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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Rich Evans Appointed to Key U.S. Veterans Affairs Department Committee

Rich Evans Appointed to Key U.S. Veterans Affairs Department Committee

Rich Evans Appointed to Key U.S. Veterans Affairs Department Committee

Rich Evans Appointed to Key U.S. Veterans Affairs Department Committee

IAM141.org

WASHINGTON, DC – IAM Veterans Services Coordinator Rich Evans has been appointed as a Special Government Employee (SGE) to serve as a member of the Department of Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee on Disability Compensation. 

The IAM applauds U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Denis McDonough’s choice in Evans, which shows the Department’s incorporation of diverse perspectives, particularly from individuals with a proven track record in advocating for veterans’ rights.

Evans, a seasoned veterans advocate, has secured over $1.2 million in VA back pay for military veteran members of the IAM, underscoring his unwavering dedication to ensuring that veterans receive the compensation they rightfully deserve.

The Advisory Committee on Disability Compensation plays a vital role in advising U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Denis McDonough on the VA Schedule for Rating Disabilities (VASRD). The Committee is tasked with establishing and overseeing a schedule for periodic reviews of the rating schedule, ensuring its relevance and effectiveness in addressing the diverse needs of veterans.

Evans, a U.S. Navy veteran, brings a wealth of experience to the committee, with firsthand knowledge of the challenges faced by U.S. military veterans.

His advocacy has not only led to substantial financial recoveries for IAM veterans but has also contributed to a better understanding of the intricacies of disabilities arising from military service.

Committee members, appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs, are individuals with expertise in disability compensation from the VA or are leading experts in medicine and science relevant to the Committee’s focus.

“I hope to bring a voice for advocates, as well as veterans, to the committee,” said Evans. “I’m honored to accept this appointment and sit next to fellow advocates, as well as doctors and experts, to make sure our government is doing right by the people who have served our country.”

Because of Evans’ astounding success in supporting IAM veterans and his goal to expand the union’s capacity to do so, the IAM has applied for Veterans Services Organization accreditation. If successful, this would position the IAM as the first international union to officially hold Veterans Service Organization status, further solidifying its commitment to serving the needs of veterans.

“Rich’s appointment to this Advisory Committee on Disability Compensation is a testament to our union’s allegiance to veterans,” said IAM International President Brian Bryant. “The committee will greatly benefit from Rich’s insight and experience. We are grateful to have such a dedicated advocate for veterans in our ranks, and I know that Rich’s presence on the committee will help ensure that the veterans of our nation receive the fair and just compensation they deserve for their sacrifices.”

The IAM Veterans Services Program stands ready to assist IAM military veterans in claiming VA disability and benefits or correcting improperly processed claims. The IAM encourages IAM military veterans to reach out with any questions about how this program could assist in their claims process.

 

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Rich Evans Appointed to Key U.S. Veterans Affairs Department Committee

18 January 2024

WASHINGTON, DC – IAM Veterans Services Coordinator Rich Evans has been appointed as a Special Government Employee (SGE) to serve as a member of the Department of Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee on Disability Compensation. 

The IAM applauds U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Denis McDonough’s choice in Evans, which shows the Department’s incorporation of diverse perspectives, particularly from individuals with a proven track record in advocating for veterans’ rights.

Evans, a seasoned veterans advocate, has secured over $1.2 million in VA back pay for military veteran members of the IAM, underscoring his unwavering dedication to ensuring that veterans receive the compensation they rightfully deserve.

The Advisory Committee on Disability Compensation plays a vital role in advising U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Denis McDonough on the VA Schedule for Rating Disabilities (VASRD). The Committee is tasked with establishing and overseeing a schedule for periodic reviews of the rating schedule, ensuring its relevance and effectiveness in addressing the diverse needs of veterans.

Evans, a U.S. Navy veteran, brings a wealth of experience to the committee, with firsthand knowledge of the challenges faced by U.S. military veterans.

His advocacy has not only led to substantial financial recoveries for IAM veterans but has also contributed to a better understanding of the intricacies of disabilities arising from military service.

