No Thanks, No Giving. United Negotiations Update

No Thanks, No Giving. United Negotiations Update

No Thanks, No Giving

3 December 2022

IAM District 141 and United Airlines management met in Orlando, Florida, this week and continued contract negotiations. Both parties remain very far apart on the most vital issues: job security and wages.

United management’s refusal to provide acceptable job security and wage rates for IAM-represented workers is unacceptable and disgraceful. IAM members at United Airlines have spoken loudly and clearly that the issues of wages and job security are paramount to any acceptable tentative agreement. Unfortunately, after almost a year of “expedited negotiations,” United management has yet to put forth adequate proposals that could lead to a tentative agreement. While United management sits on their hands in negotiations, ground workers employed at American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and Alaska Airlines are earning higher hourly wages than United ground workers. At Southwest Airlines, IAM members will soon vote on a tentative agreement that provides the airline industry’s highest wage rates.

At the same time, United management continues to throw the success that we create in our faces. United proudly announced that the carrier just had its third-best Thanksgiving ever. IAM members ensured almost 3 million customers could connect with family and friends during the Thanksgiving holiday. And how does United thank us? They refuse to protect our jobs and pay us what we’re worth.

But why? Why the disrespect? Is it because CEO Scott Kirby thinks the economic future is uncertain and United must be cautious? No. Here’s part of what Scott said during United’s most recent earnings call: “Our operation is firing on all cylinders. In fact, based on most metrics, it’s running better than ever […] there are three industry tailwinds prevailing the COVID recovery for aviation and United that are currently overcoming those macro headwinds and we believe will continue to do so in 2023.”

Scott is very bullish on United’s financial future, and he should be: United made almost a $1 BILLION profit in the most recent quarter. Unfortunately, he’s not bullish on our financial future. The fact is, our hard work and dedication have been the drivers of United’s success. And that financial success directly lines Scott’s pockets and the pockets of the rest of United’s overpaid executives. CEO Kirby’s raise for 2022 was 67 percent, from $10 million in 2021 to $16.7 million in 2022. Greed at its finest.

I have called an emergency meeting of IAM District 141’s Executive Board next week in Houston, Texas. It is necessary to convene the District Executive Board to discuss the status of negotiations and plan our next steps, so we can appropriately deal with the unprecedented greed and arrogance that now permeates United’s management team.

We will advise of next steps.

In Solidarity,

Your Negotiating Committee

Olu Ajetomobi
Joe Bartz
Victor Hernandez
Barb Martin
Andrea’ Myers
Terry Stansbury
Faysal Silwany
Erik Stenberg
Sue Weisner

Mike Klemm

President and Directing General Chair,
IAMAW District 141
Recording Secretaries: Please print and post on all Union Bulletin Boards.
JetBlue Ground Workers to Vote for Machinists Union

JetBlue Ground Workers to Vote for Machinists Union

JetBlue Ground Workers to Vote for Machinists Union

Justice at JetBlue
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 29, 2022, WASHINGTON DC—The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) today announced that the National Mediation Board (NMB), the federal agency that conducts union representation elections in the airline industry, has determined that an election for almost 3,000 JetBlue ground operations workers will take place. The voting period will be scheduled shortly by the NMB.

“I congratulate all JetBlue Ground Operations workers on their upcoming vote,” said IAM Air Transport General Vice President Richie Johnsen. “JetBlue Ground Ops workers have spoken loudly that they want a voice and a vote in their future. These workers deserve the respect and dignity that comes with collective bargaining rights and a union contract.”

JetBlue Ground Operations workers reignited their campaign to gain IAM representation late last year and filed for a union representation election in late September, 2022 with the NMB. The federal agency today determined that JetBlue Ground Operations workers have attained the requisite showing of interest to participate in a union representation election. Federal law requires that at least 50 percent of workers in a specific work classification request a union vote be called.

“I want every JetBlue Ground Ops worker to know that the IAM will stand with you 100 percent to win this election and attain the union contract that reflects your hard work and value to JetBlue Airways,” continued Johnsen. “JetBlue will be a better place to work once these brave workers have a real say in their wages, benefits and working conditions via a legally binding employment contract. If a contract is good for JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes, then a contract is good for the almost 3,000 Ground Ops workers who actually make the airline run.”

