WATCH: Storms Blow American Plane from Jet-Bridge

WATCH: Storms Blow American Plane from Jet-Bridge

WATCH: Storms Blow American Plane from Jet-bridge

WATCH: Storms Blow American Plane from Jet-Bridge

IAM141.org

DFW — A dramatic incident unfolded at Dallas Fort Worth Airport on Tuesday when powerful winds pushed an American Airlines Boeing 737 from its gate. The nose of the 90,000-pound aircraft was shoved along the tarmac, disconnecting the loading bridge. Fortunately, no passengers were on board, and maintenance crews are conducting thorough inspections to make necessary repairs. Video footage capturing the event highlights the severity of the storm.

The video above was posted to Youtube and is courtesy of TRIMFEED.

The incident was part of a series of destructive weather events that swept through North Texas. High winds and heavy rain left a trail of damage and knocked out power for thousands. Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins issued a disaster declaration, warning it could take days for some residents to see power restored. The hurricane-force winds nearly collapsed a building in Dallas and caused flash flooding on major roadways, creating significant traffic problems.

These storms follow an earlier round of severe weather on May 7 that left one million Texans without power for days. Some residents are still without power from those earlier events, compounding the current challenges.

Machinists Union members can report any safety concern through the Ground Safety Action Programs (GSAP), which encourage voluntary reporting of safety hazards and incidents. IAM District 141 President Michael Klemm supports these programs to ensure workplace safety improvements.

The Machinists Union Disaster Relief Fund provides assistance to members and their families affected by natural disasters. Union members can contact an Assistant General Chair to determine eligibility for aid.

To see if you qualify for disaster relief assistance, contact your Grievance Committee or Assistant General Chairperson.

We have a quick favor to ask. The IAM Disaster Relief Fund is fully funded by donations from union members, and every contribution makes a difference. Any size of donation is important and helps support our members and their families during natural disasters. Your generosity ensures that we can continue to provide immediate assistance when it’s needed the most.

 

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Stay up to date with all the latest news and information from the District 141 of the Machinists Union

WATCH: Storms Blow American Plane from Jet-Bridge

29 May 2024

DFW — A dramatic incident unfolded at Dallas Fort Worth Airport on Tuesday when powerful winds pushed an American Airlines Boeing 737 from its gate. The nose of the 90,000-pound aircraft was shoved along the tarmac, disconnecting the loading bridge. Fortunately, no passengers were on board, and maintenance crews are conducting thorough inspections to make necessary repairs. Video footage capturing the event highlights the severity of the storm.

The video above was posted to Youtube and is courtesy of TRIMFEED.

The incident was part of a series of destructive weather events that swept through North Texas. High winds and heavy rain left a trail of damage and knocked out power for thousands. Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins issued a disaster declaration, warning it could take days for some residents to see power restored. The hurricane-force winds nearly collapsed a building in Dallas and caused flash flooding on major roadways, creating significant traffic problems.

These storms follow an earlier round of severe weather on May 7 that left one million Texans without power for days. Some residents are still without power from those earlier events, compounding the current challenges.

Machinists Union members can report any safety concern through the Ground Safety Action Programs (GSAP), which encourage voluntary reporting of safety hazards and incidents. IAM District 141 President Michael Klemm supports these programs to ensure workplace safety improvements.

The Machinists Union Disaster Relief Fund provides assistance to members and their families affected by natural disasters. Union members can contact an Assistant General Chair to determine eligibility for aid.

To see if you qualify for disaster relief assistance, contact your Grievance Committee or Assistant General Chairperson.

We have a quick favor to ask.

The IAM Disaster Relief Fund is fully funded by donations from union members, and every contribution makes a difference. Any size of donation is important and helps support our members and their families during natural disasters. Your generosity ensures that we can continue to provide immediate assistance when it’s needed the most.

 

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$500 Fine for Employer Behind Gruesome Teenage Amputation Incident

$500 Fine for Employer Behind Gruesome Teenage Amputation Incident

Owner of US Guys Processing, Darin Wilbur. Wilbur was found guilty in a criminal case of child endangerment at his business which resulted in a teenager losing his right hand in a meat grinder. He was fined $500 plus costs for the violations. 

