United Airlines’ Denver Hiring Spree Draws Hundreds from Guam

United Airlines’ Denver Hiring Spree Draws Hundreds from Guam

United Airlines’ Denver Hiring Spree Draws Hundreds from Guam

IAM141.org

United Airlines officials announced today that 460 residents of Guam have relocated to Denver after accepting positions as ramp agents, following a 2-day job fair held on the island in January.

The move follows months of efforts by the airline to fill vacancies and hire new agents for a planned expansion in Denver, which is planned to eventually add about 1,800 new workers. About 2,600 Guam residents applied for the jobs, with 460 making it through the highly-specialized hiring process.

Entry-level wages in the Denver area start at around $20 an hour, with the union-negotiated payscales topping out at about $90,000 a year. Despite the high pay and union-protected job security, United has struggled to find new hires to work at Denver International. Efforts to find new workers have involved moving bonuses ranging well into the thousands of dollars.

Recently, United Airlines CFO Gerry Laderman dismissed speculation that the carrier could move its Headquarters from Chicago to Denver despite its recent purchase of over 100 acres of land near Denver International Airport.

Laderman was asked about the possible move at a September 6 investment conference.

“There are no imminent plans for that,” Laderman told the TD Cowen 16th annual Global Transportation Conference investors. “We have a long-term lease at the Willis Tower, our Headquarters. We’ve been there for decades in Chicago.”

The carrier recently purchased over 100 acres near Denver International Airport as part of a multi-million dollar expansion in the region, which includes a renewed presence at Colorado Springs. The investments led to some media speculation that the airline was considering relocating its Headquarters to the Denver area.

Laderman compared Denver to Houston, the home of former Continental Airlines, until the airline’s 2010 merger with United Airlines. “It’s fair to say Denver is like Houston. “We have a lot of facilities in Houston, and our in-flight training center’s there,” he said. “We have all sorts of operations there,” he continued. “Denver’s the same way.”

“We’ve outgrown it,” he said. “So one of the first things we’ll do with that new space we have is we have now a location to be able to expand the flight training center. And then over the years, we’ll find other opportunities.”

The idea that United might be interested in relocating to Denver is plausible; the land purchase was just the most recent action fueling such speculation. Denver is the second-busiest hub in United’s system, ranking right behind Houston’s IAH.

Denver rarely sees the types of stormy weather found in Chicago or Houston, where severe weather is a near-constant concern. Annually, Denver sees an average of 300 days of sunshine. Its position in the center of the United States would also give the carrier a Headquarters located about the same distance from its primary hubs, including San Francisco, Newark, Houston, and Chicago.

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

United Airlines’ Denver Hiring Spree Draws Hundreds from Guam

September 8, 2023

United Airlines officials announced today that 460 residents of Guam have relocated to Denver after accepting positions as ramp agents, following a 2-day job fair held on the island in January.

The move follows months of efforts by the airline to fill vacancies and hire new agents for a planned expansion in Denver, which is planned to eventually add about 1,800 new workers. About 2,600 Guam residents applied for the jobs, with 460 making it through the highly-specialized hiring process.

Entry-level wages in the Denver area start at around $20 an hour, with the union-negotiated payscales topping out at about $90,000 a year. Despite the high pay and union-protected job security, United has struggled to find new hires to work at Denver International. Efforts to find new workers have involved moving bonuses ranging well into the thousands of dollars.

Recently, United Airlines CFO Gerry Laderman dismissed speculation that the carrier could move its Headquarters from Chicago to Denver despite its recent purchase of over 100 acres of land near Denver International Airport.

Laderman was asked about the possible move at a September 6 investment conference.

“There are no imminent plans for that,” Laderman told the TD Cowen 16th annual Global Transportation Conference investors. “We have a long-term lease at the Willis Tower, our Headquarters. We’ve been there for decades in Chicago.”

The carrier recently purchased over 100 acres near Denver International Airport as part of a multi-million dollar expansion in the region, which includes a renewed presence at Colorado Springs. The investments led to some media speculation that the airline was considering relocating its Headquarters to the Denver area.

Laderman compared Denver to Houston, the home of former Continental Airlines, until the airline’s 2010 merger with United Airlines. “It’s fair to say Denver is like Houston. “We have a lot of facilities in Houston, and our in-flight training center’s there,” he said. “We have all sorts of operations there,” he continued. “Denver’s the same way.”

“We’ve outgrown it,” he said. “So one of the first things we’ll do with that new space we have is we have now a location to be able to expand the flight training center. And then over the years, we’ll find other opportunities.”

The idea that United might be interested in relocating to Denver is plausible; the land purchase was just the most recent action fueling such speculation. Denver is the second-busiest hub in United’s system, ranking right behind Houston’s IAH.

Denver rarely sees the types of stormy weather found in Chicago or Houston, where severe weather is a near-constant concern. Annually, Denver sees an average of 300 days of sunshine. Its position in the center of the United States would also give the carrier a Headquarters located about the same distance from its primary hubs, including San Francisco, Newark, Houston, and Chicago.

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Hurricane Idalia: Emergency Resources

Hurricane Idalia: Emergency Resources

Hurricane Idalia Emergency Resources

Union Resources

Contact your Assistant General Chair or Local Grievance Committee for help accessing the IAM Disaster Relief Fund.