Committee members, appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs, are individuals with expertise in disability compensation from the VA or are leading experts in medicine and science relevant to the Committee’s focus.

“I hope to bring a voice for advocates, as well as veterans, to the committee,” said Evans. “I’m honored to accept this appointment and sit next to fellow advocates, as well as doctors and experts, to make sure our government is doing right by the people who have served our country.”

Because of Evans’ astounding success in supporting IAM veterans and his goal to expand the union’s capacity to do so, the IAM has applied for Veterans Services Organization accreditation. If successful, this would position the IAM as the first international union to officially hold Veterans Service Organization status, further solidifying its commitment to serving the needs of veterans.

“Rich’s appointment to this Advisory Committee on Disability Compensation is a testament to our union’s allegiance to veterans,” said IAM International President Brian Bryant. “The committee will greatly benefit from Rich’s insight and experience. We are grateful to have such a dedicated advocate for veterans in our ranks, and I know that Rich’s presence on the committee will help ensure that the veterans of our nation receive the fair and just compensation they deserve for their sacrifices.”

The IAM Veterans Services Program stands ready to assist IAM military veterans in claiming VA disability and benefits or correcting improperly processed claims. The IAM encourages IAM military veterans to reach out with any questions about how this program could assist in their claims process.

 

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Al Yamada: A Legacy of Leadership and Dedication at SEA

Al Yamada: A Legacy of Leadership and Dedication at SEA

Al Yamada: A Legacy of Leadership and Dedication at SEA

Al Yamada: A Legacy of Leadership and Dedication at SEA

IAM141.org

SEATTLE — Ask anyone at Local 1351 in Seattle, and they will struggle to remember a time when Al Yamada wasn’t President. Al has served as President of Local 1351 for so long, in fact, that only the most senior IAM Members at Seattle’s Sea-Tac airport can remember anyone else in the role.

After over three decades of service to Members of the Machinists Union, Al Yamada is set to retire at the end of January. His tenure as a union member and steward spans more than 30 years, a period marked by unwavering dedication and hard-won contributions to the rights of unified airline workers. For the past two decades, he has served the members of Local 1351 as Local Lodge President, gavelling in hundreds of Union Business Meetings and Events over the years.

Al will not need to give up the gavel of Local 1351, even in retirement. In recognition of his years of service, union members presented Al with a commemorative plaque mounted with the gavel he has used for the past 20 years as President. The plaque was presented to Al by Seattle Ramp Chairman Duke Higgins. Assistant General Chairwoman Terry Stansbury also attended the ceremony.

Al Yamada, known for his easygoing and friendly nature, often deflects praise to shine a spotlight on Local 1351 and the city he loves, Seattle. This local, steeped in history as one of the original District 141 lodges founded in 1945, is a source of great pride for him.

As a native of Seattle, Al’s deep connection to the city is evident. He enthusiastically shared this love for his hometown during the District 141 Safety Conference in December 2018, where he not only welcomed attendees but also offered insights into navigating the city’s public transportation.

What truly stands out about Al is his genuine rapport with the members of Local 1351. He is not humble when discussing his fellow union members. To him, these individuals are more than just colleagues; they are friends whose well-being and interests he deeply cares for.

Al’s departure will leave a proud legacy for Local 1351 and the broader union community. His role transcended that of a Local Lodge President; he has been a mentor, a staunch advocate for workers’ rights, and, most importantly, a valued and cherished friend to all who know him.

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Al Yamada: A Legacy of Leadership and Dedication at SEA

16 January 2024

SEATTLE  — Ask anyone at Local 1351 in Seattle, and they will struggle to remember a time when Al Yamada wasn’t President. Al has served as President of Local 1351 for so long, in fact, that only the most senior IAM Members at Seattle’s Sea-Tac airport can remember anyone else in the role.

After over three decades of service to Members of the Machinists Union, Al Yamada is set to retire at the end of January. His tenure as a union member and steward spans more than 30 years, a period marked by unwavering dedication and hard-won contributions to the rights of unified airline workers. For the past two decades, he has served the members of Local 1351 as Local Lodge President, gavelling in hundreds of Union Business Meetings and Events over the years.