$500 Fine for Employer Behind Gruesome Teenage Amputation Incident

IAM141.org

On August 8, 55-year-old Darin Wilbur was fined $1,143 for hiring a minor to perform a hazardous job, leading to the young worker’s hand being lost in a meat grinder, according to Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel.

The amputation happened on November 19, 2019. According to a state filing, a 17-year-old employee of US Guys Processing in Iona County, Michigan, was operating a meat grinder when his right hand was pulled into the machine.

Soon after the injury, the Michigan Wage and Hour Division took Wilbur, who was supervising him at the time of the accident, to court. The investigation found that Wilbur had illegally ordered the teen to perform work listed as “hazardous” by the State of Michigan. Investigators also found that he failed to secure a work permit for the minor, as required by Michigan law.

The Division’s findings were submitted to the State Department of the Attorney General to pursue a criminal complaint. In August, Wilbur pleaded guilty to the charges.

After the guilty plea, Ionia County District Judge Raymond Voet fined Wilbur $500, plus an additional $148 in fees owed to the teen. Wilbur was also responsible for a “costs” payment to the court.

In passing the sentence, Judge Voet said there was no compelling reason for jail time or probation. He added that child welfare laws clashed with the views of many area residents.

“Ionia County is a farming county, and I know a lot of people in this county view children working, sometimes around dangerous machinery, as part of growing up,” Judge Voet said of the case. He added that the minor would have turned 18 anyway, saying, “Two months later, we wouldn’t even be here.” Additionally, Judge Voet found that Wilbur had told him to “be careful” working with the meat grinder and was unaware of the need to secure work permits for young workers.

“Our labor laws were written to protect children from dangerous workplaces; however, they lack the teeth needed to properly hold bad employers accountable for violations,” said Nessel at the time of Wilbur’s plea. “This case highlights the need to strengthen these protections, as well as the consequences for violations, and I look forward to working with the legislature on this critical work to protect the state’s youth.”

Nessel called on the legislature to re-evaluate the fines for employing minors without the requisite permits and the current statutes and penalties surrounding using children in hazardous occupations, a misdemeanor.

US Guys Processing workers are not unified and do not possess union rights to file grievances when their employer violates the terms of their employment. They also cannot file actionable safety reports or request regular inspections of the facilities, as union members can do.

Front-line workers can file a safety report anytime in the heavily-unified airline industry. These reports are known as Ground Safety Action (GSAP) or Air Safety Action (ASAP) reports, effectively make every employee a fully-deputized safety inspector. The reports are non-punitive, meaning that union members will not face discipline if they report a safety violation or close calls involving their airport duties.

Non-Union employees often have no legal recourse if exposed to unsafe conditions at work. For most, taking a matter to court is too expensive and time-consuming to be a realistic option.

In 2022, a spate of state legislatures enacted measures to roll back child labor laws. Many would make the violations that led to the Michigan teens injuries legal by removing penalties such as fines and jail time for offenders.

Federal regulations ensuring basic safeguards for child workers were established almost a hundred years ago. The child labor regulations have led many to believe that placing teens and children in unsafe working conditions was a thing of the past. In fact, there has been a surge in breaches of child labor laws, even as state legislators are increasingly trying to dilute the criteria safeguarding children at work.

According to a study by the Economic Policy Institute, there’s been a 37% increase in minors working in contravention of child labor laws over the past year alone. Furthermore, in the last two years, a minimum of 10 states have either introduced or approved laws that diminish child labor protections. These efforts to undermine state-level child labor regulations are driven by a concerted push from industry factions aiming to weaken nationwide federal standards. Even worse, the level of child endangerment is likely much higher, as most cases go unreported or even unrecognized as instances of child abuse. As Judge Voet points out, many victims of such abuse consider their mistreatment a normal part of growing up.

Tougher penalties for child labor violations could help reduce the number of children and teens hurt and killed by abusive and exploitative employers. Still, these measures are unlikely to become law anytime soon.