Disaster Relief Information

Employee Assistance Program

IAM141 Community Service

Airports are likely to have suffered damage as a result of the storm. If you see any safety-related issues when returning to work, please complete a safety report (GSAP, GSIP, etc.)
Safety Page

All IAM members can obtain confidential help through the IAM Employee/Member Assistance Program. Services include but are not limited to addictions, mental health, stress, depression, and financial hardship.

You can reach the confidential IAM Assistance Helpline by calling 301-335-0735 or emailing iameap@iamaw.org.

As an IAM member, you could also be eligible for a $500 disaster relief grant through the Union Plus Disaster Relief Grant program.

 

Mobile Apps

Florida Storms – Florida Public Radio Emergency Network Google Play  iTunes

Florida 511 – Get up-to-the-minute, real-time traffic conditions and incident information for the State of Florida with Florida 511.

FEMA – mobile app

Red Cross – mobile apps

Everbridge – mobile apps

Gas Buddy – Gas station availability

  •  
Traffic

 

Florida 511 – Get up-to-the-minute, real-time traffic conditions and incident information for the State of Florida with Florida 511.

Florida Highway Patrol – Florida Highway Patrol Live Traffic Crash and Road Condition Report. Reports are updated every five minutes. Incidents located within city limits also may not show on the map since it is not common practice for FHP to work incidents inside city limits.

Florida Traffic – Traffic incidents and conditions from Florida 511 and Florida Highway Patrol brought to you by Florida State Emergency Response Team Geographic Information Systems.

Evacuation Information

All Florida coastal counties and counties are susceptible to storm surges, and most have designated evacuation zones. 

Mapping tool: Allows those in the storm’s path to search by address and determine if you are in a designated evacuation zone. 

Evacuation Zones – to determine if you are in a designated evacuation zone

Evacuation Orders: View Florida County evacuation orders.

Read More About Evacuation Zones – learn more about designated evacuation zones, which counties have them and which don’t, how flood zones are factored into evacuations, and evacuation orders.

Shelter Status and Openings

Please go to Summary Shelter Information for currently open general and special needs shelters within the State of Florida. 

For information from your county Emergency Management program regarding shelter preparedness and lists of potential shelters that may be opened, please visit the Shelter Information Index and choose your county.

View Open Shelters on a map.

Special Needs Assistance

If you know or care for an individual with access or functional needs, such as a medical condition that requires assistance but not hospitalization, it is important that you pre-register with the Florida Special Needs Shelter Registry.

For more Special Needs Sheltering Information, here

 

State Assistance Information Hotline
Florida’s State Assistance Information Line (SAIL) is active.

This toll-free hotline is activated to provide additional resources to help Floridians receive accurate & up-to-date information regarding Hurricane Idalia.

State Assistance Information Line: 1-800-342-3557

Report Fraud or Price Gouging
FEMA will never ask you for money to provide disaster assistance. Recognize fraud:  
  • FEMA employees will always have an official ID  
  • Don’t trust anyone who offers financial help & asks for money or personal info.  
  • Always talk with someone you trust.

Ways to Report Fraud to FEMA

For more information, visit fema.gov/disaster-fraud

Report Price Gouging in Florida

  • Call: 1-866-966-7226
Emergency Planning

While living in and visiting Florida offers many benefits and advantages, it is important to keep in mind severe weather hazards and potential threats. Every family and business should have predefined emergency plans and always keep an emergency supply kit ready and stocked.

Each Florida county has a designated emergency management program, and residents, businesses, and visitors should also visit their county’s emergency management for the most up-to-date and locally significant information.

 

Over 1,500 Flights Canceled Due to Hurricane Idalia

IAMAW141 | 30 August, 2023

By Wednesday morning, Hurricane Idalia had severely impacted the Gulf Coast Big Bend region, resulting in the cancellation of over 1,500 flights and the delay of at least 1,000 more.

The storm was the worst to hit the region in more than 120 years.

The Federal Aviation Authority has announced that multiple airports, such as Tampa, St. Pete-Clearwater, Sarasota, and Tallahassee, are shut down. They might reopen on Thursday, based on the amount of damage the storm caused.

Aviation tracking website FlightAware data shows Southwest Airlines being the hardest hit, with 200 canceled flights. American, Delta and United Airlines saw 200 additional delays and 300 cancellations at 9:00 a.m.

Passengers flying to airports in the path of Hurricane Idalia have been notified by major airlines, including Delta, JetBlue, Southwest, and United. These airlines offer free booking changes within a specific time frame to accommodate the hurricane’s impact on travel plans.

The National Hurricane Center reported that just before 8 a.m. ET, Idalia arrived at Keaton Beach in Florida’s Big Bend region as a Category 3 storm, with maximum sustained winds of 125 mph and even higher gusts.

In preparation for potential impacts from Invest 93L, Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida has declared a state of emergency for 33 counties. This order enables state officials to provide necessary resources to any affected areas.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency for 33 counties in the hours leading up to Idalia’s landfall. The order allows state officials to make critical resources available to areas that the storm may impact.

Florida is home to thousands of Machinists Union Members centered around the state’s airports. 