Al will not need to give up the gavel of Local 1351, even in retirement. In recognition of his years of service, union members presented Al with a commemorative plaque mounted with the gavel he has used for the past 20 years as President. The plaque was presented to Al by Seattle Ramp Chairman Duke Higgins. Assistant General Chairwoman Terry Stansbury also attended the ceremony.

Al Yamada, known for his easygoing and friendly nature, often deflects praise to shine a spotlight on Local 1351 and the city he loves, Seattle. This local, steeped in history as one of the original District 141 lodges founded in 1945, is a source of great pride for him.

As a native of Seattle, Al’s deep connection to the city is evident. He enthusiastically shared this love for his hometown during the District 141 Safety Conference in December 2018, where he not only welcomed attendees but also offered insights into navigating the city’s public transportation.

What truly stands out about Al is his genuine rapport with the members of Local 1351. He is not humble when discussing his fellow union members. To him, these individuals are more than just colleagues; they are friends whose well-being and interests he deeply cares for.

Al’s departure will leave a proud legacy for Local 1351 and the broader union community. His role transcended that of a Local Lodge President; he has been a mentor, a staunch advocate for workers’ rights, and, most importantly, a valued and cherished friend to all who know him.

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Federal Judge Slaps Down JetBlue-Spirit Merger, Citing Competition Concerns

Federal Judge Slaps Down JetBlue-Spirit Merger, Citing Competition Concerns

Federal Judge Slaps Down JetBlue-Spirit Merger, Citing Competition Concerns

Federal Judge Slaps Down JetBlue-Spirit Merger, Citing Competition Concerns

IAM141.org

U.S. District Judge William Young blocked the $3.8 billion attempt by Jetblue to purchase Spirit Airlines, citing monopolistic concerns. The decision is a victory for the Biden Administration, who had opposed the acquisition.

 

DALLAS — U.S. District Judge William Young ruled against JetBlue Airways’ proposed $3.8 billion acquisition of Spirit Airlines. The ruling, citing competition concerns, aligns with the Biden administration’s opposition to the merger. The ruling was handed down on Monday. 

In March, the Justice Department filed a lawsuit to block the merger, arguing it would increase fares by eliminating Spirit. The DOJ also found airfares were likely to rise if Spirit, a low-cost airline, was removed as an option for air travelers. JetBlue is considering an appeal of today’s ruling. The airline stated the deal is necessary to better compete with larger U.S. airlines.

The Transport Workers Union International President John Samuelsen issued a statement on Tuesday in which he said the decision would end a “period of uncertainty,” at both airlines.

“Both work groups gain in the end,” said Samuelsen. “We won hard-fought economic and work-rule improvements for our JetBlue Inflight Crewmembers while protecting our Guest Service Agents’ contract at Spirit.”

The Transport Workers Union represents 7,000 JetBlue Inflight Crewmembers. On top of regularly scheduled contractual raises, TWU recently wrested from the bosses at JetBlue an additional 17% in pay raises. The TWU also represents Spirit Guest Service Agents at Fort Lauderdale International Airport.

“Robust airline competition makes it more affordable to fly,” The DOJ said in a release dated March 7, 2203. “Travelers depend on low-cost flight options to see the world, go home for the holidays, visit their family and friends, show up to help in an emergency, or travel at the last minute. The Justice Department found that the proposed merger violates the Clayton Act by eliminating the largest, most aggressive ultra-low-cost competitor, grounding Spirit’s most cost-conscious customers, and substantially reducing competition on a significant number of concentrated, overlapping routes that carry millions of passengers.”

“We continue to believe that our combination is the best opportunity to increase competition and choice by bringing low fares and great service to more customers in more markets,” JetBlue said in a response to the decision.

The ruling is a victory for the Biden administration, which has challenged consolidation in various industries, claiming it harms consumers and adds to rising prices. The Justice Department said the JetBlue-Spirit merger would particularly affect travelers dependent on Spirit’s fares.

