David Lehive Appointed IAM Communications Representative

David Lehive Appointed IAM Communications Representative

David Lehive Appointed IAM Communications Representative

GoIAM.org
14 April 2022

IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. has appointed David J. Lehive as a Headquarters Communications Representative, effective April 14, 2022.

Lehive, formerly the IAM District 141 Communications Director, is an award-winning communicator with a long history of telling worker stories and helping to develop and implement strategies that advance the goals and brand of the IAM.

“The IAM is fortunate to welcome Dave on board at Headquarters after many great years of service to our members at District 141,” said Martinez. “Our members across North America will quickly get to know Dave as a passionate and dedicated advocate for our union and all working people.”

Lehive was hired on with Piedmont Airlines in April 1985 and became a union organizer almost immediately. After years of airline mergers and persistence, Lehive and his coworkers won IAM representation at US Airways in 1994 and he initiated Philadelphia’s Essington Obie O’Brien IAM Local 1776.

In 2005, Lehive was appointed shop steward, where he helped with communications duties. In 2008, he was appointed local lodge communicator and in early 2009 was appointed District 141 communications coordinator for US Airways, and later for all air carriers in the district.

In 2019, Lehive was appointed communicator for the Pennsylvania State Council of Machinists Executive Board. 

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Machinists Union Demands Answers to JetBlue’s Potential Misuse of Taxpayer-Funded Airline Aid

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Machinists Union Demands Answers to JetBlue’s Potential Misuse of Taxpayer-Funded Airline Aid

Justice at JetBlue
13 April 2022

The IAM is seeking answers to JetBlue’s possible misuse of funds from the Payroll Support Program (PSP), a component of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).

In 2020, as a response to the destruction of demand for air travel caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress passed the CARES Act. The legislation, which included the PSP, provided approximately $50 billion in aid for U.S. airlines and mandated that the carriers not engage in involuntary layoffs, cut the salaries or reduce the benefits of airline workers.

JetBlue Airways received approximately $2 billion in aid, with most of it coming in the form of taxpayer-funded grants that do not have to be repaid. However, as they took the government funds, JetBlue management cut the working hours of its employees, which consequently cut their pay and benefits.

“We believe what JetBlue did was wrong,” said Richard Johnsen, IAM Chief of Staff to the International President. “JetBlue cut the salaries of thousands of ground workers by at least 20 percent. These are frontline, essential workers who risked their lives coming to work during the height of the pandemic when no vaccine was available. They’re heroes in my book and deserve to be repaid with interest by JetBlue executives.”

The IAM’s Transportation and Legislative Departments are in communication with government officials to get specific answers to specific questions.

“JetBlue just came up with $3.6 billion to buy Spirit Airlines last week,” continued Johnsen. “Some of that money needs to be put back in the pockets of JetBlue workers and not used to shower money on greedy airline executives and shareholders.”

The IAM is the largest airline union in North America and represents over 600,000 members.

 

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Machinist Union Members in Chicago Raise Money, Awareness for Guide Dogs

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Machinist Union Members in Chicago Raise Money, Awareness for Guide Dogs

On Wednesday, Machinists Local 1487 in Chicago, Illinois, held its annual bowling charity to benefit Guide Dogs of America. Guide Dogs of America is the Machinists Unions’ top charity, providing service dogs and assistance at no cost for those in need across the country.

Guide Dogs of America is the Machinists Unions’ top charity, providing service dogs and assistance at no cost for those in need across the country. The organization also offers free training and support for those in need of service dogs but who may lack experience working with and using a service animal. 

Local 1487, the Machinists Union Local Lodge that reporesents some 5,000 airline workers in the Chicago area, has been a leading supporter of Guide Dogs for the past 65 years, dating back to the founding of the charity. The bowling fundraiser raised an estimated $1,500. “Welcome out!” said Greg Klujewski, the Recording Secretary for Local 1487 and one of the people that helped put the event together. “This is a great turnout,” he said. “We are raising some money for a great cause and bringing union members together,” he continued. “Both of those things are very important.”  

Guide Dogs of America breed, raise, and train guide and service dogs for visually impaired people, veterans, and children with autism. The non-profit also places dogs in hospitals, schools, and courtrooms, areas with an urgent need for service animals. These highly skilled canines become trusted companions that increase people’s confidence, mobility, and independence. The dogs can also mitigate the loneliness and isolation that many residents at these facilities may experience as they get older. 

“An often overlooked healing aspect of having a friendly-looking dog at your side is that people will often come up and pet her,” said Russ Guitlan at a recent union conference. “For a lot of the people that rely on their dog, this human connection, made through their service dog, might just be the only human interaction they may have that day,” he explained. He added that these interactions can happen daily and are always warm and healthy, which can often be difficult without a service animal working as an icebreaker. 