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The Wage Debate: Why Better Wages Are Good News for Everyone—Even Workers

The Wage Debate: Why Better Wages Are Good News for Everyone—Even Workers

The Wage Debate: Why Better Wages Are Good News for Everyone—Even Workers

IAM141.org

We live in a society with the dubious honor of boasting a powerful and activist Managerial Class. This class would love little more than to convince a critical mass of working people to accept smaller paychecks. One way they accomplish this goal is to convince working people that they are going broke because they earn too much money. 

It may sound unlikely, but the argument has been instrumental in preventing a raise in the Federal Minimum Wage for the past 14 years, demonstrating both its ability to mislead and its staying power.

Another variant: workers are regularly warned that should their paychecks grow too large, their jobs could be outsourced to some far-flung corner of the world where employees will be less expensive and less impudent.

In recent years, the push for better wages has gained significant momentum, thanks in no small part to the tireless efforts of unions and worker advocates. Yet, a recurring argument persistently challenges this progress: the notion that higher wages inevitably lead to higher consumer prices, hurting the very people the movement aims to help. This argument may seem convincing, but is it grounded in reality?

The Blame Game: Workers as Scapegoats

Workers are being blamed for higher prices and portrayed as harming society through greed. For instance, wait staff are blamed for higher restaurant prices to make patrons angry at other members of the same working class instead of the owners and their endless quest for profits. 

There’s no universe in which profiteers will ever have enough money. Therefore, price hikes are inevitable and not caused by higher wages; they will always charge as much for their products as possible.

At the same time, workers are threatened by the Managerial Class with a lose-lose proposition: keep asking for more money, and we’ll increase the prices you pay for the things you need. This strategy aims to pit workers against each other and deflects attention from the true culprits behind rising costs.

The belief that higher wages harm consumers has been perpetuated to instill fear and division among working people. Far from being detrimental, better wages have been shown to significantly benefit the working class as a whole, creating a ripple effect of positive impacts across society.

So, whether you’re a worker concerned about the implications of wage increases or a consumer wary of price hikes, there’s good news. Better wages are not the enemy we’ve been led to believe. In fact, they could be the hero we’ve all been waiting for.

The Argument Against Wages

According to economic theory, labor costs, which are a part of the marginal cost of production, play a crucial role in setting consumer prices. Economists such as Richard Layard, Stephen Nickell, and Richard Jackman have argued that higher wages require higher consumer prices. Increased prices, they claim, neutralize the higher wages.

“…when buoyant demand reduces unemployment (at least relative to recent experienced levels), inflationary pressure develops. Firms start bidding against each other for labour, and workers feel more confident in pressing wage claims. If the inflationary pressure is too great, inflation starts spiraling upwards: higher wages lead to higher price rises, leading to still higher wage rises, and so on. This is the wage-price spiral.”

  •  Richard Layard, Stephen Nickell, and Richard Jackman, The unemployment crisis

This isn’t an argument for lower consumer prices, as it pretends to be. This is an argument against the very concept of wages. 

Effectively, the argument asks us to believe that lower wages are in the best interests of working people. If workers get paid less, they will enjoy more money since the prices they pay for goods and services are lower. 

Companies have various methods to absorb the increased labor costs that don’t involve raising prices, such as improving operational efficiencies or accepting slightly lower profit margins. 

The “wage-price spiral” argument is essentially circular reasoning. It assumes that higher wages will automatically lead to higher prices, which will then cause ever higher wages, and so on. It ignores completely the existence of self-correcting mechanisms in an economy, like increased supply or reduced demand, which can break the cycle. It also uses a slippery slope fallacy by implying that any wage increase will inevitably lead to runaway inflation. This also ignores vast empirical evidence that moderate wage increases have not led to uncontrollable inflation.

Wages Now vs. Wages Later

Firstly, the fear of higher prices is often predicated on the wages workers earn now, not the wages they would make after a raise. This is a crucial oversight. A significant wage increase could easily offset a modest increase in the cost of living. For example, a 10% increase in wages coupled with a 2% increase in the cost of goods still leaves the worker 8% better off.

Anti-union managers often employ similar reasoning to dissuade non-union workers from organizing. They raise the specter of unaffordable union dues as a deterrent, attempting to scare workers away from the benefits of collective bargaining. This argument is a variant of the anti-wage increase argument and is equally flawed for similar reasons.

Just as workers might fear higher prices based on their current wages rather than potential higher wages, non-union workers often calculate the cost of union dues against their current, lower wages. They’re not considering what they would be making if they were part of a union, which often includes higher wages, better benefits, job security, and improved working conditions.

By focusing on the immediate cost of union dues without considering the broader financial and social benefits of union membership, workers are making an incomplete assessment that only serves the interests of anti-union managers. It’s a fear tactic designed to maintain the status quo, keeping workers disempowered and wages low.

Like the argument against wage increases, the union dues fear tactic is a form of economic manipulation that seeks to keep workers in a state of uncertainty and apprehension, preventing them from taking steps that would improve their lives both financially and socially.

The truth is that the belief that higher wages harm consumers has been perpetuated to instill fear and division among working people. Far from being detrimental, better wages have been shown to significantly benefit the working class as a whole, creating a ripple effect of positive impacts across society.

