United in Remembrance: EWR Honors Friendships, Lives Together

United in Remembrance: EWR Honors Friendships, Lives Together

United in Remembrance

Members of Local 914 in Newark remember lives lost, join to lift spirits.

Machinists Union members joined co-workers from United and other airport employees in front of Terminal C at Newark Liberty Airport on Wednesday morning to remember 12 United workers who have died from complications due to COVID-19.

The event was organized by Nereida Perez, a United Customer Service Agent and member of IAM Local Lodge 914. In front of an arrangement of 12 white balloons with the name of every Newark-based United worker who lost their battle with the disease, several speakers called for unity and hope during times of trial. IAM member Gyana Garcia reminded event participants that “life, friendships and heart is what matters,” and to celebrate the lives of co-workers who are “soaring as high as our planes will go.” 


New York and New Jersey lead the nation in confirmed cases of coronavirus and deaths, and the Newark area remains under strict restrictions to combat the outbreak. Officers from the Port Authority Police closed the upper-level road leading to the terminal to allow attendees to maintain physical distancing during the ceremony. Some of those who attended are on voluntary leaves of absence, but traveled to the airport to share memories and support brothers and sisters who remain at work.


The ceremony honored the lives of 11 employees from ramp, customer service, catering ops, tech ops, administrative and one retired customer service worker. Local 914 member Lance Williams led the crowd in a rendition of “Amazing Grace,” and Tyrone Coley announced to the crowd he was honored to sing at the event just before he began his retirement. 


Nereida was grateful to co-workers and supervisors for their help planning the event and was pleased with the strong response and solidarity. “We needed to do this to help each other,” she said. 

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Helping Hands Newsletter: Healthy Workplace Relationships

Helping Hands Newsletter: Healthy Workplace Relationships

EAP Peers;

As many communities and states start to ease the restrictions everyone has been under, there will be concerns about returning to the workplace. For most of us, we have been at work as essential workers. Returning to the workplace isn’t an issue because we have continued to be in the workplace. There are many physical issues that have been and will be addressed. Of concern also are the relationships in the workplace. Each of us brings our own set of concerns about what our workplace will look like going forward. This issue focuses on workplace relationships. 

There are ideas about how to foster positive relationships in the workplace. Additionally, responding to co-workers when they are anxious, depressed or showing any signs of not coping are addressed.

The EAP peer network is an important part of the corona virus recovery. Thank you for continuing to be a part of this network! I am grateful for each one of you and all of the support you are giving to everyone around you. We will get through this!

Bryan Hutchinson, M.S.

Helping Hands Special Edition

The Employee Assistance Program is a compassionate, confidential, and free service that has helped hundreds of people cope with personal crises.

Machinists Union Withdraws United Lawsuit After Airline Drops Illegal Furlough Plan

Machinists Union Withdraws United Lawsuit After Airline Drops Illegal Furlough Plan

The Machinists Union today withdrew its lawsuit against United Airlines after the carrier backed down from its plans to cut the pay rates of its entire full-time Fleet Service and Customer Service workgroups by reducing their hours worked.

The IAM maintains the right to return to Federal Court if United Airlines again attempts to circumvent the CARES Act or the IAM’s collective bargaining agreements.

Fraternally and in Solidarity,

Michael G. Klemm
President and Directing General Chairman
IAMAW, District Lodge 141

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Hawaiian Airlines Negotiations Update

Hawaiian Airlines Negotiations Update

 May 8, 2020

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

We hope this communication finds you safe and healthy. As you are aware, we entered into Limited Issue/Expedited Negotiations with Hawaiian Airlines in the month of February. The majority of the Negotiating sessions were spent on sharing the proposals of both sides. We spent time explaining your proposals and listening to the Company proposals so that we had a very good understanding of the intention/purpose of the Company proposals. We were able to make some progress and felt that we were on our way to reaching a good Agreement on your behalf. The plan was to meet most of the month of April in hopes of reaching that Agreement. Unfortunately, due to the COVID 19 pandemic, we were not able to meet to further the discussions.

On Monday, May 4, We held a conference call with the Company to discuss resuming Negotiations. We made it very clear that our position remains unchanged. We must reach an agreement that rewards our Members at HA fairly for their hard work and sacrifices. We believe that HA will survive the current state of the Airline Industry and will return to profitability. Today’s hard work and sacrifice will make that possible. You deserve to be recognized for that moving in to the future. That recognition comes from a good Contract. An agreement was made to extend the timeframe for the Expedited Negotiations.

The plan for Negotiations will be to resume meeting with the Company as soon as the quarantine order is lifted by the State of Hawaii. We hope that happens sometime in June. Our position will be to pick up where we left off in March.

In closing, thank you for all you do. It is with your support and solidarity that your Negotiating Committee will be able to secure a good contract on your behalf.

