United – Emirates Codeshare: Labor is Watching

United – Emirates Codeshare: Labor is Watching

United – Emirates Codeshare: Labor is Watching

Legislation
16 September 2022

Justice at JetBlue requires Just Cause at JetBlue.

“That’s evidence that they are not focused on profitability. They are just focused on flying the airplane somewhere and having the government subsidize it.” -United CEO Scott Kirby.

“Those airlines aren’t airlines. They’re international branding vehicles for their countries.” -Former United CEO Oscar Munoz.

After years of highlighting the unfair business practices of state-owned enterprises (SOE) such as Emirates, Airlines, and other Middle East carriers, United’s announcement of a new codeshare agreement demands scrutiny.

To protect the jobs of U.S. airline workers, there must be continued financial transparency and improved labor standards that ensure fairness is maintained in all Open Skies and codeshare agreements.

Since the beginning of its existence, Emirates Airlines has been sustained by massive government subsidies, unrelated to the global pandemic, used to expand far beyond what market forces could ever support. Their growth, including the Dubai-Athens-Newark service and Milan service, was only possible because of the enormous Emirati funding the airline received. These subsidies put U.S. airlines at a tremendous economic disadvantage and threaten U.S. airline workers’ jobs. American workers can compete with any foreign airline when on a level playing field. We cannot compete against entire countries.

Although the United States and United Arab Emirates signed an agreement in 2018 regarding these issues, the fact remains that there are currently no independent labor unions in the United Arab Emirates. This has led to a systemic, unacceptable assault on airline workers’ rights, with alarming accounts of unfair labor practices and intimidation by employers.

United Airlines employees and union leadership will be watching closely to ensure our scope provisions are rigorously followed and demand the highest labor standards are adhered to across all partnerships. We will act swiftly if needed to protect our long-term career security.

In Unity,

Ken Diaz MEC President AFA-UAL

Richard Johnsen General V/P IAM-UAL

Mike Hamilton Master Chair ALPA-UAL

Craig Symons President PAFCA-UAL

Joe Ferreira Dir. Airline Div. IBT-UAL

 

Hurricane Ian: Emergency Toolkit

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AFL-CIO: Thousands of JetBlue Ground Workers Organizing With Machinists

AFL-CIO: Thousands of JetBlue Ground Workers Organizing With Machinists

Photo Credit: Brian Vega, IAMAW District 141 Social and Visual Media Coordinator.AFL-CIO: Thousands of JetBlue Ground Workers Organizing With MachinistsAFL-CIO28 September 2022Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors,...

JetBlue Management Ramps Up Write-Ups and Terminations After Peak Summer Travel

JetBlue Management Ramps Up Write-Ups and Terminations After Peak Summer Travel

JetBlue Management Cracks Down on Discipline, Write-Ups and Terminations After Peak Summer Travel

Organizing
15 September 2022

Justice at JetBlue requires Just Cause at JetBlue.

Reports around the system are that JetBlue supervisors are turning up the heat and starting to discipline and terminate GO Crewmembers for things that supervisors looked the other way on when they needed all hands on deck during the peak summer travel season.

When GO Crewmembers have a Union Contract, unjustified discipline and terminations will stop. GO Crewmembers will have access to a fair grievance procedure that is NOT controlled by JetBlue management. GO Crewmembers will have trained GO Crewmember Union Representatives that will defend GO Crewmembers who are disciplined or terminated without “Just Cause.”

Every Union Contract contains a “just cause” provision, which has seven tests. If any of the seven tests are not met, then discipline cannot be issued. 

 

These are the seven tests:
(1) Did the employee know the company’s policy;
(2) Is the company’s policy reasonable;
(3) Did the company investigate to determine if the employee violated the policy;
(4) Was the investigation fair and objective;
(5) Did substantial evidence exist of the employee’s violation of the policy;
(6) Was the company’s policy consistently applied; and
(7) Is the discipline reasonable and proportional (did the punishment fit the crime?).

If any of the above tests are not met, then the discipline is unjustified.