In other words, when it comes to wages, sometimes more is more. 

+ Read the full report HERE

 

 

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

The Wage Debate: Why Better Wages Are Good News for Everyone—Even Workers

August 29, 2023

We live in a society with the dubious honor of boasting a powerful and activist Managerial Class. This class would love little more than to convince a critical mass of working people to accept smaller paychecks. One way they accomplish this goal is to convince working people that they are going broke because they earn too much money. 

It may sound unlikely, but the argument has been instrumental in preventing a raise in the Federal Minimum Wage for the past 14 years, demonstrating both its ability to mislead and its staying power.

Another variant: workers are regularly warned that should their paychecks grow too large, their jobs could be outsourced to some far-flung corner of the world where employees will be less expensive and less impudent.

In recent years, the push for better wages has gained significant momentum, thanks in no small part to the tireless efforts of unions and worker advocates. Yet, a recurring argument persistently challenges this progress: the notion that higher wages inevitably lead to higher consumer prices, hurting the very people the movement aims to help. This argument may seem convincing, but is it grounded in reality?

The Blame Game: Workers as Scapegoats

Workers are being blamed for higher prices and portrayed as harming society through greed. For instance, wait staff are blamed for higher restaurant prices to make patrons angry at other members of the same working class instead of the owners and their endless quest for profits. 

There’s no universe in which profiteers will ever have enough money. Therefore, price hikes are inevitable and not caused by higher wages; they will always charge as much for their products as possible.

At the same time, workers are threatened by the Managerial Class with a lose-lose proposition: keep asking for more money, and we’ll increase the prices you pay for the things you need. This strategy aims to pit workers against each other and deflects attention from the true culprits behind rising costs.

The belief that higher wages harm consumers has been perpetuated to instill fear and division among working people. Far from being detrimental, better wages have been shown to significantly benefit the working class as a whole, creating a ripple effect of positive impacts across society.

So, whether you’re a worker concerned about the implications of wage increases or a consumer wary of price hikes, there’s good news. Better wages are not the enemy we’ve been led to believe. In fact, they could be the hero we’ve all been waiting for.

The Argument Against Wages

According to economic theory, labor costs, which are a part of the marginal cost of production, play a crucial role in setting consumer prices. Economists such as Richard Layard, Stephen Nickell, and Richard Jackman have argued that higher wages require higher consumer prices. Increased prices, they claim, neutralize the higher wages.

“…when buoyant demand reduces unemployment (at least relative to recent experienced levels), inflationary pressure develops. Firms start bidding against each other for labour, and workers feel more confident in pressing wage claims. If the inflationary pressure is too great, inflation starts spiraling upwards: higher wages lead to higher price rises, leading to still higher wage rises, and so on. This is the wage-price spiral.”

  •  Richard Layard, Stephen Nickell, and Richard Jackman, The unemployment crisis

This isn’t an argument for lower consumer prices, as it pretends to be. This is an argument against the very concept of wages. 

Effectively, the argument asks us to believe that lower wages are in the best interests of working people. If workers get paid less, they will enjoy more money since the prices they pay for goods and services are lower. 

Companies have various methods to absorb the increased labor costs that don’t involve raising prices, such as improving operational efficiencies or accepting slightly lower profit margins. 

The “wage-price spiral” argument is essentially circular reasoning. It assumes that higher wages will automatically lead to higher prices, which will then cause ever higher wages, and so on. It ignores completely the existence of self-correcting mechanisms in an economy, like increased supply or reduced demand, which can break the cycle. It also uses a slippery slope fallacy by implying that any wage increase will inevitably lead to runaway inflation. This also ignores vast empirical evidence that moderate wage increases have not led to uncontrollable inflation.

Wages Now vs. Wages Later

Firstly, the fear of higher prices is often predicated on the wages workers earn now, not the wages they would make after a raise. This is a crucial oversight. A significant wage increase could easily offset a modest increase in the cost of living. For example, a 10% increase in wages coupled with a 2% increase in the cost of goods still leaves the worker 8% better off.

Anti-union managers often employ similar reasoning to dissuade non-union workers from organizing. They raise the specter of unaffordable union dues as a deterrent, attempting to scare workers away from the benefits of collective bargaining. This argument is a variant of the anti-wage increase argument and is equally flawed for similar reasons.

Just as workers might fear higher prices based on their current wages rather than potential higher wages, non-union workers often calculate the cost of union dues against their current, lower wages. They’re not considering what they would be making if they were part of a union, which often includes higher wages, better benefits, job security, and improved working conditions.

By focusing on the immediate cost of union dues without considering the broader financial and social benefits of union membership, workers are making an incomplete assessment that only serves the interests of anti-union managers. It’s a fear tactic designed to maintain the status quo, keeping workers disempowered and wages low.

Like the argument against wage increases, the union dues fear tactic is a form of economic manipulation that seeks to keep workers in a state of uncertainty and apprehension, preventing them from taking steps that would improve their lives both financially and socially.

The truth is that the belief that higher wages harm consumers has been perpetuated to instill fear and division among working people. Far from being detrimental, better wages have been shown to significantly benefit the working class as a whole, creating a ripple effect of positive impacts across society.

In other words, when it comes to wages, sometimes more is more. 