As the Economic Policy Institute study points out, seven bills that will weaken protections for children in workplaces have been introduced in six states. These include Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, and South Dakota.) Arkansas has repealed protections for 14-year-olds, and Minnesota allows teens to work on construction sites. These policies are in addition to already-lax investigations and enforcement of child labor laws, which rely on small fines such as that levied by Judge Voet in the criminal complaint against Daren Wilbur – and those fines are only applied to reported cases. Child labor fines can be calculated as a regular cost of doing business.

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Owner of US Guys Processing, Darin Wilbur. Wilbur was found guilty in a criminal case of child endangerment at his business which resulted in a teenager losing his right hand in a meat grinder. He was fined $500 plus costs for the violations.

$500 Fine for Employer Behind Gruesome Teenage Amputation Incident

August 10, 2023

On August 8, 55-year-old Darin Wilbur was fined $1,143 for hiring a minor to perform a hazardous job, leading to the young worker’s hand being lost in a meat grinder, according to Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel.

The amputation happened on November 19, 2019. According to a state filing, a 17-year-old employee of US Guys Processing in Iona County, Michigan, was operating a meat grinder when his right hand was pulled into the machine.

Soon after the injury, the Michigan Wage and Hour Division took Wilbur, who was supervising him at the time of the accident, to court. The investigation found that Wilbur had illegally ordered the teen to perform work listed as “hazardous” by the State of Michigan. Investigators also found that he failed to secure a work permit for the minor, as required by Michigan law.

The Division’s findings were submitted to the State Department of the Attorney General to pursue a criminal complaint. In August, Wilbur pleaded guilty to the charges.

After the guilty plea, Ionia County District Judge Raymond Voet fined Wilbur $500, plus an additional $148 in fees owed to the teen. Wilbur was also responsible for a “costs” payment to the court.

In passing the sentence, Judge Voet said there was no compelling reason for jail time or probation. He added that child welfare laws clashed with the views of many area residents.

“Ionia County is a farming county, and I know a lot of people in this county view children working, sometimes around dangerous machinery, as part of growing up,” Judge Voet said of the case. He added that the minor would have turned 18 anyway, saying, “Two months later, we wouldn’t even be here.” Additionally, Judge Voet found that Wilbur had told him to “be careful” working with the meat grinder and was unaware of the need to secure work permits for young workers.

“Our labor laws were written to protect children from dangerous workplaces; however, they lack the teeth needed to properly hold bad employers accountable for violations,” said Nessel at the time of Wilbur’s plea. “This case highlights the need to strengthen these protections, as well as the consequences for violations, and I look forward to working with the legislature on this critical work to protect the state’s youth.”

Nessel called on the legislature to re-evaluate the fines for employing minors without the requisite permits and the current statutes and penalties surrounding using children in hazardous occupations, a misdemeanor.

US Guys Processing workers are not unified and do not possess union rights to file grievances when their employer violates the terms of their employment. They also cannot file actionable safety reports or request regular inspections of the facilities, as union members can do.

Front-line workers can file a safety report anytime in the heavily-unified airline industry. These reports are known as Ground Safety Action (GSAP) or Air Safety Action (ASAP) reports, effectively make every employee a fully-deputized safety inspector. The reports are non-punitive, meaning that union members will not face discipline if they report a safety violation or close calls involving their airport duties.

Non-Union employees often have no legal recourse if exposed to unsafe conditions at work. For most, taking a matter to court is too expensive and time-consuming to be a realistic option.

In 2022, a spate of state legislatures enacted measures to roll back child labor laws. Many would make the violations that led to the Michigan teens injuries legal by removing penalties such as fines and jail time for offenders.

Federal regulations ensuring basic safeguards for child workers were established almost a hundred years ago. The child labor regulations have led many to believe that placing teens and children in unsafe working conditions was a thing of the past. In fact, there has been a surge in breaches of child labor laws, even as state legislators are increasingly trying to dilute the criteria safeguarding children at work.

According to a study by the Economic Policy Institute, there’s been a 37% increase in minors working in contravention of child labor laws over the past year alone. Furthermore, in the last two years, a minimum of 10 states have either introduced or approved laws that diminish child labor protections. These efforts to undermine state-level child labor regulations are driven by a concerted push from industry factions aiming to weaken nationwide federal standards. Even worse, the level of child endangerment is likely much higher, as most cases go unreported or even unrecognized as instances of child abuse. As Judge Voet points out, many victims of such abuse consider their mistreatment a normal part of growing up.