Judge Young, overseeing the trial last year, stated in his decision that the merger “would substantially lessen competition” in violation of antitrust law.

Following the decision, shares of Spirit Airlines Inc. dropped, while JetBlue shares rose by 8%.

For JetBlue, this is the second major setback in federal court in the space of a year, following the termination of a partnership with American Airlines. Joanna Geraghty will soon replace Robin Hayes, who oversaw both blocked deals in his tenure as CEO.

The decision may allow Frontier Airlines to attempt to buy Spirit again. The two airlines initially announced a deal in 2022, but JetBlue’s higher offer secured the bid for Spirit.

Judge Young’s decision read, in part, “The Court rules that the proposed acquisition violates Section 7 of the Clayton Act. Spirit is a small airline. But there are those who love it. To those dedicated customers of Spirit, this one’s for you. Why? Because the Clayton Act, a 109-year-old statute requires this result –- a statute that continues to deliver for the American people.”

“Summing it up, if JetBlue were permitted to gobble up Spirit -– at least as proposed — it would eliminate one of the airline industry’s few primary competitors that provides unique innovation and price discipline. It would further consolidate an oligopoly by immediately doubling JetBlue’s stakeholder size in the industry. Worse yet, the merger would likely incentivize JetBlue further to abandon its roots as a maverick, low-cost carrier.”

The ruling concluded a 17-day trial featuring Young’s testimony from 22 witnesses, hundreds of exhibits, and extensive evidence submissions. 

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Federal Judge Slaps Down JetBlue-Spirit Merger, Citing Competition Concerns

16 January 2024

U.S. District Judge William Young blocked the $3.8 billion attempt by Jetblue to purchase Spirit Airlines, citing monopolistic concerns. The decision is a victory for the Biden Administration, who had opposed the acquisition.

 

DALLAS — U.S. District Judge William Young ruled against JetBlue Airways’ proposed $3.8 billion acquisition of Spirit Airlines. The ruling, citing competition concerns, aligns with the Biden administration’s opposition to the merger. The ruling was handed down on Monday. 

In March, the Justice Department filed a lawsuit to block the merger, arguing it would increase fares by eliminating Spirit. The DOJ also found airfares were likely to rise if Spirit, a low-cost airline, was removed as an option for air travelers. JetBlue is considering an appeal of today’s ruling. The airline stated the deal is necessary to better compete with larger U.S. airlines.

The Transport Workers Union International President John Samuelsen issued a statement on Tuesday in which he said the decision would end a “period of uncertainty,” at both airlines.

“Both work groups gain in the end,” said Samuelsen. “We won hard-fought economic and work-rule improvements for our JetBlue Inflight Crewmembers while protecting our Guest Service Agents’ contract at Spirit.”

The Transport Workers Union represents 7,000 JetBlue Inflight Crewmembers. On top of regularly scheduled contractual raises, TWU recently wrested from the bosses at JetBlue an additional 17% in pay raises. The TWU also represents Spirit Guest Service Agents at Fort Lauderdale International Airport.

“Robust airline competition makes it more affordable to fly,” The DOJ said in a release dated March 7, 2203. “Travelers depend on low-cost flight options to see the world, go home for the holidays, visit their family and friends, show up to help in an emergency, or travel at the last minute. The Justice Department found that the proposed merger violates the Clayton Act by eliminating the largest, most aggressive ultra-low-cost competitor, grounding Spirit’s most cost-conscious customers, and substantially reducing competition on a significant number of concentrated, overlapping routes that carry millions of passengers.”

“We continue to believe that our combination is the best opportunity to increase competition and choice by bringing low fares and great service to more customers in more markets,” JetBlue said in a response to the decision.

The ruling is a victory for the Biden administration, which has challenged consolidation in various industries, claiming it harms consumers and adds to rising prices. The Justice Department said the JetBlue-Spirit merger would particularly affect travelers dependent on Spirit’s fares.

Judge Young, overseeing the trial last year, stated in his decision that the merger “would substantially lessen competition” in violation of antitrust law.