+ Read the full report HERE

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U.S. Department of Transportation Slams American Airlines With Record Fines for Tarmac Delays

U.S. Department of Transportation Slams American Airlines With Record Fines for Tarmac Delays

U.S. Department of Transportation Slams American Airlines With Record Fines for Tarmac Delays

IAM141.org

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of Transportation charged American Airlines a $4.1 million fine for breaking the law by repeatedly keeping passengers trapped on the runway for over three hours.

The Department of Transportation requires airlines to return planes to the gate and let passengers off whenever a domestic flight sits on the tarmac for three hours.

The DOT said the worst delays happened at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, American Airlines’ biggest hub. Additional delays occurred at airports in Houston, San Antonio, and near Washington, D.C. In an August 2020 incident, 105 passengers were stuck on the runway in San Antonio for six grueling hours – enough time to fly from Texas to California. In at least one case, passengers trapped in an American Airlines plane were not offered food or water. In all, the suit alleges 5,821 travelers were affected.

“This is the latest action in our continued drive to enforce the rights of airline passengers,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “Whether the issue is extreme tarmac delays or problems getting refunds, DOT will continue to protect consumers and hold airlines accountable.”

The DOT investigation found that American Airlines violated passenger rights to deplane during lengthy delays at least 43 times from 2018 to 2021. The lawsuit claims that none of the safety or security conditions that could have justified keeping passengers on idle planes were applied to any of the flights mentioned in the complaint.

The $4.1 million penalty is the biggest fine the Department has ever issued for breaking its rule on long tarmac delays. Out of this amount, $2.05 million will be waived since the airline used that amount to compensate passengers on the delayed flights.

The rule against long delays on the tarmac started during the Obama era. For flights within the U.S., airlines can’t keep passengers on the runway for more than three hours without letting them off the plane. For international flights, the maximum time is four hours.

Earlier this year, the DOT drafted a new rule to make airlines pay for amenities like meals, hotel stays, and rebooking costs when they’re at fault for leaving passengers stranded. Following a two-year effort by the DOT to enhance traveler experience, the top 10 airlines now promise to provide meals and complimentary rebooking on their own airline, with nine also ensuring hotel stays.

Additionally, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has pressed airlines to ensure families can sit together without extra fees. Before these rules were in place, airlines could charge parents additional to sit with their children. Now, such charges must be disclosed upfront, the first time airfare is presented to the passenger. The notifications also include other charges that airlines had previously buried in the fine print, such as fees for carry-on and checked baggage and cancellation fees. 

American Airlines responded to the sanctions by claiming the delays did not affect that many people. 

“While these delays were the result of exceptional weather events, the flights represent a very small number of the 7.7 million flights during this time period,” said spokeswoman Sarah Jantz in a New York Times article. “We have since apologized to the impacted customers and regret any inconvenience caused.”

 

 

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

U.S. Department of Transportation Slams American Airlines With Record Fines for Tarmac Delays

August 29, 2023

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of Transportation charged American Airlines a $4.1 million fine for breaking the law by repeatedly keeping passengers trapped on the runway for over three hours.

The Department of Transportation requires airlines to return planes to the gate and let passengers off whenever a domestic flight sits on the tarmac for three hours.

The DOT said the worst delays happened at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, American Airlines’ biggest hub. Additional delays occurred at airports in Houston, San Antonio, and near Washington, D.C. In an August 2020 incident, 105 passengers were stuck on the runway in San Antonio for six grueling hours – enough time to fly from Texas to California. In at least one case, passengers trapped in an American Airlines plane were not offered food or water. In all, the suit alleges 5,821 travelers were affected.

“This is the latest action in our continued drive to enforce the rights of airline passengers,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “Whether the issue is extreme tarmac delays or problems getting refunds, DOT will continue to protect consumers and hold airlines accountable.”

The DOT investigation found that American Airlines violated passenger rights to deplane during lengthy delays at least 43 times from 2018 to 2021. The lawsuit claims that none of the safety or security conditions that could have justified keeping passengers on idle planes were applied to any of the flights mentioned in the complaint.

The $4.1 million penalty is the biggest fine the Department has ever issued for breaking its rule on long tarmac delays. Out of this amount, $2.05 million will be waived since the airline used that amount to compensate passengers on the delayed flights.

The rule against long delays on the tarmac started during the Obama era. For flights within the U.S., airlines can’t keep passengers on the runway for more than three hours without letting them off the plane. For international flights, the maximum time is four hours.

Earlier this year, the DOT drafted a new rule to make airlines pay for amenities like meals, hotel stays, and rebooking costs when they’re at fault for leaving passengers stranded. Following a two-year effort by the DOT to enhance traveler experience, the top 10 airlines now promise to provide meals and complimentary rebooking on their own airline, with nine also ensuring hotel stays.

Additionally, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has pressed airlines to ensure families can sit together without extra fees. Before these rules were in place, airlines could charge parents additional to sit with their children. Now, such charges must be disclosed upfront, the first time airfare is presented to the passenger. The notifications also include other charges that airlines had previously buried in the fine print, such as fees for carry-on and checked baggage and cancellation fees. 

American Airlines responded to the sanctions by claiming the delays did not affect that many people. 