Tougher penalties for child labor violations could help reduce the number of children and teens hurt and killed by abusive and exploitative employers. Still, these measures are unlikely to become law anytime soon.

As the Economic Policy Institute study points out, seven bills that will weaken protections for children in workplaces have been introduced in six states. These include Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, and South Dakota.) Arkansas has repealed protections for 14-year-olds, and Minnesota allows teens to work on construction sites. These policies are in addition to already-lax investigations and enforcement of child labor laws, which rely on small fines such as that levied by Judge Voet in the criminal complaint against Daren Wilbur – and those fines are only applied to reported cases. Child labor fines can be calculated as a regular cost of doing business.

 

 

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Corporate Judge Blocks Paid Sick Leave Law

Corporate Judge Blocks Paid Sick Leave Law

Corporate Judge Blocks Paid Sick Leave Law

IAM141.org

Federal Judge Strikes Down Massachusetts’ Paid Sick Leave Law for Airline Workers, Leaving Thousands of Workers Without a Vital Benefit

A federal judge has ruled in favor of a group of major airlines, blocking the enforcement of Massachusetts’ paid sick leave law for their flight and ground crewmembers. The ruling is a blow to thousands of workers who are denied the right to earn sick time and take care of their health and families.

The lawsuit was filed in 2018 by Airlines for America (A4A), a trade association that represents American Airlines, United, Southwest, JetBlue, and other carriers. A4A argued that the state law, which requires employers to provide one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to 40 hours per year, was unconstitutional and preempted by federal law.

The judge agreed with A4A, saying that the law would impose an undue burden on interstate commerce and interfere with the airlines’ prices, routes, and services. The judge also said that the law would cause flight delays and cancellations and create a patchwork of different state sick leave requirements.

The ruling ignores the benefits of the law for workers and public health, especially during a pandemic. The law, which took effect in 2015, was passed by voters as a ballot initiative with overwhelming support. The law aims to protect workers from losing their jobs or wages when they are sick or need to care for a family member. The law also helps prevent the spread of illnesses and infections in workplaces and communities.

The ruling also disregards the evidence that paid sick leave laws do not harm businesses or the economy. According to a report by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, paid sick leave laws have not led to job losses, reduced hours, or lower wages in states and cities that have adopted them. On the contrary, paid sick leave laws have been associated with improved productivity, reduced turnover, and increased consumer spending.

The ruling is a victory for powerful corporations and industry lobbyists who put profits over people. A4A has been fighting against paid sick leave laws across the country, including in Washington state, where it filed a similar lawsuit in 2018. A4A has also opposed other measures that would benefit workers and passengers, such as increasing the minimum wage, enhancing safety standards, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The ruling in Massachusets is expected to weaken similar rulings in every state that has enacted them. 

The ruling is a setback for working people and their advocates, who have been fighting for fair and humane labor standards. The Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, which defended the law in court, said it was disappointed with the decision and is considering its options. The office said it remains committed to protecting workers’ rights and enforcing the law.

The ruling is not final and could be appealed or overturned by Congress or the Supreme Court. In the meantime, airline workers in Massachusetts will continue to face uncertainty and hardship when they get sick or need to care for their loved ones.

The Judge Who Oversaw the Case

The judge who oversaw the case was U.S. District Judge Allison D. Burroughs. She was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2014 and confirmed by the Senate in 2015. She is one of only two women judges on the U.S. District Court that includes Massachusetts.

Judge Burroughs has a record of ruling against workers’ rights and in favor of corporate interests. In 2019, she dismissed a class action lawsuit by former employees of Dunkin’ Donuts who alleged that they were misclassified as independent contractors and denied overtime pay and other benefits. 

In contrast, Judge Burroughs has sided with big businesses in several cases involving antitrust claims, patent disputes, and trademark infringement. She has also granted injunctions to prevent state regulations from affecting corporate operations.

Judge Burroughs’ ruling in favor of A4A is consistent with her pro-business bias and her disregard for workers’ welfare. She ignored the testimony of experts who testified that paid sick leave laws do not cause significant disruptions or costs for airlines. She also failed to consider the impact of her ruling on public health and social justice.