JetBlue Ground Operations workers have cited below standard pay, benefits and working conditions as reasons to unionize with the IAM. Union contracts in the airline industry provide workers with better pay, health and wellness benefits, flexibility and working conditions.

The IAM is largest airline union in North America and has over 600,000 active and retired members.

Recording Secretaries please print and post on all IAMAW bulletin boards.

Get Printable Copy >>

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JetBlue Ground Workers to Vote for Machinists Union

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NOVEMBER 29, 2022, WASHINGTON DC—The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) today announced that the National Mediation Board (NMB), the federal agency that conducts union representation elections in the airline industry, has determined that an election for almost 3,000 JetBlue ground operations workers will take place. The voting period will be scheduled shortly by the NMB.

“I congratulate all JetBlue Ground Operations workers on their upcoming vote,” said IAM Air Transport General Vice President Richie Johnsen. “JetBlue Ground Ops workers have spoken loudly that they want a voice and a vote in their future. These workers deserve the respect and dignity that comes with collective bargaining rights and a union contract.”

JetBlue Ground Operations workers reignited their campaign to gain IAM representation late last year and filed for a union representation election in late September 2022 with the NMB. The federal agency today determined that JetBlue Ground Operations workers have attained the requisite showing of interest to participate in a union representation election. Federal law requires that at least 50 percent of workers in a specific work classification request a union vote be called.

“I want every JetBlue Ground Ops worker to know that the IAM will stand with you 100 percent to win this election and attain the union contract that reflects your hard work and value to JetBlue Airways,” continued Johnsen. “JetBlue will be a better place to work once these brave workers have a real say in their wages, benefits and working conditions via a legally binding employment contract. If a contract is good for JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes, then a contract is good for the almost 3,000 Ground Ops workers who actually make the airline run.”

JetBlue Ground Operations workers have cited below standard pay, benefits and working conditions as reasons to unionize with the IAM. Union contracts in the airline industry provide workers with better pay, health and wellness benefits, flexibility and working conditions.

The IAM is largest airline union in North America and has over 600,000 active and retired members.

Recording Secretaries please print and post on all IAMAW bulletin boards.

Get Printable Copy >>

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Historic Union Alliance at Delta

Historic Union Alliance at Delta

Delta is now facing three of the largest unions in North American at the same time. Get ready for pizza parties.

Historic Union Alliance Forms at Delta

GOIAM.org
28 November 2022

North America’s three largest airline unions have formed a historic alliance to unify tens of thousands of workers at Delta Air Lines.

Unlike most commercial airlines, most workers at Delta are unorganized and have no union rights or bargaining power. Airlines’ management has worked hard to keep it that way, spending a fortune to protect its ability to dominate employees one-on-one instead of as a group. The airline even killed Northwest’s heavily union tradition when it merged with the smaller carrier nearly a decade ago. 

When individual employees are isolated and left to negotiate with billion-dollar corporate giants such as Delta, they are usually forced into a “take it or leave it.” offer that often results in exploitation. Disunity among workers allows companies to impose arbitrary and unfair terminations and pay cuts and issue scheduling demands that disrupt workers’ personal lives. Additionally, companies can violate legal workplace protections with near impunity, knowing that individual employees can rarely afford to take violators to court.

Abusive policies at one airline can have spillover effects on other carriers, even those protected by the ability of union workers to take group action. Other airlines can use Delta’s ability to dominate workers to justify similar policies to “remain competitive” in contract negotiations.

Ground workers at Delta have enlisted the Machinists and Aerospace Workers Union’s (IAMAW) help to gain union status for years. Likewise, flight crews have reached out to the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA). Now, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters is joining the fight and working to organize the airlines’ Tech Ops workers. 

At the IAMAW Grand Lodge Convention earlier this year, General Vice President Richard Johnsen condemned union rivalries and called for more unified action. Johnsen, who heads the Air Transport Territory, said at the time, “We have to stop fighting other unions,” Johnsen told Machinists union members. “Delta Air Lines — one of the most anti-union companies in the country — has successfully kept unions off their property for their lifetime.”

“Let Delta Air Lines come after the whole labor movement instead of targeting one of us,” he said.

In a statement issued after the alliance was announced, Johnsen laid out the key factors driving the organizing effort for Delta ground workers. Foremost among the changes needed at the airline were consistent work rules, pensions, adequate staffing and safety policies, and a healthier work-life balance. 