“While these delays were the result of exceptional weather events, the flights represent a very small number of the 7.7 million flights during this time period,” said spokeswoman Sarah Jantz in a New York Times article. “We have since apologized to the impacted customers and regret any inconvenience caused.”

 

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American Dream Fading as 75% of U.S. Homes Out of Reach for Middle Class

American Dream Fading as 75% of U.S. Homes Out of Reach for Middle Class

American Dream Fading as 75% of U.S. Homes Out of Reach for Middle Class

IAM141.org

The Unaffordable Neighborhood: 75% of Homes Out of Reach for Middle-Income Buyers

A recent report from the National Association of Realtors and Realtor.com paints a dire picture: over 75% of homes on the market are now too expensive for middle-income buyers. According to the report, those earning up to $75,000 per year could afford just 23% of all listed properties in the U.S. This is a steep decline from five years ago, when 50% of listings were within the reach of middle-income earners.

“Even with the current level of listings, the housing affordability and shortage issues wouldn’t be so severe if there were enough homes for all price ranges,” says Nadia Evangelou, a senior economist at NAR.

Zillow’s Response: The 1% Down Payment Program

Real estate marketplace Zillow has taken an unusual step by introducing a 1% down payment option in hopes of making private ownership of properties a realistic option for the majority of Americans.

But amid a market where over 75% of homes are unaffordable for middle-income buyers, the efficacy of such an offering remains to be seen. With soaring mortgage rates, a scarcity of inventory, and corporate dominance making headlines, Zillow’s initiative brings hope and questions.

Zillow is an online real estate marketplace that allows users to browse property listings and offers various tools and resources for buyers, sellers, and renters.

Initially available only in Arizona, Zillow’s 1% down payment offering is an attempt to make homeownership more accessible, especially in a market primarily dominated by large corporations and afflicted by skyrocketing mortgage rates. Zillow’s analysis shows that for a homebuyer aiming to purchase a $275,000 home in Phoenix, Arizona, the 1% down payment option would reduce the saving period for the down payment to just 11 months.

While this is a promising start, the offering has its caveats. Smaller down payments result in larger monthly mortgage payments, thanks to the necessity of borrowing more.

The Mortgage Rate Monster: A Stumbling Block for Affordability 

With 30-year fixed mortgage rates now firmly above 7%, the average monthly payment has soared, adding an extra $1,000 to the cost of owning a median-priced home. According to Redfin’s chief economist, rates are unlikely to dip below 6% by the end of the year, creating a challenging environment for both buyers and sellers.

Existing homeowners, many of whom financed their properties during the last decade’s ultra-low interest rates, are also hesitant to list their homes, further contributing to an already strained inventory.

 Regional Disparities and Future Projections

Affordable housing varies dramatically by location. The metropolitan areas with the most affordable housing are in Ohio, while cities like El Paso, Texas; Boise, Idaho; and Spokane, Washington, are struggling with few affordable listings. The overall outlook suggests an inventory shortage that could persist for years, exacerbating the crisis.

Making the housing crisis worse, the median income for cities such as El Paso is barely above the poverty level, with annual incomes in the range of $24,000. Meanwhile, cities such as San Francisco and Manhattan are seeing rent prices soar to stratospheric levels, with monthly payments above $4,000 becoming increasingly common. 

“Our country needs to add at least two affordable homes for middle-income buyers for every home listed for upper-income buyers,” notes Evangelou.

Zillow’s Changing Role: More than Just a Listing Platform

Zillow’s new 1% down payment option comes as part of its transformation into a one-stop-shop for homebuyers, offering services that range from real estate agent access to home loans underwritten by the company itself. This strategic shift follows the shutdown of Zillow’s home-flipping venture due to substantial losses.

Zillow’s 1% down payment option offers a small glimmer of hope in an otherwise grim housing market. Yet, this offering doesn’t solve the larger, systemic problems: corporate dominance, mortgage rates at two-decade highs, and a critical lack of affordable inventory. As Zillow evolves to adapt to this troubling landscape, the industry and consumers alike will watch keenly to see whether this initiative can be a stepping stone to broader solutions—or merely a band-aid on a deepening wound.

The solution to unaffordable housing is elusive. Market forces are increasingly encouraging corporate ownership of private property, making private ownership impossible for most Americans. Yet, there is no appetite among the political class to take on the powerful interests that also fund officeholders’ careers. Worse, an entire generation of younger prospective homebuyers are locked out of the housing market – and forced to rent their homes instead. This practice allows the corporate owners of properties to take even more wealth from the public. 

Union members and unified workplaces offer some protection from the affordable housing crisis. Union members enjoy much more stable and secure jobs, allowing a more steady and reliable income. Moreover, union members out-earn comparable workers in non-union workplaces by as much as 21%. Such factors help union workers pay higher home prices and meet the higher monthly costs. Yet, without significant reform or a potentially devastating market correction, home ownership is likely to become a relic of a previous era.

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

American Dream Fading as 75% of U.S. Homes Out of Reach for Middle Class

August 27, 2023

The Unaffordable Landscape: 75% of Homes Out of Reach for Middle-Income Buyers

A recent report from the National Association of Realtors and Realtor.com paints a dire picture: over 75% of homes on the market are now too expensive for middle-income buyers. According to the report, those earning up to $75,000 per year could afford just 23% of all listed properties in the U.S. This is a steep decline from five years ago, when 50% of listings were within the reach of middle-income earners.

