Machinists Union Stands in Solidarity with Flight Attendants in Nationwide Day of Action

Machinists Union Stands in Solidarity with Flight Attendants in Nationwide Day of Action

Machinists Union Stands in Solidarity with Flight Attendants in Nationwide Day of Action

Pictured: Assistant General Chairs Erik Stenberg (left) and Mike Cyscon.

Machinists Union Stands in Solidarity with Flight Attendants in Nationwide Day of Action

IAM141.org

In a display of solidarity, members of the Machinists Union joined flight attendants in nationwide rallies held at over 30 major airports across the United States on Tuesday. The collective action, organized as part of the Worldwide Flight Attendant Day of Action, aimed to bring attention to the ongoing labor negotiations affecting over two-thirds of flight attendants at several major airlines.

Flight attendants from United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Air Wisconsin, American Airlines, Omni, and Frontier, represented by three different labor unions, took to the picket lines in cities including New York City, Orlando, Miami, San Francisco, Charlotte, Washington DC, Dallas, Atlanta, Chicago, Boston, Cleveland, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and more.

The protests underscored the pressing issues at hand as flight attendants push for fair and just contracts amidst negotiations with their respective airlines. In total, the unions participating in the day of action represent more than 100,000 flight attendants at all major airlines in the United States.

“Our time is now!” declared AFA Alaska President Jeffrey Peterson. “Alaska Flight Attendants today backed up our fight for an industry-leading contract with a 99.48% strike vote. And we’re out on the picket line demonstrating that we’re ready to do whatever it takes to get the contract we deserve. There’s no excuse: Alaska management has the money to buy another airline, they certainly have the money to invest in Flight Attendants. We have a simple message for management: Pay us, or CHAOS!”

Flight attendants at Alaska Airlines, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA), voted overwhelmingly in favor of a strike authorization should management fail to agree to significant improvements. The last time Alaska Airlines Flight Attendants went on strike was in 1993, when Flight Attendants took over the schedule using AFA’s trademarked strike strategy, Creating Havoc Around Our System™ or CHAOS™.

“Alaska Flight Attendants are fired up and ready to go,” emphasized AFA International President Sara Nelson. “You can’t fly without Flight Attendants. If Alaska management doesn’t remember what happens when you disrespect Flight Attendants, we are ready to show them. It’s past time for a fair deal.”

“We are not a line item on a balance sheet,” stated Melinda Beal, president of the AFA Cleveland chapter, as reported by Axios. She highlighted the challenges faced by flight attendants, including longer hours with little rest between shifts, eroding wages due to inflation, and airlines reaping billions in profits. Beal emphasized the demand for raises and the challenge to the pay structure.

The demonstrations are not strikes, though that’s the next step. The industry norm is that attendants don’t get paid until the plane doors close. Union members are calling for full pay for their work during boarding or deplaning and for time on the ground between back-to-back flights. In 2022, Delta Air Lines became the first U.S. airline to pay flight attendants during boarding, but at only half their standard rate.

 

 

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Machinists Union Stands in Solidarity with Flight Attendants in Nationwide Day of Action

February 14 2024

Pictured: Assistant General Chairs Erik Stenberg (left) and Mike Cyscon.

In a display of solidarity, members of the Machinists Union joined flight attendants in nationwide rallies held at over 30 major airports across the United States on Tuesday. The collective action, organized as part of the Worldwide Flight Attendant Day of Action, aimed to bring attention to the ongoing labor negotiations affecting over two-thirds of flight attendants at several major airlines.

Flight attendants from United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Air Wisconsin, American Airlines, Omni, and Frontier, represented by three different labor unions, took to the picket lines in cities including New York City, Orlando, Miami, San Francisco, Charlotte, Washington DC, Dallas, Atlanta, Chicago, Boston, Cleveland, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and more.

The protests underscored the pressing issues at hand as flight attendants push for fair and just contracts amidst negotiations with their respective airlines. In total, the unions participating in the day of action represent more than 100,000 flight attendants at all major airlines in the United States.

“Our time is now!” declared AFA Alaska President Jeffrey Peterson. “Alaska Flight Attendants today backed up our fight for an industry-leading contract with a 99.48% strike vote. And we’re out on the picket line demonstrating that we’re ready to do whatever it takes to get the contract we deserve. There’s no excuse: Alaska management has the money to buy another airline, they certainly have the money to invest in Flight Attendants. We have a simple message for management: Pay us, or CHAOS!”

Flight attendants at Alaska Airlines, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA), voted overwhelmingly in favor of a strike authorization should management fail to agree to significant improvements. The last time Alaska Airlines Flight Attendants went on strike was in 1993, when Flight Attendants took over the schedule using AFA’s trademarked strike strategy, Creating Havoc Around Our System™ or CHAOS™.