Following the decision, shares of Spirit Airlines Inc. dropped, while JetBlue shares rose by 8%.

For JetBlue, this is the second major setback in federal court in the space of a year, following the termination of a partnership with American Airlines. Joanna Geraghty will soon replace Robin Hayes, who oversaw both blocked deals in his tenure as CEO.

The decision may allow Frontier Airlines to attempt to buy Spirit again. The two airlines initially announced a deal in 2022, but JetBlue’s higher offer secured the bid for Spirit.

Judge Young’s decision read, in part, “The Court rules that the proposed acquisition violates Section 7 of the Clayton Act. Spirit is a small airline. But there are those who love it. To those dedicated customers of Spirit, this one’s for you. Why? Because the Clayton Act, a 109-year-old statute requires this result –- a statute that continues to deliver for the American people.”

“Summing it up, if JetBlue were permitted to gobble up Spirit -– at least as proposed — it would eliminate one of the airline industry’s few primary competitors that provides unique innovation and price discipline. It would further consolidate an oligopoly by immediately doubling JetBlue’s stakeholder size in the industry. Worse yet, the merger would likely incentivize JetBlue further to abandon its roots as a maverick, low-cost carrier.”

The ruling concluded a 17-day trial featuring Young’s testimony from 22 witnesses, hundreds of exhibits, and extensive evidence submissions. 

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Faysal Silwany Sworn in as Vice President of IAM District 141

Faysal Silwany Sworn in as Vice President of IAM District 141

Faysal Silwany Sworn in as Vice President of IAM District 141

Faysal Silwany Sworn in as Vice President of IAM District 141

IAM141.org

CHICAGO – Faysal Silwany was sworn in as vice president by Machinists Union District President Mike Klemm in a ceremony that took place during Wednesday’s District 141 Executive Board meeting.

Silwany, a member of Local 914 in Newark, New Jersey, has been with United Airlines since 2006, starting as a ramp agent. He began serving as a Union Steward in 2015. He later served as an Executive Board Trustee, and in 2019, he was elected to serve as a Committeeman for Local 914.

In his new role, Silwany will support Assistant General Chairs in the Eastern United States and undertake any additional assignments that union members may require.

His appointment, effective immediately, was unanimously approved by the District 141 Executive Board at the IAMAW District 141 Committee Conference in October.

President Klemm praised Silwany’s appointment, stating, “With Faysal Silwany stepping into the role of Vice President, we are reinforcing our commitment to strong, member-focused leadership. His proven ability to negotiate and advocate effectively will be key in our ongoing efforts to secure the best possible outcomes for our members.”

Silwany will also play a vital role in the upcoming Section 6 Contract Negotiations at United Airlines. Section 6 Negotiations are usually lengthy and can take years to negotiate.

Silwany is an experienced union negotiator and was part of the team that secured critical job protections for union members at 17 separate stations around the nation. The agreements also required the airline to insource work at five stations – Atlanta, Colorado Springs, Miami, Raleigh Durham, and Salt Lake City. The agreements also provided pay raises and work rule changes that will help union members while Section 6 Negotiations are underway.

Silwany’s experience in union negotiations will be crucial in the upcoming contract talks with United Airlines. He was part of the team that negotiated a previous contract extension, which was instrumental in preventing outsourcing, increasing pay, and securing beneficial provisions for union members.

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Faysal Silwany Sworn in as Vice President of IAM District 141

16 November 2023

CHICAGO – Faysal Silwany was sworn in as vice president by Machinists Union District President Mike Klemm in a ceremony that took place during Wednesday’s District 141 Executive Board meeting.

Silwany, a member of Local 914 in Newark, New Jersey, has been with United Airlines since 2006, starting as a ramp agent. He began serving as a Union Steward in 2015. He later served as an Executive Board Trustee, and in 2019, he was elected to serve as a Committeeman for Local 914.

In his new role, Silwany will support Assistant General Chairs in the Eastern United States and undertake any additional assignments that union members may require.

His appointment, effective immediately, was unanimously approved by the District 141 Executive Board at the IAMAW District 141 Committee Conference in October.