“Even with the current level of listings, the housing affordability and shortage issues wouldn’t be so severe if there were enough homes for all price ranges,” says Nadia Evangelou, a senior economist at NAR.

Zillow’s Response: The 1% Down Payment Program

Real estate marketplace Zillow has taken an unusual step by introducing a 1% down payment option in hopes of making private ownership of properties a realistic option for the majority of Americans.

But amid a market where over 75% of homes are unaffordable for middle-income buyers, the efficacy of such an offering remains to be seen. With soaring mortgage rates, a scarcity of inventory, and corporate dominance making headlines, Zillow’s initiative brings hope and questions.

Zillow is an online real estate marketplace that allows users to browse property listings and offers various tools and resources for buyers, sellers, and renters.

Initially available only in Arizona, Zillow’s 1% down payment offering is an attempt to make homeownership more accessible, especially in a market primarily dominated by large corporations and afflicted by skyrocketing mortgage rates. Zillow’s analysis shows that for a homebuyer aiming to purchase a $275,000 home in Phoenix, Arizona, the 1% down payment option would reduce the saving period for the down payment to just 11 months.

While this is a promising start, the offering has its caveats. Smaller down payments result in larger monthly mortgage payments, thanks to the necessity of borrowing more.

The Mortgage Rate Monster: A Stumbling Block for Affordability 

With 30-year fixed mortgage rates now firmly above 7%, the average monthly payment has soared, adding an extra $1,000 to the cost of owning a median-priced home. According to Redfin’s chief economist, rates are unlikely to dip below 6% by the end of the year, creating a challenging environment for both buyers and sellers.

Existing homeowners, many of whom financed their properties during the last decade’s ultra-low interest rates, are also hesitant to list their homes, further contributing to an already strained inventory.

 Regional Disparities and Future Projections

Affordable housing varies dramatically by location. The metropolitan areas with the most affordable housing are in Ohio, while cities like El Paso, Texas; Boise, Idaho; and Spokane, Washington, are struggling with few affordable listings. The overall outlook suggests an inventory shortage that could persist for years, exacerbating the crisis.

Making the housing crisis worse, the median income for cities such as El Paso is barely above the poverty level, with annual incomes in the range of $24,000. Meanwhile, cities such as San Francisco and Manhattan are seeing rent prices soar to stratospheric levels, with monthly payments above $4,000 becoming increasingly common. 

“Our country needs to add at least two affordable homes for middle-income buyers for every home listed for upper-income buyers,” notes Evangelou.

Zillow’s Changing Role: More than Just a Listing Platform

Zillow’s new 1% down payment option comes as part of its transformation into a one-stop-shop for homebuyers, offering services that range from real estate agent access to home loans underwritten by the company itself. This strategic shift follows the shutdown of Zillow’s home-flipping venture due to substantial losses.

Zillow’s 1% down payment option offers a small glimmer of hope in an otherwise grim housing market. Yet, this offering doesn’t solve the larger, systemic problems: corporate dominance, mortgage rates at two-decade highs, and a critical lack of affordable inventory. As Zillow evolves to adapt to this troubling landscape, the industry and consumers alike will watch keenly to see whether this initiative can be a stepping stone to broader solutions—or merely a band-aid on a deepening wound.

The solution to unaffordable housing is elusive. Market forces are increasingly encouraging corporate ownership of private property, making private ownership impossible for most Americans. Yet, there is no appetite among the political class to take on the powerful interests that also fund officeholders’ careers. Worse, an entire generation of younger prospective homebuyers are locked out of the housing market – and forced to rent their homes instead. This practice allows the corporate owners of properties to take even more wealth from the public. 

Union members and unified workplaces offer some protection from the affordable housing crisis. Union members enjoy much more stable and secure jobs, allowing a more steady and reliable income. Moreover, union members out-earn comparable workers in non-union workplaces by as much as 21%. Such factors help union workers pay higher home prices and meet the higher monthly costs. Yet, without significant reform or a potentially devastating market correction, home ownership is likely to become a relic of a previous era.

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Chicago 1487 Golfers Tee Off to Aid Guide Dogs of America

Chicago 1487 Golfers Tee Off to Aid Guide Dogs of America

Chicago 1487 Golfers Tee Off to Aid Guide Dogs of America

IAM141.org

Morning thunderstorms did little to quell the enthusiasm of the 144+ golfers at the annual Golf Outing to benefit Guide Dogs of America. The event, hosted each year by Chicago’s Local Lodge 1487, raised an estimated $20,000 for the charity. 

The outing brought together a diverse collection of union members from the airline industry, including Ramp and Gate Agents and Ticket counters, Stores Workers, and Instructors. Summer thunderstorms created a wet start for the event, but the gloomy skies had given way to a clear sunny day by mid-morning. 

According to Local President Tony Licciardi, the effort raised about $17,000 from registrations alone, plus several thousand more from raffle tickets, games, and other fundraisers. Also finding support at the event was the Machinists Non-Partisan Political League, which fights for the interests of airline and union members on Capitol Hill. 