In solidarity, 

Mike Klemm

President and Directing General Chair, District 141, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers

Dave Supplee

President and Directing General Chair, District 142, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers

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Joint Letter from Bob Martinez and Richard Trumka to Donald Trump

Joint Letter from Bob Martinez and Richard Trumka to Donald Trump

May 5, 2020

President Donald J. Trump

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

We hope you share our outrage that United Airlines, a few short days after accepting $5 billion of taxpayer dollars which it committed to use to allow it to continue to pay its employees their wages until the end of September, has quickly broken that promise. Having pocketed the money, United has turned around and told over 15,000 full-time employees that their wages will be drastically reduced as they will be allowed to work only on a part-time basis. In addition to drastically cutting the wages of these workers, United’s decision would also be a major cut in employees’ sick leave, vacation and retirement benefits. These actions are a direct violation of the obligations it undertook when it received federal relief through the CARES Act and reflect a stunning breach of trust. We urge you to use your full authority to intervene and order United to rescind its decision to take away full employment for its employees.

United’s action threatens to undermine the principal goal of the CARES Act, which was to protect employee wages in this crisis. If left standing, United’s attack on its employees will send a clear message to other carriers that they too can ignore their worker retention obligations with impunity. The tens of thousands of employees that the CARES Act was intended to protect will be left out in the cold while companies take the money and run.

We are not alone in our outrage over United’s handling of this matter. In a letter to United, Senator Josh Hawley stated:

During such a severe economic crisis, it is critical that our own corporations act as responsible stewards over their respective workforces. Decisions by major employers like United Airlines can reverberate widely across the labor market, affecting communities and working families alike. The taxpayers of this country have offered a generous bailout to your company and you should, in turn, honor this trust by keeping the promises you made to those you employ.

With over 30 million Americans out of work, now is not the time for unscrupulous companies to undermine the clear intent of the federal relief effort aimed at worker retention. Is it too much to ask corporations like United to honor their commitments under the CARES Act? We respectfully request that you intervene immediately and order United to honor its commitments to the United States and to its employees and continue to pay its employees the wages that federal funding has secured.


Robert G. Martinez Jr.
International President,
International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers

Richard L. Trumka 

cc: Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi
House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer

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Letter from International Transport Workers Federation Supporting IAM Members at United

Letter from International Transport Workers Federation Supporting IAM Members at United

The International Transport Workers Federation sent a letter to United’s CEO in solidarity with the IAM. The full text of the letter is below. 

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To Scott Kirby, CEO of United Airlines

I write you today on behalf of the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF), which represents nearly 700 transport trade unions from 150 countries with a total membership of around 20,000,000 working men and women. Our affiliate the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW) has informed us that United Airlines decided to initiate forced layoffs, which the IAM states is in breach of their contracts, while taking billions of US taxpayers funded airline bailout funds.

According to our information, the carrier will cut the pay and benefits of all full-time IAMAW members at United Airlines. Needless to say, these measures will severely hurt United Airlines’ employees and their families.

Like our affiliate IAMAW, the ITF also recognizes the need for airlines to save money in these extremely challenging times. From the very early days of the global pandemic, the ITF and its aviation affiliates have been fighting, together with airlines, for government aid to help support the global airline industry. On 21 April 2020, the ITF and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) issued a joint statement calling for support from governments to the aviation industry, to protect jobs and ensure that air services can be maintained.

However, unfortunately, we understand that these recently announced cuts are not utterly about saving money. We can see this from the fact that United Airlines has categorically refused to engage with the IAMAW in cost-saving discussions. The IAMAW believes and explains in detail that engaging in social dialog would provide the carrier with the same amount of financial relief without feeling the need of cutting workers’ contracts or the CARES (the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act.

As you may know, against this backdrop, the IAMAW is considering all possible legal options, including filing a lawsuit against United Airlines to stop the unilateral action and protect its membership. If the IAMAW opts for this option, the ITF and its aviation affiliates all around the world will not hesitate to provide legal support and lawful solidarity to their brothers and sisters who work for United Airlines.

Quite contrary to the current path United Airlines is set on, a climate of trust, built through social dialog is essential to the effective implementation of measures to address the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak. Strengthened respect for, and reliance on, mechanisms of social dialog creates a strong basis for building resilience, and the commitment of employers and workers to painful but necessary policy measures. This is particularly key during times of heightened social tension. The International Labour Organization’s (ILO’s) Employment and Decent Work for Peace and Resilience recommendation (No. 205) emphasize, in particular, the importance of social dialog in responding to crisis and the vital role of employers and workers organizations in crisis response.

Furthermore, the recommendation emphasizes the key role of consultation and encouraging active participation of employers’ and workers’ organizations in planning, implementing, and monitoring measures for recovery and resilience. It additionally underlines the necessity of recognizing the freedom of association and protection of the right to organize convention (No. 87), and the right to organize and collective bargaining convention (No. 98).

As highlighted in the ITF-IATA joint statement, there is no doubt that as employers and unions we can navigate our way through this crisis only by working side by side. On the other hand, unilateral and socially irresponsible responses to the crisis, will increase tensions, lower trust, and most probably lead to intensified conflict in the near future.

The ITF will closely monitor the situation.

I look forward to your positive response on these urgent and important matters.

Yours sincerely,

Stephen Cotton
General Secretary

Sito Pantoja, IAM General Vice President
Joseph Tiberi, ITF Civil Aviation Chair
Michael Klemm, President, IAM District 141
United Holdings, Inc. Board of Directors

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