President Klemm praised Silwany’s appointment, stating, “With Faysal Silwany stepping into the role of Vice President, we are reinforcing our commitment to strong, member-focused leadership. His proven ability to negotiate and advocate effectively will be key in our ongoing efforts to secure the best possible outcomes for our members.”

Silwany will also play a vital role in the upcoming Section 6 Contract Negotiations at United Airlines. Section 6 Negotiations are usually lengthy and can take years to negotiate.

Silwany is an experienced union negotiator and was part of the team that secured critical job protections for union members at 17 separate stations around the nation. The agreements also required the airline to insource work at five stations – Atlanta, Colorado Springs, Miami, Raleigh Durham, and Salt Lake City. The agreements also provided pay raises and work rule changes that will help union members while Section 6 Negotiations are underway.

Silwany’s experience in union negotiations will be crucial in the upcoming contract talks with United Airlines. He was part of the team that negotiated a previous contract extension, which was instrumental in preventing outsourcing, increasing pay, and securing beneficial provisions for union members.

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Paradise Pups: Golfing for Guide Dogs in Hawaii

Paradise Pups: Golfing for Guide Dogs in Hawaii

Pups in Paradise: Golfing for Guide Dogs in Hawaii

Pups in Paradise: Golfing for Guide Dogs in Hawaii

IAM141.org

+ To support the important work that Guide Dogs is doing, please CLICK HERE

The serene and picturesque Pearl Country Club in Aiea, Hawaii, on the island of Oahu, played host to the 1st annual Pups in Paradise Charity Golf Tournament on Tuesday, September 26. Nestled near the historic Pearl Harbor and the vibrant area of Waikiki, the club is renowned for its stunning views and pristine golf course, making it a sought-after venue for a myriad of events, golf tournaments among them.

The Pups in Paradise Charity Golf Tournament aims to raise funds and awareness for Guide Dogs of America, an organization committed to providing service dogs to individuals who are blind or visually impaired, veterans, and children with autism. The event seeks to support the organization’s mission to foster meaningful and transformative relationships between service dogs and their recipients, enabling them to lead more independent and fulfilling lives. The funds raised during this event will contribute to the continuation of the organization’s services, which are offered at no cost to the recipients, and help transform lives through partnerships with service dogs.

“I want to express my sincere gratitude to all of the sponsors and donors who made this event possible,” said Local 1979 President Derek Morton, who hosted the event. “Without their generous contributions, we would not have been able to achieve such a resounding success. I am truly proud of the hard work and dedication that our local put into making this event happen. Together, we have shown what can be accomplished when we work towards a common goal.”

Event organizers said the outing attracted over a hundred golfers who donated $125 each in support of Guide Dogs of America. The players were joined by local businesses and pro-labor groups who sponsored holes throughout the course, adding several thousand dollars in additional donations and other donations. The sponsors included Hawaiian Airlines, who donated $3,500, and United Airlines, who contributed an impressive array of swag items for the golfers. Even more money was raised through raffles and contests, which included a package to the prestigious Hualalai Golf Course on the Island of O’ahu, valued at $1,800.

The effort is estimated to have raised an estimated $10,000 for the charity.

“This is the first year that we’ve done this,” said Stacey Williams, who helped organize the event. “So, we had to build everything from the ground up,” she said. “We didn’t have anything from previous years that we could use to make sure this would be a success,” she added. “This has been a learning experience for all of us, but now we have a foundation that we can build on for next year.”

Stacey Williams is a District Vice President for the Machinists Union.

Vice President of Operations for Hawaiian Airlines, Lokesh Amaranayaka, praised the event, saying that the fundraiser was an opportunity for the airline to deepen its connections with the community. “We are a fundamental part of Hawaii,” he noted. “When we see this level of community outreach, we need to be there.”

Among the dignitaries attending the event was the President of Guide Dogs of America, Russel Gittlen.

“I really want to thank Local 1979 for starting this program,” he said of the event. “It takes a lot of work, and we really appreciate everyone who helped put this together.”