The statement continued, “With a union contract, Delta won’t be able to change vacation accrual schedules or anything else unilaterally because, with a union, you have a voice in determining your destiny. With a union comes a union safety committee that can fight for adequate staffing, proper and well-maintained equipment, and union representatives whom you elect and fight for you—not corporate shareholders.”

Delta responded by saying management would prefer to pit individual employees against the company one at a time, in what the airline called a “direct relationship.” Kelly Yamanouchi, writing for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, quoted the airline as saying that this tactic would lead to a “stronger, faster, and more effective way to drive improvements than AFA, IAM, or Teamsters representation would be.” 

The move at Delta comes as employees are unifying at an unprecedented rate across America. According to the National Labor Relations Board, new union filings have shot up by 53% over the last year. This increase is the highest single-year jump since 2016. 

It’s also happening as Ground Operations Crew Members at JetBlue have filed a petition with the National Mediation Board to join the Machinists Union. The Machinists Union is North America’s largest group of transportation, aviation, and aerospace workers. The union’s largest single commercial aviation district, District 141, led by Union President Mike Klemm, is currently negotiating multiple contracts with United Airlines. The agreements cover fleet and customer service workers, security guards, instructors, and load planners at the airline.

Previous contracts negotiated by Machinists Union airline workers include historic pay increases at Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Hawaiian, and Southwest. However, increasingly, workers are asking for workplace improvements, not more money. More and more, a healthier work-life balance has begun to rise to the top of employee priorities. 

At Spirit, workers gained the highest pay rates in the history of the airline, and part-time workers also gained the ability to take vacations – another first for ground workers at the airline. “For some of these workers, this will be the first time they’ve been able to take a paid vacation,” District President Mike Klemm said. “It’s hard to believe that working people are still fighting for things like vacation time in the modern age, but here we are,” he continued. 

Other Machinists Union Contracts negotiated by Machinists Union members include provisions that make mandatory overtime much more expensive and give workers more flexibility in their work schedules. To Klemm, these priorities reflect a new way of thinking about the modern workplace. While wages and job security remain critical factors, unions also address concerns that help build a better life overall.

“Family comes first,” President Klemm said of the shift in union values. “Family comes first, second and third,” he continued, pointing out the importance of giving workers the ability to earn high enough wages that afford them the ability to spend more time off the clock. “Delta workers and JetBlue Ground Operations are overworked and undervalued,” he said. “Workers at United, American, Southwest, Hawaiian, and Spirit are ready and willing to fight side by side with them and help win the legally-binding union contracts they deserve.”

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28 November 2022

Delta must now contend with an alliance of the three largest airline workers’ unions in North America. Let the pizza parties commence. 

North America’s three largest airline unions have formed a historic alliance to unify tens of thousands of workers at Delta Air Lines.

Unlike most commercial airlines, most workers at Delta are unorganized and have no union rights or bargaining power. Airlines’ management has worked hard to keep it that way, spending a fortune to protect its ability to dominate employees one-on-one instead of as a group. The airline even killed Northwest’s heavily union tradition when it merged with the smaller carrier nearly a decade ago. 

When individual employees are isolated and left to negotiate with billion-dollar corporate giants such as Delta, they are usually forced into a “take it or leave it.” offer that often results in exploitation. Disunity among workers allows companies to impose arbitrary and unfair terminations and pay cuts and issue scheduling demands that disrupt workers’ personal lives. Additionally, companies can violate legal workplace protections with near impunity, knowing that individual employees can rarely afford to take violators to court. 

Abusive policies at one airline can have spillover effects on other carriers, even those protected by the ability of union workers to take group action. Other airlines can use Delta’s ability to dominate workers to justify similar policies to “remain competitive” in contract negotiations.

Ground workers at Delta have enlisted the Machinists and Aerospace Workers Union’s (IAMAW) help to gain union status for years. Likewise, flight crews have reached out to the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA). Now, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters is joining the fight and working to organize the airlines’ Tech Ops workers. 

At the IAMAW Grand Lodge Convention earlier this year, General Vice President Richard Johnsen condemned union rivalries and called for more unified action. Johnsen, who heads the Air Transport Territory, said at the time, “We have to stop fighting other unions,” Johnsen told Machinists union members. “Delta Air Lines — one of the most anti-union companies in the country — has successfully kept unions off their property for their lifetime.”

