Help Needed: Airlines Add More Workers

Help Needed: Airlines Add More Workers

Help Needed: Airlines Add More Workers

IAM141.org

According to top industry analysts, airlines face a tight labor market and need to ramp up hiring to accommodate an estimated 4 billion air travelers by 2024. 

According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), the number of employees in the U.S. airline industry, including both passenger and cargo airlines, increased in November 2022. The industry employed 784,337 workers in November, an increase of 36,194 compared to November 2019.

The jump in hiring could be one indicator of solid job growth in the commercial aviation sector over the next year, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), an air transport trade association. According to industry studies published by IATA, commercial aviation is set to see profits of $4 billion or more in 2023 and will need to move 4 billion passengers as soon as 2024

Accounting for variables like inflation, fuel and energy costs, and a tight labor market, the group projects strong demand for air travel over the next year. 

“The reopening of air transport markets over the course of 2022 was warmly and swiftly welcomed by consumers,” the report reads. “The desire to travel by air remains strong, and this pent-up demand has been evident whenever travel restrictions are lifted, and routes reopened,” it continues.

Air travel, partly funded by robust pandemic-era savings, low unemployment, and the return of business travel, is at an all-time high. Importantly, Commercial Aviation has also proven to be highly resistant to recession fears. Ironically, this could be partly due to economic recovery itself. During the pandemic, key industries such as shipping, online retailers, video conferencing, and food delivery services thrived. However, the end of COVID restrictions also brought about an end to the business climate fuelling the demand for these services. As these industries returned to normal, pre-pandemic levels of economic output, they created the illusion of widespread recession. Meanwhile, sectors that were artificially depressed during 2020-2022 are seeing a return to business as usual, many with pent-up demand. And few industries exemplify this phenomenon more than airlines and air travel.

Inflation has also failed to put a dent in airline profits. While the overall costs of running an airline have mainly remained stagnant, the expectation of inflationary pressures have allowed hikes in airfare to go largely unnoticed by the flying public. Airlines have little incentive to lower record-shattering profits from high airfares as long as ticket prices can be passed off as just another example of inflation.

The passenger airlines added 1,118 employees in November and have had 19 months of job growth since May 2021. United Airlines had the most employees, adding 1,062 workers, while Southwest Airlines added 941 workers, and American Airlines added 256 workers.

On the other hand, cargo airlines had a decrease of 131 employees in November. The leading air cargo employer, FedEx, decreased its staffing by 233.

The Bureau of Transportation calculates the total number of workers by considering both full-time and part-time workers. In November, there were 673,228 full-time and 111,109 part-time workers, which comes out to a total of 728,783. This number is 1,527 workers more compared to October. Overall, the total number of workers in November is just 5.76% more than in November 2019. The passenger airlines have increased their number of workers by 4.52% compared to November 2019, while the cargo airlines have increased their number of workers by 8.12% compared to November 2019.

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

Help Needed: Airlines Add More Workers

January 30, 2023

According to top industry analysts, airlines face a tight labor market and need to ramp up hiring to accommodate an estimated 4 billion air travelers by 2024. 

According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), the number of employees in the U.S. airline industry, including both passenger and cargo airlines, increased in November 2022. The industry employed 784,337 workers in November, an increase of 36,194 compared to November 2019.

The jump in hiring could be one indicator of solid job growth in the commercial aviation sector over the next year, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), an air transport trade association. According to industry studies published by IATA, commercial aviation is set to see profits of $4 billion or more in 2023 and will need to move 4 billion passengers as soon as 2024

Accounting for variables like inflation, fuel and energy costs, and a tight labor market, the group projects strong demand for air travel over the next year. 

“The reopening of air transport markets over the course of 2022 was warmly and swiftly welcomed by consumers,” the report reads. “The desire to travel by air remains strong, and this pent-up demand has been evident whenever travel restrictions are lifted, and routes reopened,” it continues.

Air travel, partly funded by robust pandemic-era savings, low unemployment, and the return of business travel, is at an all-time high. Importantly, Commercial Aviation has also proven to be highly resistant to recession fears. Ironically, this could be partly due to economic recovery itself. During the pandemic, key industries such as shipping, online retailers, video conferencing, and food delivery services thrived. However, the end of COVID restrictions also brought about an end to the business climate fuelling the demand for these services. As these industries returned to normal, pre-pandemic levels of economic output, they created the illusion of widespread recession. Meanwhile, sectors that were artificially depressed during 2020-2022 are seeing a return to business as usual, many with pent-up demand. And few industries exemplify this phenomenon more than airlines and air travel.

