.”

The agreement comes just weeks after company negotiators at Spirit had asked that talks enter mediation, a process that could have pulled the brakes on finding a deal before the holidays. Fortunately, the company and union reached a tentative agreement only two weeks later, avoiding time-consuming mediation.

Our members can stand proud in the work of the committee, which held strong for improving the economic provisions that sets a tone of respect on the job and compensation to match” said IAMAW Chief of Staff Richard Johnsen of the agreement. “This proposal is the result of our strong negotiations team and it will help improve the livelihood of each and every member at Spirit Airlines.”

“The negotiating committee held strong with our demands for improved wages and other demands voiced by our members,” Airline Coordinator Tom Regan said. “These hard-working men and women have been on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. This proposed labor contract rewards that dedication by each and every member who has made sure all Spirit Airlines’ passengers get to their destination safely.”

“I want to thank our IAM Negotiating Committee at Spirit for the outstanding work they’ve accomplished with this agreement. I particularly want to recognize the contributions of Local 368 members Almarie Jean, Linda Germain, Christopher Willis, and Gregory De La Cruz, who helped put this deal together,” said District 141 President and Directing General Chair Mike Klemm. “Along with District 141 Assistant General Chairs Andrea’ Myers, and Lead Negotiator Tony Gibson, this team spent countless hours away from loved ones to create a better workplace for our Spirit membership.”

Below – the IAMAW District 141 Spirit Negotiating Committee. Bottom row, from right: Almarie Jean, Linda Germain, AGC Andrea’ Myers, Chris Willis. Top row, from right: AGC & Lead Negotiator Tony Gibson, Gregory De La Cruz, and IAMAW District 141 President and Directing General Chair, Mike Klemm.

Recent Articles

Tentative Agreement Reached at Spirit Airlines

Tentative Agreement Reached at Spirit Airlines

[supsystic-social-sharing id='4']

Machinists Union District 141 Reaches Tentative Agreement With Spirit Airlines on New Five Year Pact 

I am proud to announce that Machinists Union District 141 has reached a Tentative Agreement with Spirit Airlines on a truly groundbreaking new five-year contract.

This Agreement will create the highest wages and overall compensation rates for ramp agents in the airline’s history. Our members will receive wage increases that are, on average, 30% higher than they are now. Lead premium increases, more opportunities for double-time pay, and new trainer positions will allow our members to earn even more from the work they currently do.

If ratified, this deal will also bring paid vacations to part-time agents. For some, this will be the first real vacation they have ever known.

I want to thank our IAM Negotiating Committee at Spirit for the outstanding work they’ve accomplished with this Agreement. I particularly want to recognize the contributions of Local 368 members Almarie Jean, Linda Germain, Christopher Willis, and Gregory De La Cruz, who helped put this deal together. Along with District 141 Assistant General Chairs Andrea’ Myers, and Lead Negotiator Tony Gibson, this team spent countless hours away from loved ones to create a better workplace for our Spirit membership.

I’d also like to thank the International, Spirit Airlines’ negotiators, and the National Mediation Board for their vital assistance in finalizing this Tentative Agreement.

The Spirit Airlines management team was respectful to our negotiators, and I believe they were honestly working in a good-faith effort to create this Agreement. The Spirit team recognized that workers are an asset to be invested in, not a liability to be minimized, and they deserve credit for that.

The Negotiating Committee unanimously recommends ratification of the Tentative Agreement. Complete text copies of the Tentative Agreement will be distributed locally before the ratification vote on November 4, 2021.

In solidarity,

Mike Klemm

President and Directing General Chair,
IAMAW District 141

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