“Let Delta Air Lines come after the whole labor movement instead of targeting one of us,” he said.



In a statement issued after the alliance was announced, Johnsen laid out the key factors driving the organizing effort for Delta ground workers. Foremost among the changes needed at the airline were consistent work rules, pensions, adequate staffing and safety policies, and a healthier work-life balance. 

The statement continued, “With a union contract, Delta won’t be able to change vacation accrual schedules or anything else unilaterally because, with a union, you have a voice in determining your destiny. With a union comes a union safety committee that can fight for adequate staffing, proper and well-maintained equipment, and union representatives whom you elect and fight for you—not corporate shareholders.”

Delta responded by saying management would prefer to pit individual employees against the company one at a time, in what the airline called a “direct relationship.” Kelly Yamanouchi, writing for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, quoted the airline as saying that this tactic would lead to a “stronger, faster, and more effective way to drive improvements than AFA, IAM, or Teamsters representation would be.” 

The move at Delta comes as employees are unifying at an unprecedented rate across America. According to the National Labor Relations Board, new union filings have shot up by 53% over the last year. This increase is the highest single-year jump since 2016. 

It’s also happening as Ground Operations Crew Members at JetBlue have filed a petition with the National Mediation Board to join the Machinists Union. The Machinists Union is North America’s largest group of transportation, aviation, and aerospace workers. The union’s largest single commercial aviation district, District 141, led by Union President Mike Klemm, is currently negotiating multiple contracts with United Airlines. The agreements cover fleet and customer service workers, security guards, instructors, and load planners at the airline.

Previous contracts negotiated by Machinists Union airline workers include historic pay increases at Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Hawaiian, and Southwest. However, increasingly, workers are asking for workplace improvements, not more money. More and more, a healthier work-life balance has begun to rise to the top of employee priorities. 

At Spirit, workers gained the highest pay rates in the history of the airline, and part-time workers also gained the ability to take vacations – another first for ground workers at the airline. “For some of these workers, this will be the first time they’ve been able to take a paid vacation,” District President Mike Klemm said. “It’s hard to believe that working people are still fighting for things like vacation time in the modern age, but here we are,” he continued. 

Other Machinists Union Contracts negotiated by Machinists Union members include provisions that make mandatory overtime much more expensive and give workers more flexibility in their work schedules. To Klemm, these priorities reflect a new way of thinking about the modern workplace. While wages and job security remain critical factors, unions also address concerns that help build a better life overall. “Family comes first,” President Klemm said of the shift in union values. “Family comes first, second and third,” he continued, pointing out the importance of giving workers the ability to earn high enough wages that afford them the ability to spend more time off the clock. “Delta workers and JetBlue Ground Operations are overworked and undervalued,” he said. “Workers at United, American, Southwest, Hawaiian, and Spirit are ready and willing to fight side by side with them and help win the legally-binding union contracts they deserve.”



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IAM Mourns Loss of Retired Winpisinger Center Director Chris Wagoner

Winpisinger Center Director and Educator, Chris Wagoner.

IAM Mourns Loss of Retired Winpisinger Center Director Chris Wagoner

Machinists District 141
15 November 2022

The IAM is mourning the passing of Chris Wagoner, who recently retired as Director of the IAM’s William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center. Wagoner, 60, with his family by his side, passed away after a brief illness on Sunday, November 20, 2022.

Over his 33-year IAM career, Wagoner dedicated his life to training and educating union activists at the Winpisinger Center, a campus in Hollywood, MD that many call the IAM’s “crown jewel.”

After hiring on as an education representative at the Winpisinger Center in 1989, Wagoner became the center’s assistant director in 2005. He served as director since 2007. Wagoner retired from the IAM in July 2022.

“The entire IAM is simply heartbroken at the loss of such an iconic, caring and influential figure in our union,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “Chris has been a great friend and confidant to myself and so many others through more than three decades of challenges and triumphs in the IAM. Our memories of Chris’s unyielding love for our union and our membership will forever live on for so many whom he touched throughout the years. We send our deepest condolences to his wife Jill, daughter Mollie, daughter-in-law Qifei Zeng, and everyone who loved and cherished what Chris brought to our lives on and off the job.”