Without having “just cause,” JetBlue management can discipline and terminate Crewmembers at any time for any reason. It’s called “at will employment.” The CBB states in part: The guidelines presented in the Blue Book are not intended and will in no way be considered to be a contract of employment between JetBlue and any Crewmember…no Crewmember of JetBlue has a contract of employment. [JetBlue] reserves the right to accept a resignation or to separate the employment relationship at any time within the Company’s discretion…JetBlue management has the sole prerogative and discretion to determine the seriousness of violations.

It’s time for change.

 

Hurricane Ian: Emergency Toolkit

Hurricane Ian: Emergency ToolkitIAM141 EAP28 September 2022Florida's airports are being hammered with sustained winds of over 150 mph from Ian, which is on the cusp of becoming a Category 5 Hurricane. A hurricane of this magnitude passing over an area as...

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AFL-CIO: Thousands of JetBlue Ground Workers Organizing With Machinists

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IAM 141, United Meet in DC to Discuss Path Forward

IAM 141, United Meet in DC to Discuss Path Forward

IAM 141, United Meet in DC to Discuss Path Forward

13 September 2022

Last week, the principal negotiators from the IAM and United Airlines met in Washington DC to discuss the path forward after negotiations stalled in late July over the critical issues of job security and compensation.

The IAM once again conveyed to the Company that their current positions on wages and job security, the top two priorities IAM members identified, are still unacceptable. Both sides did engage in discussions centered on job security and wages, which were somewhat productive.

The full IAM 141 Negotiating Committee will review and analyze the Company’s latest proposals this month. When that assessment is done, we will report back to the membership.

Future negotiation dates will be communicated to the membership when they are scheduled.

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.

Frontline Power Is Essential to Rebuilding the Labor Movement

Frontline Power Is Essential to Rebuilding the Labor Movement

Frontline Power Is Essential to Rebuilding the Labor Movement

Labor Notes
Excerpted from Democracy Is Power: Rebuilding Unions from the Bottom Up by Mike Parker and Martha Gruelle, available from the Labor Notes store ($15).

Union democracy—defined as rank-and-file power—is the essential ingredient for restoring the power of the labor movement.

Many leaders of the labor movement know that they need members in motion if they’re to win anything. But too many envision a mobilized labor movement as troops ready to respond to the commands of their officers. Top-down control seems so efficient, and times are desperate. Do we really need democracy to have a movement? After all, aren’t people interested in results—not procedures?

There’s a grain of truth to this argument. Among many members, there’s a desire for a “powerful provider” to fight management for them. But even if top-down leadership could get results in the short term, in the long term a union without active members is a union without power—and the bosses know it.

One reason is the very conditions of global capitalism. Global competition means first and foremost that the labor movement must constantly spread. There is no security in organizing one workplace, one industry, or one company. If the organizing does not keep spreading to “take labor out of competition,” union conditions will die.

This process of continuous organization requires not thousands but millions of organizers—millions of workers who tell their sisters, cousins, friends, and lovers they’d be crazy not to join a union. Not millions of members who, when asked, answer, “Yeah, I was in a union once, they didn’t do anything for me.”

If we want members to go out and recruit, then the union has to deliver in the workplaces of the already organized. Members who see their union as a partner with management or as another boss will not carry a strong union vision to their non-union sisters and brothers.

After all, workers who want a union where they work are the ones that management calls troublemakers. It takes only a few moments with these troublemakers to understand that those who refuse to accept injustice from management will not accept it from union leaders either. If we are to recruit, organizers have to be able to look these potential members in the eye when they say, “Your union will belong to you.”

PREPARING THE GROUND

Unions have grown the most in surges, when hundreds of thousands of workers were inspired to act, rather than by slow accretion, one drive at a time. No one knows what will touch off the next upsurge in American history. We do know that we can’t make it happen just by having the right ideas and working hard. Movements grow in part when people respond to big changes in the economy and society.

Does this mean we should just sit back and wait? Far from it. We need to do everything we can to grow now, but in a way that prepares our organizations. We need democratic unions today, to train thousands of leaders and members who’ll be able to step up when the time demands.

In the end, the goal of our movement is not just bigger unions. It’s for working people to function as human beings—not bootlickers, not cogs—starting with our jobs, where we spend most of our waking hours. When we leave our jobs at the end of the day, we should be as healthy as when we started. We should be able to look at the next day, and our retirement years, with a feeling of security, not dread.