Judge Burroughs’ ruling is an example of how corporate power seems to reliably influence judicial decisions and undermine democracy. It shows why workers need to organize and fight for their rights at every level of government.

The Impact of the Ruling on Working People in Massachusetts

The court ruling that exempts airline workers from Massachusetts’ paid sick leave law has serious consequences for working people in the state. The ruling deprives thousands of workers of a basic benefit that is essential for their well-being and economic security.

Paid sick leave is a vital protection for workers who face health challenges, either for themselves or their family members. Without paid sick leave, workers may have to choose between going to work while sick or staying home without pay, risking their health, income, and job security. This choice can have negative effects on workers’ physical and mental health, as well as their financial stability.

Paid sick leave also benefits public health and the economy. By allowing workers to stay home when sick, paid sick leave helps prevent the spread of contagious diseases, such as COVID-19, influenza, and other infections. This reduces the burden on the healthcare system and saves lives. According to various studies, paid sick leave also boosts worker productivity, reduces turnover, and increases consumer spending.

Despite these benefits, many workers in the U.S. lack access to paid sick leave, especially low-wage workers, women, people of color, and part-time workers. The U.S. is the only developed country that does not guarantee paid sick leave to all workers at the national level. While some states and cities have passed their own paid sick leave laws, these laws vary widely in terms of coverage, eligibility, and generosity.

Massachusetts’ paid sick leave law is one of the most progressive in the country. It covers nearly all workers in the state, regardless of employer size or industry. It allows workers to earn up to 40 hours of paid sick leave per year at their regular rate of pay. It also protects workers from retaliation or discrimination for using their sick time.

The court ruling that blocks the enforcement of this law for airline workers undermines the intent and purpose of the law. It creates a two-tier system of workers’ rights, where some workers have access to the states’ paid sick leave, and others do not. It also creates confusion and inconsistency for employers and employees who operate in multiple states with different laws.

The court ruling also sets a dangerous precedent for other industries that may seek to challenge state-paid sick leave laws on similar grounds. It opens the door for more lawsuits that could erode workers’ rights and benefits across the country.

The court ruling is a reminder that working people need stronger federal protections for paid sick leave. While some temporary measures were enacted during the pandemic, such as the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, they have since expired or been scaled back. A permanent national paid sick leave policy is needed to ensure that all workers have access to this essential benefit, regardless of where they work or what they do.

Working people deserve dignity and respect in their jobs. They deserve to be able to take care of themselves and their loved ones without fear of losing their livelihoods. They deserve paid sick leave.

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Corporate Judge Blocks Paid Sick Leave Law

June 5, 2023

Federal Judge Strikes Down Massachusetts’ Paid Sick Leave Law for Airline Workers, Leaving Thousands of Workers Without a Vital Benefit

A federal judge has ruled in favor of a group of major airlines, blocking the enforcement of Massachusetts’ paid sick leave law for their flight and ground crewmembers. The ruling is a blow to thousands of workers who are denied the right to earn sick time and take care of their health and families.

The lawsuit was filed in 2018 by Airlines for America (A4A), a trade association that represents American Airlines, United, Southwest, JetBlue, and other carriers. A4A argued that the state law, which requires employers to provide one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to 40 hours per year, was unconstitutional and preempted by federal law.

The judge agreed with A4A, saying that the law would impose an undue burden on interstate commerce and interfere with the airlines’ prices, routes, and services. The judge also said that the law would cause flight delays and cancellations and create a patchwork of different state sick leave requirements.

The ruling ignores the benefits of the law for workers and public health, especially during a pandemic. The law, which took effect in 2015, was passed by voters as a ballot initiative with overwhelming support. The law aims to protect workers from losing their jobs or wages when they are sick or need to care for a family member. The law also helps prevent the spread of illnesses and infections in workplaces and communities.

The ruling also disregards the evidence that paid sick leave laws do not harm businesses or the economy. According to a report by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, paid sick leave laws have not led to job losses, reduced hours, or lower wages in states and cities that have adopted them. On the contrary, paid sick leave laws have been associated with improved productivity, reduced turnover, and increased consumer spending.