“This is wonderful,” expressed Licciardi. “I am so grateful for the overwhelming support we got from the membership and the local community,” he said. “A ton of work goes into this event,” he continued. “It would be completely impossible without this support.” 

“I want to sincerely thank all our volunteers, and eveyone who came in from accross the sytem,” he added. 

Also lending support to the effort was Air Transport General Vice President, Richie Johnsen, who helps oversee the more than 100,000 union workers in the American Civil Air Transport industry.

The money went to Guide Dogs of America, a four-star charity that provides service dogs free of charge to visually-impaired persons, veterans dealing with PTSD, and children on the autism spectrum. 

Guide Dogs of America’s Four-Star Rating

Guide Dogs of America holds a coveted four-star rating from Charity Accountability Groups such as Charity Navigator.

Guide Dogs of America provides life-changing service dogs to people in need. The organization breeds and trains dogs for blind people, veterans, and children with autism. Additionally, they place specialized dogs in institutions such as hospitals and schools. These trained dogs help those in need gain confidence and enhance their mobility. Volunteers also help recipients learn how to use their service dog and are given full access to valuable ongoing support and resources from the charity. 

Remarkably, all services, including training and accommodation, are offered at no cost to recipients. 

Behind the Scenes: Puppy Raising Program

One of the standout features of Guide Dogs of America is its Puppy Raising Program. Puppies are placed with dedicated “puppy raisers” when they are eight weeks old. These volunteers play a pivotal role in the pups’ early life, teaching them house manners and basic obedience. 

The numbers speak for themselves. At any given time, Guide Dogs of America has between 150 to 200 puppies placed in homes, all made possible through selfless volunteers and the generosity of donors.

A System of Support

The organization ensures that its volunteers are always supported at every point. Guide Dogs of America offers structured training sessions with its professional staff, behavioral support, and on-site veterinary care, underlining its commitment to each puppy’s success. In essence, the entire GDA team backs every puppy and its raiser.

Those interested in being part of this transformative journey or want more information on regional meetings can visit the Guide Dogs of America website, which can be found here.  

The help from donors and volunteers is vital to the success of Guide Dogs of America. If you would like to donate or volunteer, please click here. 

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

Chicago 1487 Golfers Tee Off to Aid Guide Dogs of America

August 17, 2023

Morning thunderstorms did little to quell the enthusiasm of the 144+ golfers at the annual Golf Outing to benefit Guide Dogs of America. The event, hosted each year by Chicago’s Local Lodge 1487, raised an estimated $20,000 for the charity. 

The outing brought together a diverse collection of union members from the airline industry, including Ramp and Gate Agents and Ticket counters, Stores Workers, and Instructors. Summer thunderstorms created a wet start for the event, but the gloomy skies had given way to a clear sunny day by mid-morning. 

According to Local President Tony Licciardi, the effort raised about $17,000 from registrations alone, plus several thousand more from raffle tickets, games, and other fundraisers. Also finding support at the event was the Machinists Non-Partisan Political League, which fights for the interests of airline and union members on Capitol Hill. 

“This is wonderful,” expressed Licciardi. “I am so grateful for the overwhelming support we got from the membership and the local community,” he said. “A ton of work goes into this event,” he continued. “It would be completely impossible without this support.” 

“I want to sincerely thank all our volunteers, and eveyone who came in from accross the sytem,” he added. 

Also lending support to the effort was Air Transport General Vice President, Richie Johnsen, who helps oversee the more than 100,000 union workers in the American Civil Air Transport industry.

The money went to Guide Dogs of America, a four-star charity that provides service dogs free of charge to visually-impaired persons, veterans dealing with PTSD, and children on the autism spectrum. 

Guide Dogs of America’s Four-Star Rating

Guide Dogs of America holds a coveted four-star rating from Charity Accountability Groups such as Charity Navigator.

Guide Dogs of America provides life-changing service dogs to people in need. The organization breeds and trains dogs for blind people, veterans, and children with autism. Additionally, they place specialized dogs in institutions such as hospitals and schools. These trained dogs help those in need gain confidence and enhance their mobility. Volunteers also help recipients learn how to use their service dog and are given full access to valuable ongoing support and resources from the charity. 

Remarkably, all services, including training and accommodation, are offered at no cost to recipients. 

Behind the Scenes: Puppy Raising Program

One of the standout features of Guide Dogs of America is its Puppy Raising Program. Puppies are placed with dedicated “puppy raisers” when they are eight weeks old. These volunteers play a pivotal role in the pups’ early life, teaching them house manners and basic obedience. 

The numbers speak for themselves. At any given time, Guide Dogs of America has between 150 to 200 puppies placed in homes, all made possible through selfless volunteers and the generosity of donors.

A System of Support

The organization ensures that its volunteers are always supported at every point. Guide Dogs of America offers structured training sessions with its professional staff, behavioral support, and on-site veterinary care, underlining its commitment to each puppy’s success. In essence, the entire GDA team backs every puppy and its raiser.

Those interested in being part of this transformative journey or want more information on regional meetings can visit the Guide Dogs of America website, which can be found here.  

The help from donors and volunteers is vital to the success of Guide Dogs of America. If you would like to donate or volunteer, please click here. 

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