Our larger goal is for workers to exert power collectively in the workplace and society—and for that you need much more than bigger unions. You need powerful workers.

The above is an excerpt from Democracy Is Power: Rebuilding Unions from the Bottom Up by Mike Parker and Martha Gruelle. The book is back in print and available from the Labor Notes store ($15).

Hurricane Ian: Emergency Toolkit

Hurricane Ian: Emergency ToolkitIAM141 EAP28 September 2022Florida's airports are being hammered with sustained winds of over 150 mph from Ian, which is on the cusp of becoming a Category 5 Hurricane. A hurricane of this magnitude passing over an area as...

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Machinists Union Air Transport Chief Demands JetBlue Restore Workers’ Hours and Pay

Machinists Union Air Transport Chief Demands JetBlue Restore Workers’ Hours and Pay

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Contact:
James Carlson (202) 500-3916 jcarlson@iamaw.org

Machinists Union Air Transport Chief Demands JetBlue Restore Workers’ Hours and Pay

WASHINGTON D.C., August 22, 2022—International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) Air Transport General Vice President Richard Johnsen today demanded that JetBlue Airways management immediately reverse its decision to cut JetBlue Ground Operations workers’ hours and pay.

Earlier this month, JetBlue management announced cuts to Ground Operations workers’ hours in certain locations on the airline’s system. In many cases, these cuts will result in a 20 percent reduction in pay. “The lack of respect JetBlue management has for its Ground Operations workers is utterly unacceptable. They just spent $3.8 billion to merge with Spirit Airlines and now they cut the hours and pay of the very workers who they claim will benefit from JetBlue’s merger with Spirit,” said IAM Air Transport General Vice President Richard Johnsen. “The IAM will not stand by as JetBlue management takes advantage of the hard-working women and men who have made JetBlue a success. They deserve better.”

JetBlue Ground Operations workers are currently pushing to file for a union election with the Machinists Union, the largest airline union in North America. The goal is to win union representation with the IAM and negotiate a contract that will advance and protect their interests during the merger process with Spirit Airlines. “I want every JetBlue Ground Operations worker to know that the IAM stands with you in your effort to unionize with the IAM and gain a voice in the future of your airline,” continued Johnsen. “JetBlue management needs to stop speaking out of both sides of its mouth. Publicly, CEO Hayes paints the rosiest of pictures when he lauds the benefits of its $3.8 billion merger with Spirit.

But, behind the scenes Ground Ops employees are working in very tough conditions, and now many of them have to contend with hour and pay cuts of up to 20 percent.

Make no mistake, our friends in Congress will be fully informed regarding what’s going on at JetBlue.” Recently, JetBlue Airways and Spirit Airlines announced a $3.8 billion merger agreement. The merger is expected to receive intense scrutiny by the federal government, as airlines have struggled with operational reliability and rising air fares.

The IAM is the largest airline union in North America. 

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

Get Printable Copy >>

JetBlue Ground Operations Crewmembers, please sign a card authorizing a union election at JetBlue.

Request an Authorization Card Here >>

Chicago Guide Dog Golf Outing Raises Funds, Spirits

Chicago Guide Dog Golf Outing Raises Funds, Spirits

Meet Sheldon! Sheldon is a “Puppy in Training” for a bright future in the field of Guide Dogging. Sheldon is just one of the service canines that Guide Dogs of America raises and trains each year. Dogs like Sheldon transform the lives of children with autism, veterans facing PTSD challenges, and the visually impaired. The Golf Outing featuring Sheldon is held each year at Chicago’s IAM Local 1487, which raises as much as $10,000 for this important cause. 

Chicago Guide Dog Golf Outing Raises Funds and Spirits

Community Service
18 August 2022

“He’s a massive baby,” Zack Gittlan said apologetically of the 11-month-old Golden Retriever named Sheldon, who was enthusiastically greeting guests at the annual Golf Outing Charity hosted by Chicago’s Local 1487.