The ruling is a victory for powerful corporations and industry lobbyists who put profits over people. A4A has been fighting against paid sick leave laws across the country, including in Washington state, where it filed a similar lawsuit in 2018. A4A has also opposed other measures that would benefit workers and passengers, such as increasing the minimum wage, enhancing safety standards, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The ruling in Massachusets is expected to weaken similar rulings in every state that has enacted them. 

The ruling is a setback for working people and their advocates, who have been fighting for fair and humane labor standards. The Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, which defended the law in court, said it was disappointed with the decision and is considering its options. The office said it remains committed to protecting workers’ rights and enforcing the law.

The ruling is not final and could be appealed or overturned by Congress or the Supreme Court. In the meantime, airline workers in Massachusetts will continue to face uncertainty and hardship when they get sick or need to care for their loved ones.

The Judge Who Oversaw the Case

The judge who oversaw the case was U.S. District Judge Allison D. Burroughs. She was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2014 and confirmed by the Senate in 2015. She is one of only two women judges on the U.S. District Court that includes Massachusetts.

Judge Burroughs has a record of ruling against workers’ rights and in favor of corporate interests. In 2019, she dismissed a class action lawsuit by former employees of Dunkin’ Donuts who alleged that they were misclassified as independent contractors and denied overtime pay and other benefits. 

In contrast, Judge Burroughs has sided with big businesses in several cases involving antitrust claims, patent disputes, and trademark infringement. She has also granted injunctions to prevent state regulations from affecting corporate operations.

Judge Burroughs’ ruling in favor of A4A is consistent with her pro-business bias and her disregard for workers’ welfare. She ignored the testimony of experts who testified that paid sick leave laws do not cause significant disruptions or costs for airlines. She also failed to consider the impact of her ruling on public health and social justice.

Judge Burroughs’ ruling is an example of how corporate power seems to reliably influence judicial decisions and undermine democracy. It shows why workers need to organize and fight for their rights at every level of government.

The Impact of the Ruling on Working People in Massachusetts

The court ruling that exempts airline workers from Massachusetts’ paid sick leave law has serious consequences for working people in the state. The ruling deprives thousands of workers of a basic benefit that is essential for their well-being and economic security.

Paid sick leave is a vital protection for workers who face health challenges, either for themselves or their family members. Without paid sick leave, workers may have to choose between going to work while sick or staying home without pay, risking their health, income, and job security. This choice can have negative effects on workers’ physical and mental health, as well as their financial stability.

Paid sick leave also benefits public health and the economy. By allowing workers to stay home when sick, paid sick leave helps prevent the spread of contagious diseases, such as COVID-19, influenza, and other infections. This reduces the burden on the healthcare system and saves lives. According to various studies, paid sick leave also boosts worker productivity, reduces turnover, and increases consumer spending.

Despite these benefits, many workers in the U.S. lack access to paid sick leave, especially low-wage workers, women, people of color, and part-time workers. The U.S. is the only developed country that does not guarantee paid sick leave to all workers at the national level. While some states and cities have passed their own paid sick leave laws, these laws vary widely in terms of coverage, eligibility, and generosity.

Massachusetts’ paid sick leave law is one of the most progressive in the country. It covers nearly all workers in the state, regardless of employer size or industry. It allows workers to earn up to 40 hours of paid sick leave per year at their regular rate of pay. It also protects workers from retaliation or discrimination for using their sick time.

The court ruling that blocks the enforcement of this law for airline workers undermines the intent and purpose of the law. It creates a two-tier system of workers’ rights, where some workers have access to the states’ paid sick leave, and others do not. It also creates confusion and inconsistency for employers and employees who operate in multiple states with different laws.

The court ruling also sets a dangerous precedent for other industries that may seek to challenge state-paid sick leave laws on similar grounds. It opens the door for more lawsuits that could erode workers’ rights and benefits across the country.

The court ruling is a reminder that working people need stronger federal protections for paid sick leave. While some temporary measures were enacted during the pandemic, such as the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, they have since expired or been scaled back. A permanent national paid sick leave policy is needed to ensure that all workers have access to this essential benefit, regardless of where they work or what they do.

Working people deserve dignity and respect in their jobs. They deserve to be able to take care of themselves and their loved ones without fear of losing their livelihoods. They deserve paid sick leave.