“And, the help is needed,” he explained. “The total costs of breeding, training, and providng each dog is close to $70,000,” he said. “And that includes ongoing support; we don’t just give the dogs to those in need. We also help people learn to work with their service animal, so they can get the most of their new relationship.”

Guide Dogs of America breeds, trains, and delivers service dogs to a range of recipients. In addition to visually impaired persons, the organization also offers assistive dogs to veterans facing challenges related to PTSD, nursing homes, and children with autism. The services are provided at no charge to beneficiaries.

Machinists Union General Vice President Richard Johnsen praised Local 1979 for their commitment to the community and union members. “This is an astounding effort,” he said of the outing. “This local deserves to be recognized for the work they’ve done here and for their unyielding efforts to look out for the membership,” he said.

Johnsen led a delegation to Maui earlier in the week, delivering Disaster Relief checks to union members still dealing with the lingering effects of the wildfires that devastated so much of the island. “I’m incredibly proud of the work this local has done to assist union members on Maui,” he said. “It’s all part of the commitment this local has repeatedly demonstrated to solidarity and service.”

“Let’s keep lifting each other up,” he continued. 

In addition to Hawaiian Airlines and United, the outing attracted several sponsors, including National Group Protection, Pepsi, Berkshire Hathaway, 100 Sails Restaurant and Bar, Heineken, Modelo, Corona, the Four Seasons Resort, the Polynesian Cultural Center, and Miller Lite. Generous support was also provided by the Air Transport Territory and District 141 of the Machinists Union.

The outing drew support from all corners of the Machinists Union.
In attendance:

Richard Johnsen, IAMAW General Vice President, Airline Territory
Edison Fraser, IAMAW Airline Territory Chief of Staff
Tom Regan, IAMAW Airline Coordinator
John Coveny, President and Directing Chair, IAMAW District 142
Joe Shultz, Secretary-Treasurer, IAMAW District 142
Arthur Croker, Assistant General Chair, IAMAW District 141
Stacey Williams, Vice President, Hawaii, IAMAW District 141
Shannon Robello, Assistant General Chair, IAMAW District 141
Troy Rivera, Assistant General Chair, IAMAW District 141
Olu Ajetomobi, Assistant General Chair, IAMAW District 141
Rich Robinson, Assistant General Chair, IAMAW District 141
Kyle Carroll, Assistant General Chair, IAMAW District 141
Cristina Odoardi, IAMAW District 141 Community Service Director

 

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To all Fleet Service Association Members employed at American Airlines:We are contractually permitted to begin Section 6 Negotiations with American Airlines in September of this year. In preparation for those negotiations, we will be surveying all Association Members...

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Pups in Paradise: Golfing for Guide Dogs in Hawaii

September 26, 2023

+ To support the important work that Guide Dogs is doing, please CLICK HERE

The serene and picturesque Pearl Country Club in Aiea, Hawaii, on the island of Oahu, played host to the 1st annual Pups in Paradise Charity Golf Tournament on Tuesday, September 26. Nestled near the historic Pearl Harbor and the vibrant area of Waikiki, the club is renowned for its stunning views and pristine golf course, making it a sought-after venue for a myriad of events, golf tournaments among them.

The Pups in Paradise Charity Golf Tournament aims to raise funds and awareness for Guide Dogs of America, an organization committed to providing service dogs to individuals who are blind or visually impaired, veterans, and children with autism. The event seeks to support the organization’s mission to foster meaningful and transformative relationships between service dogs and their recipients, enabling them to lead more independent and fulfilling lives. The funds raised during this event will contribute to the continuation of the organization’s services, which are offered at no cost to the recipients, and help transform lives through partnerships with service dogs.

“I want to express my sincere gratitude to all of the sponsors and donors who made this event possible,” said Local 1979 President Derek Morton, who hosted the event. “Without their generous contributions, we would not have been able to achieve such a resounding success. I am truly proud of the hard work and dedication that our local put into making this event happen. Together, we have shown what can be accomplished when we work towards a common goal.”