Sheldon, wearing a bright yellow “Puppy in Training” vest is one of the 120 service dogs that Guide Dogs of America raises each year. Each animal will help to improve the lives of people who are visually impaired or children dealing with autism, as well as veterans facing challenges related to PTSD. In addition, Guide Dogs of America provides highly-trained service dogs to facilities such as children’s hospitals, schools, and courtrooms. 

“It takes about two years to raise and train a dog,” Zack said. “We train them to focus on their owners, and to ignore all the things that might distract a pet, like sights, sounds, smells… there’s just a million things that would keep a pet dog occupied. A guide dog has to  be able to overcome those things and provide instant assistance and companionship,” he said. 

But, it truly takes a village to produce the highly skilled canines to become trusted best friends and eager helpers. “It costs about $60,000 to breed, train, and deliver each guide dog,” Zack said. “And we provide all these services to people in need at no cost to them,” he added. “That’s why we are so appreciative of the hard work and support that the Machinists Union provides to us.”

Machinists Union Local 1487 in Chicago has been at the forefront of the effort to support Guide Dogs of America for years. According to the union’s district Community Service Director, Cristina Odoardi, the local has raised “well over $50,000 so far this year,” on behalf of the charity. But, says Cristina, the efforts serve as more than just fundraisers. “We are also strengthening our networks within the community. We’re building bridges and making friends, which is important,” she said. “Plus, we get a chance to meet each other outside of work, and provide opportunities for union members to become more involved,” she said as she detailed examples of community work leading to new shop stewards and heightened volunteerism. 

The Golf Outing itself takes about six months to plan and execute, according to Chicago’s Recording Secretary, Greg Klujewski. “We work on a series of events each year, to raise money and build awareness for Guide Dogs, and also to build community with each other,” he said. “I am deeply humbled and appreciative of the overwhelming support that our union and community have extended to us to make this get-together a success,” he said. “Today, 144 people signed up from all over the country.  “And, every level of our union is represented, from our local lodge to District 141, Air Transport, and the Grand Lodge are here. We have our District President Mike Klemm out here supporting us, and General Vice President Richard Johnsen, and we are grateful for their participation and encouragement.” 

 

“I want to commend Local Lodge 1487’s President, Tony Licciardi and Greg Klujewski for all their work making this happen,” said District President Mike Klemm. “We’re out here bonding and creating a more unified front as we continue to push United Airlines to negotiate a fair contract for our members,” he said. “Events like this create stronger bonds within our union and communities, and at the same time we’re out here supporting a great cause.”

At a boisterous after-event appreciation dinner, General Vice President cheered on the local. Saying “events like this are the crown jewel of our organiazation,” he praised the solidarity it promoted as well as its effectiveness as a fundraiser. District 141 President Mike Klemm also spoke, thanking the attendees and speaking for a few moments about the ongoing efforts the negotiate a contract at United.

Zack Gitland also thanked the Local for its efforts. In a heartfelt statement to the membership, he said that the annual golf outing was among his favorite events to attend. “You guys got to see old friends and golf,” he said. “I get to see the lives you’re changing. I get to see the child with autism that can live a more normal life, thanks to the work you’re doing. I get to see the veteran who needed the love and companionship of his new service dog. I get to see people with a disability who can live independently for the first time. So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.”

 

 

Hurricane Ian: Emergency Toolkit

Hurricane Ian: Emergency ToolkitIAM141 EAP28 September 2022Florida's airports are being hammered with sustained winds of over 150 mph from Ian, which is on the cusp of becoming a Category 5 Hurricane. A hurricane of this magnitude passing over an area as...

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Hurricane Ian: Emergency Toolkit

Hurricane Ian: Emergency Toolkit

Hurricane Ian: Emergency ToolkitIAM141 EAP28 September 2022Florida's airports are being hammered with sustained winds of over 150 mph from Ian, which is on the cusp of becoming a Category 5 Hurricane. A hurricane of this magnitude passing over an area as...

AFL-CIO: Thousands of JetBlue Ground Workers Organizing With Machinists

AFL-CIO: Thousands of JetBlue Ground Workers Organizing With Machinists

Photo Credit: Brian Vega, IAMAW District 141 Social and Visual Media Coordinator.AFL-CIO: Thousands of JetBlue Ground Workers Organizing With MachinistsAFL-CIO28 September 2022Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors,...