“Alaska Flight Attendants are fired up and ready to go,” emphasized AFA International President Sara Nelson. “You can’t fly without Flight Attendants. If Alaska management doesn’t remember what happens when you disrespect Flight Attendants, we are ready to show them. It’s past time for a fair deal.”

“We are not a line item on a balance sheet,” stated Melinda Beal, president of the AFA Cleveland chapter, as reported by Axios. She highlighted the challenges faced by flight attendants, including longer hours with little rest between shifts, eroding wages due to inflation, and airlines reaping billions in profits. Beal emphasized the demand for raises and the challenge to the pay structure.

The demonstrations are not strikes, though that’s the next step. The industry norm is that attendants don’t get paid until the plane doors close. Union members are calling for full pay for their work during boarding or deplaning and for time on the ground between back-to-back flights. In 2022, Delta Air Lines became the first U.S. airline to pay flight attendants during boarding, but at only half their standard rate.

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February Helping Hands: Financial Health

February Helping Hands: Financial Health

February Helping Hands: Financial Health

EAP Peers:
 
     February is often a month that people are struggling with finances after the holidays. We focus on a government agency that has some terrific resources – the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau. This agency has a myriad of resources to help with any consumer financial issue. There are links throughout the two pages that can connect people with help for most any financial issue. The electronic version allows folks to connect with whatever resource they feel will help their concern. Please make the electronic version available to your co-workers as you can
 
     Thank you for being there for others – this is important work and not many people are as dedicated to others as you have been – I appreciate everything you are doing!
 
Bryan,

Bryan Hutchinson, M.S.

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IAM141.org

District Lodge 141 is excited to announce the commencement of its 2024 Adolph Stutz Memorial Scholarship Essay Contest!

The essay competition is designed to encourage a better understanding and appreciation of the role of unions in America and foster a sense of community among our members and their families. By reflecting on the history and principles of unions, participants have the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of this important institution and its impact on society. Through their personal experiences and reflections, they can inspire others to recognize the value of collective action and the power of working together towards a common goal. 

This year’s theme asks participants to contemplate “Reviving the American Dream: What Can I Do to Help My Generation Overcome Despair and Build a Better Future?” This competition is open to the children, spouses, and dependent grandchildren of members with one year or more of good standing in District Lodge 141 of the Machinists Union as of June 1, 2023. This includes graduating high school seniors and those who are currently enrolled full-time in college or trade school. The Grand Prize winner will receive a $2,000 award, and six additional winners will each receive a check for $1,000. 

Participants are asked to email their entries to dan@bleicomm.com by midnight on July 15, 2024.

CLICK HERE for the official rules and entry form.

 

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6 February 2024

District Lodge 141 is excited to announce the commencement of its 2024 Adolph Stutz Memorial Scholarship Essay Contest!

The essay competition is designed to encourage a better understanding and appreciation of the role of unions in America and foster a sense of community among our members and their families. By reflecting on the history and principles of unions, participants have the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of this important institution and its impact on society. Through their personal experiences and reflections, they can inspire others to recognize the value of collective action and the power of working together towards a common goal. 

This year’s theme asks participants to contemplate “Reviving the American Dream: What Can I Do to Help My Generation Overcome Despair and Build a Better Future?” This competition is open to the children, spouses, and dependent grandchildren of members with one year or more of good standing in District Lodge 141 of the Machinists Union as of June 1, 2023. This includes graduating high school seniors and those who are currently enrolled full-time in college or trade school. The Grand Prize winner will receive a $2,000 award, and six additional winners will each receive a check for $1,000. 

Participants are asked to email their entries to dan@bleicomm.com by midnight on July 15, 2024.

CLICK HERE for the official rules and entry form.

 

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Bureau of Labor Statistics: Union Pay Gap Expands in 2023

Bureau of Labor Statistics: Union Pay Gap Expands in 2023

Bureau of Labor Statistics: Union Pay Gap Expands in 2023

Bureau of Labor Statistics: Union Pay Gap Expands in 2023

IAM141.org

WASHINGTON DC – According to the February report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, union membership in 2023 held steady and did not decline despite employers spending over $400 million to oppose unification efforts in their workplaces. According to the report, 16.2 million American workers were represented by a union, a gain of 200,000 over 2022.

Union wages continued to lead the average typical weekly earnings of non-union Americans in 2023. Among full-time wage and salary workers, union members had a median usual weekly earnings of $1,263 in 2023, while non-union workers continued to fall behind, with a median usual weekly earnings of only $1,090.