Event organizers said the outing attracted over a hundred golfers who donated $125 each in support of Guide Dogs of America. The players were joined by local businesses and pro-labor groups who sponsored holes throughout the course, adding several thousand dollars in additional donations and other donations. The sponsors included Hawaiian Airlines, who donated $3,500, and United Airlines, who contributed an impressive array of swag items for the golfers. Even more money was raised through raffles and contests, which included a package to the prestigious Hualalai Golf Course on the Island of O’ahu, valued at $1,800.

The effort is estimated to have raised an estimated $10,000 for the charity.

“This is the first year that we’ve done this,” said Stacey Williams, who helped organize the event. “So, we had to build everything from the ground up,” she said. “We didn’t have anything from previous years that we could use to make sure this would be a success,” she added. “This has been a learning experience for all of us, but now we have a foundation that we can build on for next year.”

Stacey Williams is a District Vice President for the Machinists Union.

Vice President of Operations for Hawaiian Airlines, Lokesh Amaranayaka, praised the event, saying that the fundraiser was an opportunity for the airline to deepen its connections with the community. “We are a fundamental part of Hawaii,” he noted. “When we see this level of community outreach, we need to be there.”

Among the dignitaries attending the event was the President of Guide Dogs of America, Russel Gittlen.

“I really want to thank Local 1979 for starting this program,” he said of the event. “It takes a lot of work, and we really appreciate everyone who helped put this together.”

“And, the help is needed,” he explained. “The total costs of breeding, training, and providng each dog is close to $70,000,” he said. “And that includes ongoing support; we don’t just give the dogs to those in need. We also help people learn to work with their service animal, so they can get the most of their new relationship.”

Guide Dogs of America breeds, trains, and delivers service dogs to a range of recipients. In addition to visually impaired persons, the organization also offers assistive dogs to veterans facing challenges related to PTSD, nursing homes, and children with autism. The services are provided at no charge to beneficiaries.

Machinists Union General Vice President Richard Johnsen praised Local 1979 for their commitment to the community and union members. “This is an astounding effort,” he said of the outing. “This local deserves to be recognized for the work they’ve done here and for their unyielding efforts to look out for the membership,” he said.

Johnsen led a delegation to Maui earlier in the week, delivering Disaster Relief checks to union members still dealing with the lingering effects of the wildfires that devastated so much of the island. “I’m incredibly proud of the work this local has done to assist union members on Maui,” he said. “It’s all part of the commitment this local has repeatedly demonstrated to solidarity and service.”

In addition to Hawaiian Airlines and United, the outing attracted several sponsors, including National Group Protection, Pepsi, Berkshire Hathaway, 100 Sails Restaurant and Bar, Heineken, Modelo, Corona, the Four Seasons Resort, the Polynesian Cultural Center, and Miller Lite. Generous support was also provided by the Air Transport Territory and District 141 of the Machinists Union.

The outing drew support from all corners of the Machinists Union.
In attendance:

Richard Johnsen, IAMAW General Vice President, Airline Territory
Edison Fraser, IAMAW Airline Territory Chief of Staff
Tom Regan, IAMAW Airline Coordinator
John Coveny, President and Directing Chair, IAMAW District 142
Joe Shultz, Secretary-Treasurer, IAMAW District 142
Stacey Williams, Vice President, Hawaii, IAMAW District 141
Shannon Robello, Assistant General Chair, IAMAW District 141
Troy Rivera, Assistant General Chair, IAMAW District 141
Olu Ajetomobi, Assistant General Chair, IAMAW District 141
Rich Robinson, Assistant General Chair, IAMAW District 141
Kyle Carroll, Assistant General Chair, IAMAW District 141
Cristina Odoardi, IAMAW District 141 Community Service Director

 

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Pre-Negotiation Surveys at American Airlines are Now Open

Pre-Negotiation Surveys at American Airlines are Now Open

To all Fleet Service Association Members employed at American Airlines:We are contractually permitted to begin Section 6 Negotiations with American Airlines in September of this year. In preparation for those negotiations, we will be surveying all Association Members...