All programs and services, including transportation, personalized training, room/board, and postgraduate support, are provided at no cost to the recipient.

All programs and services that Guide Dogs of America provides, from breeding, training, and post-adoption support, are paid for entirely through voluntary donations from the public. Union members and volunteers who would like to make a donation of any amount in support of Guide Dogs of America may do so at Guide Dogs of America.org.

 

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United Stores Key Focus at Quarterly Meeting

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Machinists Union Meets With United Management to Discuss Stores’ Operations at the Airline

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11 April 2022

The Machinists Union and United Airlines met last week to discuss issues related to the airline’s warehousing operation, known as “Storekeeping,” or “Stores.”

The meeting is a quarterly event that both sides have participated in for the past ten years. At this quarters’ meeting were company managers and executives with oversight over the airline’s Stores workplaces and union representatives, including Assistant General Chairs and Stores Grievance Committee members.

“These meetings are essential because they allow us to have face-to-face discussions with key company decision-makers,” said Joe Bartz. Bartz is an Assistant General Chairman for District 141 of the Machinists Union and helped host the meeting with fellow AGC Troy Rivera. “We can get together and resolve workplace issues on the spot,” he said. “It’s extremely helpful for us to maintain these points of contact, so that we have the situational awareness we need to represent our membership on the front lines,” he continued. 

This Stores meeting focused on various issues, including new hire and transfer integration and seniority concerns. The safety of Stores workers was also a key topic, emphasizing possible risks associated with landing gears and the enormous aircraft tires that Stores workers have to handle. 

This quarters’ meeting was hosted by the unions’ District 141 Assistant General Chairs Joe Bartz and Troy Rivera. It included a delegation of Stores union representatives from major United Airlines operations across the country. 

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141 Report | This week’s 141 Report meets with the Sky Harbours’ (Local 2559) Don Carbonneau Cookout in Phoenix, AZ. Our Viewers and Listeners get to hear from over six guests in this 14-minute video. We will listen to the new 2559 President, Jeff James, who begins the report and talks about the recently passed Brother Donald Carbonneau.

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

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Richard Johnsen to Become General Vice President of New IAM Air Transport Territory

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GOIAM.org
7 April 2022

The IAM Executive Council has taken action to create an IAM Air Transport Territory, consisting of all IAM air transport members in the United States. Richard Johnsen, currently IAM Chief of Staff to the International President, will join the IAM Executive Council as Air Transport General Vice President.

The creation of the IAM Air Transport Territory, which will include IAM District 141 and IAM District 142, and the appointment of Johnsen as General Vice President, are both effective May 1, 2022.

The IAM, representing more than 100,000 air transport members, is the largest air transport union in North America. The creation of the IAM Air Transport Territory and the IAM Rail Division allows the IAM to better focus on the distinctive needs of its air transport and railroad memberships, respectively.

“The IAM is proud to be the largest and most powerful labor organization in North America for air transport workers,” said Martinez. “The creation of the IAM Air Transport Territory allows us to dedicate even more resources to servicing our dedicated airline and airport membership, as well as growing our footprint in this sector.”

As Chief of Staff to the International President, Johnsen has spent nearly the past year traveling the country to listen to air transport members and address their concerns as the industry emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Johnsen, a 33-year IAM member who began as a mechanic assistant at United Airlines, has devoted increasing resources to securing the strongest possible contracts for air transport members, including the overwhelming member ratification of a Hawaiian Airlines agreement that secures historic job protections and pay raises. Johnsen has emerged as a leader in calling for increased staffing and more severe penalties against unruly passengers in the air transport industry. Under Johnsen’s direction, the IAM is devoting more resources to organizing in the air transport sector, including a recent organizing win for flight attendants.

WATCH: Meet the IAM’s Richard Johnsen

“It’s the honor of a lifetime to join the IAM Executive Council and to lead the IAM Air Transport Territory,” said Johnsen. “We are going to continue the progress we’ve made by continuing to listen to our members, provide transparent communication channels, and fight each and every day for our air transport members who make the world move.”

Since initiating into IAM Local 1781 in 1988, Johnsen has held served in a variety of capacities at the Local, District, and Grand Lodge levels. He became Assistant General Chairperson for IAM District 141M in 2000 and joined the Grand Lodge staff as a Special Representative in 2001.

Johnsen then served as a Grand Lodge Representative before being appointed Special Assistant to the International President in February 2021. In June 2021, Johnsen was appointed Chief of Staff to the International President.

Johnsen serves on the boards of the AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department (TTD), United Airlines, the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), and the Cooperating Railway Labor Organizations (CRLO).

 

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