This represents wages that are 14 percent higher than their non-union counterparts each week, translating to an additional $173 per week, $692 per month, and $8,996 per year. This figure is up from 2022, when union pay was 11.2% higher than non-union work.

While earnings remain a central focus for most workers, the issue of work-life balance is a hot topic within the American workforce. Interestingly, union members, particularly in commercial aviation, enjoy an enviable degree of control over their schedules. They can trade away or pick up work shifts from coworkers and seasonal bids to work the hours, work areas, and days off in order of years on the job that are unheard of outside of unions. This level of schedule flexibility is nearly unheard of outside union workplaces.

Retirement benefits are another area where union membership pays off. In private industry, 93 percent of union workers had access to a retirement plan, compared to only 67 percent of non-union workers. Union workers were five times more likely to have access to defined benefit retirement plans, which guarantee a predictable income during retirement.

Healthcare benefits are nearly universal among union workers, with 96 percent having access compared to 69 percent of non-union workers. Employers were responsible for 80 percent of the premiums for medical care and family coverage for union workers, compared to 65 percent for non-union workers.

To combat these advances, companies have spent more than $400 million to prevent their employees from forming unions. According to data compiled by the Economic Policy Institute, attacks on union organizing have cost companies more than $400 million a year.

The study, released in March 2023, estimates that employers spend $433 million per year on “union-avoidance” consultants. According to the study, these consultants are paid $350 an hour and up, or $2,500 daily rates, to prevent their workers from banding together as a union. The actual figures are likely much higher since employers are only required to disclose a fraction of their union avoidance costs.

A portion of this spending is recouped through tax laws; businesses can deduct union avoidance costs from their tax liabilities.

These efforts have kept union membership as low as possible for these companies despite historically high support for unions. Around 67% or two-thirds of Americans support unions, as per a Gallup poll released in September. Yet, due to the overwhelming spending companies are using to prevent the formation of unions, only about 11.2% of Americans report union membership.

About 16.2 million American workers are represented by labor unions, a figure that includes 14.4 union members and 1.8 million workers who refuse to support a union but whose jobs are covered by a union agreement.

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Bureau of Labor Statistics: Union Pay Gap Expands in 2023

6 February 2024

WASHINGTON DC – According to the February report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, union membership in 2023 held steady and did not decline despite employers spending over $400 million to oppose unification efforts in their workplaces. According to the report, 16.2 million American workers were represented by a union, a gain of 200,000 over 2022.

Union wages continued to lead the average, typical weekly earnings of non-union Americans in 2023. Among full-time wage and salary workers, union members had a median usual weekly earnings of $1,263 in 2023, while non-union workers continued to fall behind, with a median usual weekly earnings of only $1,090.

This represents wages that are 14 percent higher than their non-union counterparts each week, translating to an additional $173 per week, $692 per month, and $8,996 per year.

While earnings remain a central focus for most workers, the issue of work-life balance is a hot topic within the American workforce. Interestingly, union members, particularly in commercial aviation, enjoy an enviable degree of control over their schedules. They can trade away or pick up work shifts from coworkers and seasonal bids to work the hours, work areas, and days off in order of years on the job that are unheard of outside of unions. This level of schedule flexibility is nearly unheard of outside union workplaces.

Retirement benefits are another area where union membership pays off. In private industry, 93 percent of union workers had access to a retirement plan, compared to only 67 percent of non-union workers. Union workers were five times more likely to have access to defined benefit retirement plans, which guarantee a predictable income during retirement.

Healthcare benefits are nearly universal among union workers, with 96 percent having access compared to 69 percent of non-union workers. Employers were responsible for 80 percent of the premiums for medical care and family coverage for union workers, compared to 65 percent for non-union workers.

To combat these advances, companies have spent more than $400 million to prevent their employees from forming unions. According to data compiled by the Economic Policy Institute, attacks on union organizing have cost companies more than $400 million a year.

The study, released in March 2023, estimates that employers spend $433 million per year on “union-avoidance” consultants. According to the study, these consultants are paid $350 an hour and up, or $2,500 daily rates, to prevent their workers from banding together as a union. The actual figures are likely much higher since employers are only required to disclose a fraction of their union avoidance costs.

A portion of this spending is recouped through tax laws; businesses can deduct union avoidance costs from their tax liabilities.

These efforts have kept union membership as low as possible for these companies despite historically high support for unions. Around 67% or two-thirds of Americans support unions, as per a Gallup poll released in September. Yet, due to the overwhelming spending companies are using to prevent the formation of unions, only about 11.2% of Americans report union membership.

About 16.2 million American workers are represented by labor unions, a figure that includes 14.4 union members and 1.8 million workers who refuse to support a union but whose jobs are covered by a union agreement.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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