Wagoner was a constant figure at the Winpisinger Center, where thousands of members, officers, and staff every year participated in leadership, organizing, negotiations, and other programs that built power and knowledge in the IAM. Wagoner would make a point to visit with every class he could, sharing, among many things, that the Winpisinger Center, and the labor movement, must be an inclusive, diverse and welcoming environment, free of any bias or discrimination for all.

“Wimpy’s vision created the Winpisinger Center, but no single person gave it more life and purpose than Chris Wagoner,” said Winpisinger Center Director Mary McHugh. “His contribution to our union is simply immeasurable.”

Wagoner oversaw a massive expansion in programming at the Winpisinger Center, including negotiations preparation, remote learning, and Spanish-language classes. He led the Center through the COVID-19 pandemic, adapting quickly to remote learning and fighting tirelessly to rehire Winpisinger Center staff and reopen the facility with necessary precautions.

Prior to coming to the Winpisinger Center, Wagoner worked as an aide for the Committee on Labor and Industry in the Kentucky General Assembly. He also worked in the Labor Education Program and the Illinois Hazardous Waste Worker Training Program at the University of Illinois. Wagoner received his bachelor of science degree in political science from the University of Louisville and his master of arts degree in industrial relations from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.

In lieu of flowers, the Wagoner family asks that donations go to the IAM’s favorite charity, Guide Dogs of America/Tender Loving Canines, in memory of Chris Wagoner.

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IAM Mourns Loss of Retired Winpisinger Center Director Chris Wagoner

15 November 2022

Chris Wagoner, the longtime Director of the Winpisinger Education and Technology Center, has passed away. 

The IAM is mourning the passing of Chris Wagoner, who recently retired as Director of the IAM’s William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center. Wagoner, 60, with his family by his side, passed away after a brief illness on Sunday, November 20, 2022.

Over his 33-year IAM career, Wagoner dedicated his life to training and educating union activists at the Winpisinger Center, a campus in Hollywood, MD that many call the IAM’s “crown jewel.”

After hiring on as an education representative at the Winpisinger Center in 1989, Wagoner became the center’s assistant director in 2005. He served as director since 2007. Wagoner retired from the IAM in July 2022.

“The entire IAM is simply heartbroken at the loss of such an iconic, caring and influential figure in our union,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “Chris has been a great friend and confidant to myself and so many others through more than three decades of challenges and triumphs in the IAM. Our memories of Chris’s unyielding love for our union and our membership will forever live on for so many whom he touched throughout the years. We send our deepest condolences to his wife Jill, daughter Mollie, daughter-in-law Qifei Zeng, and everyone who loved and cherished what Chris brought to our lives on and off the job.”

Wagoner was a constant figure at the Winpisinger Center, where thousands of members, officers and staff every year participated in leadership, organizing, negotiations and other programs that built power and knowledge in the IAM. Wagoner would make a point to visit with every class he could, sharing, among many things, that the Winpisinger Center, and the labor movement, must be an inclusive, diverse and welcoming environment, free of any bias or discrimination for all.

“Wimpy’s vision created the Winpisinger Center, but no single person gave it more life and purpose than Chris Wagoner,” said Winpisinger Center Director Mary McHugh. “His contribution to our union is simply immeasurable.”

Wagoner oversaw a massive expansion in programming at the Winpisinger Center, including negotiations preparation, remote learning, and Spanish-language classes. He led the Center through the COVID-19 pandemic, adapting quickly to remote learning and fighting tirelessly to rehire Winpisinger Center staff and reopen the facility with necessary precautions.

Prior to coming to the Winpisinger Center, Wagoner worked as an aide for the Committee on Labor and Industry in the Kentucky General Assembly. He also worked in the Labor Education Program and the Illinois Hazardous Waste Worker Training Program at the University of Illinois. Wagoner received his bachelor of science degree in political science from the University of Louisville and his master of arts degree in industrial relations from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.

In lieu of flowers, the Wagoner family asks that donations go to the IAM’s favorite charity, Guide Dogs of America/Tender Loving Canines, in memory of Chris Wagoner.

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     This month we cover well-being. Many companies are stepping up and realizing that retaining high-caliber employees means offering benefits that are attractive and help retain people. The focus is on the different aspects of well-being – emotional, physical, social and work are a few examples. Please share this with your groups and feel free to put your contact information on the placard on page 2 so they know who to contact. I included both the PDF and .docx versions – so you can customize the issue with your contact information. 
 
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