Inflation has also failed to put a dent in airline profits. While the overall costs of running an airline have mainly remained stagnant, the expectation of inflationary pressures have allowed hikes in airfare to go largely unnoticed by the flying public. Airlines have little incentive to lower record-shattering profits from high airfares as long as ticket prices can be passed off as just another example of inflation.

The passenger airlines added 1,118 employees in November and have had 19 months of job growth since May 2021. United Airlines had the most employees, adding 1,062 workers, while Southwest Airlines added 941 workers, and American Airlines added 256 workers.

On the other hand, cargo airlines had a decrease of 131 employees in November. The leading air cargo employer, FedEx, decreased its staffing by 233.

The Bureau of Transportation calculates the total number of workers by considering both full-time and part-time workers. In November, there were 673,228 full-time and 111,109 part-time workers, which comes out to a total of 728,783. This number is 1,527 workers more compared to October. Overall, the total number of workers in November is just 5.76% more than in November 2019. The passenger airlines have increased their number of workers by 4.52% compared to November 2019, while the cargo airlines have increased their number of workers by 8.12% compared to November 2019.

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Broken Promises: Informational Picket Draws Crowds at LAX

Broken Promises: Informational Picket Draws Crowds at LAX

Broken Promises: Informational Picket Draws Massive Turnout at LAX

IAM141.org

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) – A coalition of unions representing all unified workers at United Airlines held an informational picket on Wednesday at LAX Airport in Los Angeles. Rallygoers marched to bring attention to ongoing contract negotiations with the airline, which have been met with delays and bad faith bargaining, some of which have drug on for years. United Pilots, for example, are in the fourth year of negotiations with the carrier. 

The coalition, which includes the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) and the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), Teamsters (IBT), and Flight Attendants of America (AFA), included Pilots, mechanics, flight attendants, customer service agents, and baggage handlers.

United has reneged on several commitments it made to its workforce. In the lead-up to negotiations, executives promised that it would not seek to outsource jobs and that it would offer strong wages compared to other airlines. Instead, the company is trying to force union members to accept outsourcing and plans to pay the lowest wages of any of the Big Three airlines. Executives want lower than promised pay for gate, ticket counter, and customer service workers, in particular. The new pay rates proposed by United would sit at levels below similar workgroups at smaller airlines and discount carriers such as Alaska and Southwest Airlines. 

Further straining labor relations at the company is the issue of profit sharing. 

United announced earlier this year that a rush of summer and holiday bookings led to two back-to-back quarters that were among the most lucrative in the airline’s history. Over the summer, United reported total earnings near $1 billion. The carrier brought in a net income of $942 million, with an adjusted profit of $927 million. “Operational Performance,” one of the indicators that help determine the productivity of front-line workers, were among the best in the history of the airline. Over the  holidays, United again generated higher-than-expected earnings, totaling more than $840 million.

 

ALPA President,  Garth Thompson

The performance of employees was the driving factor behind the profits. In the Fourth Quarter, the on-time performance came in at an enviable 80%, allowing United to boast the best on-time and completion rate of any network carrier at three major hubs (Chicago, Denver, and Houston.) Moreover, United employees created the lowest fourth-quarter misconnect rate in the airline’s history. All of which demonstrate the critical role of front-line workers at the carrier.

The profits have led United to increase spending for its “Good Leads the Way” marketing campaign, and order new planes, among many other programs. Executives have also opted to give themselves lavish salary increases. CEO Scott Kirby alone now has an estimated net worth of more than $32 million, according to the executive tracking site Wallmiime.com. Compared to front-line workers at United, Kirby will take home $126 for each dollar a typical worker earns.

Yet, executives suddenly become tight-fisted when sharing the record profits with the workforces that created them. Ground and Gate agents and dispatchers at United are getting an anemic .84% profit sharing this year. Despite the airline’s difficulty in hiring new pilots amid a nationwide shortage, pilots at United are only getting slightly more – 1.7%. (United has also denied pilots a new contract for four years.)

Informational pickets have become popular among union members, as they help raise awareness about their workplace concerns while also demonstrating solidarity. These pickets typically involve union members gathering outside of a company’s workplace or other public location, holding signs to be seen by passing pedestrians and motorists. 

 

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Broken Promises: Informational Picket Draws Crowds at LAX

January 25, 2023

Listen to this article >>

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) – A coalition of unions representing all unified workers at United Airlines held an informational picket on Wednesday at LAX Airport in Los Angeles. Rallygoers marched to bring attention to ongoing contract negotiations with the airline, which have been met with delays and bad faith bargaining, some of which have drug on for years. United Pilots, for example, are in the fourth year of negotiations with the carrier. 