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United Airlines to Require Employee Vaccinations (Survey)

United Airlines to Require Employee Vaccinations (Survey)

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United Airlines to Require Employee Vaccinations (Survey)

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Reversing his earlier promise not to be the first to issue vaccine mandates, United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby announced that all US-based employees must be vaccinated against COVID-19 by this fall.

This move by United was poorly communicated to Union Members, and reverses earlier promises.
Today’s announcement reverses Kirby’s statement he made in January of this year when he said, “I don’t think United will get away with and can realistically be the only company that requires vaccines and makes them mandatory. We need some others…to show leadership, particularly in the healthcare industry.”

District 141 stands by the position shared with members at that time, encouraging incentives, not mandates. “We expected better collaboration between United’s executives and the airline’s unions on this critical issue,” said IAMAW District 141 President, Mike Klemm. “Clearly, we are working with a different regime, the Oscar Muñoz style of management is over,” said Klemm.

Ramp, Gate, and Ticket Counter workers will need to upload proof of vaccination.
United workers can upload an image of their vaccination card on the United employee’s FlyingTogether website. For most employees, once it’s been recorded, it will be stored in “My Info” near your Payroll Advice and W2 forms. 

When will I need to have my vaccination records uploaded?
You should upload your vaccination information to Flying Together as soon as possible. The deadline to have records on file is five weeks after September 20, 2021, or five weeks after the FDA gives the vaccine full approval, whichever comes first. The latest possible date for having your vaccination records on file is October 25th, but the FDA is expected to grant full approval status much sooner – which means that waiting until October 25th may be a bad idea that could result in disciplinary action. If you’re vaccinated, please upload your vaccination records right away. 

What are the incentives for getting vaccinated?
Since vaccines first became available, the IAMAW has been working with airlines to develop incentive programs to encourage employees to get vaccinated. At airlines like United, this has led to things like on-site vaccination clinics, time off from work, and educational outreach efforts. Now, United is offering an extra day of pay for those who get vaccinated. That means additional hours will be added to your paycheck, based on how many hours you are scheduled to work. That’s free money to do something that can save you and those around you from getting seriously hurt or killed by this virus.

Companies can legally require vaccines, and airlines have been doing it for years.
In December, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) ruled that requiring employees to take a COVID vaccine does not violate the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). Legal experts are in broad agreement that employers may require vaccines for those who want to do certain jobs and to reduce risks to customers and their workforces.

Many companies already require vaccinations and other job-related medical examinations. Medical staff, teachers and students, workers in the adult industry, and military service members are a few examples of occupations where vaccinations are required to protect employees from diseases. Airlines have been requiring vaccinations for employees such as pilots and flight attendants for years.

As for the COVID vaccines specifically, airlines may not have a choice whether to require vaccinations, especially those carriers that fly to international destinations. Many countries are drafting requirements for everyone traveling in or out of their borders, including vaccinations. As this happens, anyone traveling to those areas will need to get vaccinated against COVID – both passengers and flight crews alike.

How will the company handle employees that refuse to get vaccinated?
The United announcement was not explicit on repercussions for workers that refuse to follow the new guidelines. However, it seems clear that vaccinations will soon be a requirement for anyone wishing to hold a position at United Airlines in the US. Vaccinations are now considered to be a safety requirement at the airline. Actions by employees that affect safety can result in discipline.

Any disciplinary action will be subject to the standard Grievance Process.

Employees with specific disabilities and sincerely held religious beliefs may have additional legal rights that employers must respect. The EEOC can offer further guidance and legal assistance.

Both SARS-CoV-2 vaccines currently available are safe and effective in preventing the transmission of COVID-19.
Before becoming available for public use, each COVID vaccine goes through extensive testing and oversight. They must pass rigorous clinical trials, meet stringent federal guidelines, and undergo continuous monitoring for side effects, allergies, and any other problems.

All available vaccines in the US are currently approved by the FDA for emergency use. Full FDA approval is anticipated in September 2021. 

All FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines available today are proven safe and effective against the coronavirus. However, the CDC recommends that anyone who had an anaphylactic (life-threatening) reaction to the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine should not have a second dose. It also advises anyone who is allergic to any ingredients in COVID-19 vaccines to not get vaccinated. Any employees who fall into those categories should be exempted from any vaccine mandate. These allergies have arisen in a tiny number of recipients, but no fatalities or severe reactions have been recorded.

None of the approved COVID-19 vaccines have resulted in widespread health concerns; from clinical trials to real-world use. No fatalities or serious injuries have been reported from the millions of injections that have occurred so far. In contrast, the coronavirus has killed more than 615,000 people in the US, and thousands more are suffering from long-term effects as a result of contracting the deadly disease.

In recent years, anti-vaccine sentiments have become popular in some groups, but there is no scientific basis for vaccine panic.

Widespread vaccinations against COVID will help achieve the “herd immunity” to the virus that is necessary for the airline industry to carry enough passengers and return to profitability over the next few years… and the only way that most airline workers will remain safely employed.

More information about the safety of vaccines is available from Johns Hopkins University.

Without mass vaccinations against COVID-19, airline work will become extremely precarious. Anyone working at any airline could suddenly find themselves out of a job.
Since the pandemic was declared in March 2020, travel has plummeted from more than 2 million passengers a day to a low of below 90,000. Over a year later, air traffic is still at lower than typical levels. Airlines have asked for billions of dollars in supplemental government aid so they can survive while the pandemic rages worldwide. In spite of all that help, more than a dozen airlines have declared bankruptcy, resulting in thousands of jobs lost permanently. Even with vaccinations widely available, mask mandates, COVID testing, and other measures, commercial aviation is in a precarious position.

The COVID vaccines are a lifeline for US airline workers. However, it could still take months to fully vaccinate 350 million Americans and end the pandemic once and for all. For airlines, the sooner Americans get immunized on a mass scale, the sooner airlines can recover. 

What are your thoughts on this topic? Do you support or oppose mandatory vaccinations for airline workers? Let us know by completing this short survey:

 

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Letters: Vaccinations Are Happening

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Letters: Vaccinations Are Happening

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Letters: One Shot From a More Normal Life

I was able to get vaccinated on Sunday at the Clinic in Chicago. I got the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, but I would have been happy to get any of the approved vaccines that are available.  I would like to thank District 141 and United for helping to make this happen. 

There are three reasons I opted to receive the shot. First off, I do not want to get Covid-19. 

I have not seen my 89-year-old father since January of last year, and this separation has been very hard on our family.  My dad lives in a healthcare facility in SAN, and the risks to the residents were too great to allow visitors like me.

He has told me that the isolation that he has endured over the past year has been incredibly painful. He compares it to his experiences on the front lines during the Korean War. 

He has received both his shots and looks forward to seeing us in the very near future face to face once again. Now that I’m vaccinated as well, our family can be together, in the same place again. This is a major step towards getting back to a normal life.

I also enjoy traveling when it is vacation time. Wherever travelers want to go, getting there will be easier with a vaccination card in hand.

It’s been nearly 24 hours since getting my shot, and I have had no side effects at all. Not even a sore arm. If anything, I feel as if a heavy burden has been lifted from me, because it has. I urge everyone to get vaccinated as soon as it’s your turn and help other people get vaccinated if you can. You won’t believe how good it feels to have this pandemic behind you. 

William Salo,
IAMAW District 141 Safety Director, United Airlines

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IAMAW District 141 Safety Coordinator for American Airlines and Safety Chair, Dennis Spencer has helped lead groundbreaking efforts in front-line safety. His work includes the innovative UnionSafe141.org website, which allows airline workers to report, track and record safety concerns at any airport in the US – right from a smartphone. His work has led to hundreds of safety reports, helped drive legal action, and has removed countless hazards from the workplace at American Airlines.

DL 141 Report: Safety First, Safety Always with Dennis Spencer

This week, we catch up with Dennis Spencer, District 141 Safety Coordinator at American Airlines, to find out how the development of the Ground Safety Action Program (GSAP) at American is progressing.

Brother Dennis and a group of dedicated safety advocates are busy and excited about the rollout of this program that will help increase awareness and education on the actions and procedures we should all follow so we can go home just as healthy and safe as we came into work. 

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