The coalition, which includes the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) and the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), Teamsters (IBT), and Flight Attendants of America (AFA), included Pilots, mechanics, flight attendants, customer service agents, and baggage handlers.

United has reneged on several commitments it made to its workforce. In the lead-up to negotiations, executives promised that it would not seek to outsource jobs and that it would offer strong wages compared to other airlines. Instead, the company is trying to force union members to accept outsourcing and plans to pay the lowest wages of any of the Big Three airlines. Executives want lower than promised pay for gate, ticket counter, and customer service workers, in particular. The new pay rates proposed by United would sit at levels below similar workgroups at smaller airlines and discount carriers such as Alaska and Southwest Airlines. 

Further straining labor relations at the company is the issue of profit sharing. 

United announced earlier this year that a rush of summer and holiday bookings led to two back-to-back quarters that were among the most lucrative in the airline’s history. Over the summer, United reported total earnings near $1 billion. The carrier brought in a net income of $942 million, with an adjusted profit of $927 million. “Operational Performance,” one of the indicators that help determine the productivity of front-line workers, were among the best in the history of the airline. Over the  holidays, United again generated higher-than-expected earnings, totaling more than $840 million.

The performance of employees was the driving factor behind the profits. In the Fourth Quarter, the on-time performance came in at an enviable 80%, allowing United to boast the best on-time and completion rate of any network carrier at three major hubs (Chicago, Denver, and Houston.) Moreover, United employees created the lowest fourth-quarter misconnect rate in the airline’s history. All of which demonstrate the critical role of front-line workers at the carrier.

The profits have led United to increase spending for its “Good Leads the Way” marketing campaign, and order new planes, among many other programs. Executives have also opted to give themselves lavish salary increases. CEO Scott Kirby alone now has an estimated net worth of more than $32 million, according to the executive tracking site Wallmiime.com. Compared to front-line workers at United, Kirby will take home $126 for each dollar a typical worker earns.

Yet, executives suddenly become tight-fisted when sharing the record profits with the workforces that created them. Ground and Gate agents and dispatchers at United are getting an anemic .84% profit sharing this year. Despite the airline’s difficulty in hiring new pilots amid a nationwide shortage, pilots at United are only getting slightly more – 1.7%. (United has also denied pilots a new contract for four years.)

Informational pickets have become popular among union members, as they help raise awareness about their workplace concerns while also demonstrating solidarity. These pickets typically involve union members gathering outside of a company’s workplace or other public location, holding signs to be seen by passing pedestrians and motorists. 

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Tony Parker, President of Machinists Union Local 1781 holds a CONTRACT NOW sign at an informational picket held at San Franciscos’ International Airport.

Hundreds of Union Members Join Forces at SFO to Demand Fair Contracts

IAM141.org

SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (SFO) – On Wednesday, front-line union workers at United came together at SFO Airport for an informational picket to call on the airline to complete long-overdue contract negotiations. Hundreds of union members from every work group at the carrier participated in the rally.

Over the past year, air travelers have seen repeated delays, overbooked flights, and cancellations, among many other woes. According to United Airlines’ front-line workers, the problems passengers face can be placed squarely at the feet of company management, who have built a business model based around short-staffing, unfair wages, and outsourcing. 

“We’re here because we want management to recognize the sacrifices and contributions we have made during the worst downturn in aviation history,” said Roger Phillips, a Pilot at United and spokesman for the Airline Pilots Association (ALPA) who organized the picket. “United just announced its fourth-quarter earnings last night, and announced that we made nearly $1 billion for this airline,” he continued. “It’s time for United to reinvest some of that money into the people that created those profits.”

United reported a profit of $843 million in the last quarter of 2022 on total revenue of $12.4 billion. The revenue figure was almost 14% higher than in 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic ravaged the travel industry. The earnings report follows a profit of $942 million, which the Chicago-based carrier posted over the summer. 

Despite the industry-leading income, United executives are demanding wages for fleet and customer service agents that fall far short of what was promised in the lead-up to negotiations. In early 2022, United committed to providing industry-leading wages to its 38,000 fleet and customer-facing employees. However, by the time contract talks began, United was only willing to offer payscales that would be the lowest of the “Big Three” carriers. Wages at United would also fall below those of smaller airlines such as Southwest and Alaska. Low wages allow other airlines to outcompete United for workers in a tight labor market. United is also asking for union members to agree to outsourcing, something that negotiators have flatly refused to consider.

On Wednesday, labor tensions at the carrier led hundreds of workers to hold an informational picket at San Francisco International Airport. Marching alongside Pilots were Fleet and Customer Service workers, Security Guards and Flight Attendants – all of whom are dealing with company foot-dragging and unfair contract proposals with inadequate wages and job protections for union members.

Machinists Union General Vice President Richie Johnsen, who marched at the rally, called on United to invest in workers. “United Airlines is out touting how much they’ve invested in this airline,” he said. “To make it the greatest airline in the history of airlines, according to Scott Kirby. They’ve invested in airplanes and airports, they’ve invested in fuel, they’ve invested in green energy,” he continued.

“But, they haven’t invested in their most valuable asset. Which is their employees,” Johnsen said. “It’s time for United to invest in employees.”

United pilots have gone four years without a new contract.

The four unions at United held an earlier rally in Houston, Texas, during the United Board of Directors Meeting. At that event, Scot Kirby went outside to meet with the picketers. He told ramp and customer service workers that negotiations were stalled due to union negotiators’ refusal to budge on outsourcing. District President Mike Klemm told IAM members, “United management’s refusal to provide acceptable job security and wage rates for IAM-represented workers is unacceptable and disgraceful,” said Klemm. “IAM members at United Airlines have spoken loudly and clearly that the issues of wages and job security are paramount to any acceptable tentative agreement.”

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Tony Parker, President of Machinists Union Local 1781, holds a CONTRACT NOW sign at an informational picket held at San Franciscos’ International Airport.

Hundreds of Union Members Join Forces at SFO 

January 21, 2023

LISTEN TO THIS ARTICLE >>

SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (SFO) – On Wednesday, front-line union workers at United came together at SFO Airport for an informational picket to call on the airline to complete long-overdue contract negotiations. Hundreds of union members from every work group at the carrier participated in the rally.

Over the past year, air travelers have seen repeated delays, overbooked flights, and cancellations, among many other woes. According to United Airlines’ front-line workers, the problems passengers face can be placed squarely at the feet of company management, who have built a business model based around short-staffing, unfair wages, and outsourcing. 

“We’re here because we want management to recognize the sacrifices and contributions we have made during the worst downturn in aviation history,” said Roger Phillips, a Pilot at United and spokesman for the Airline Pilots Association (ALPA) who organized the picket. “United just announced its fourth-quarter earnings last night, and announced that we made nearly $1 billion for this airline,” he continued. “It’s time for United to reinvest some of that money into the people that created those profits.”

United reported a profit of $843 million in the last quarter of 2022 on total revenue of $12.4 billion. The revenue figure was almost 14% higher than in 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic ravaged the travel industry. The earnings report follows a profit of $942 million, which the Chicago-based carrier posted over the summer. 

Despite the industry-leading income, United executives are demanding wages for fleet and customer service agents that fall far short of what was promised in the lead-up to negotiations. In early 2022, United committed to providing industry-leading wages to its 38,000 fleet and customer-facing employees. However, by the time contract talks began, United was only willing to offer payscales that would be the lowest of the “Big Three” carriers. Wages at United would also fall below those of smaller airlines such as Southwest and Alaska. Low wages allow other airlines to outcompete United for workers in a tight labor market. United is also asking for union members to agree to outsourcing, something that negotiators have flatly refused to consider.

On Wednesday, labor tensions at the carrier led hundreds of workers to hold an informational picket at San Francisco International Airport. Marching alongside Pilots were Fleet and Customer Service workers, Security Guards and Flight Attendants – all of whom are dealing with company foot-dragging and unfair contract proposals with inadequate wages and job protections for union members.

Machinists Union General Vice President Richie Johnsen, who marched at the rally, called on United to invest in workers. “United Airlines is out touting how much they’ve invested in this airline,” he said. “To make it the greatest airline in the history of airlines, according to Scott Kirby. They’ve invested in airplanes and airports, they’ve invested in fuel, they’ve invested in green energy,” he continued.

“But, they haven’t invested in their most valuable asset. Which is their employees,” Johnsen said. “It’s time for United to invest in employees.”

United pilots have gone four years without a new contract.

The four unions at United held an earlier rally in Houston, Texas, during the United Board of Directors Meeting. At that event, Scot Kirby went outside to meet with the picketers. He told ramp and customer service workers that negotiations were stalled due to union negotiators’ refusal to budge on outsourcing. District President Mike Klemm told IAM members, “United management’s refusal to provide acceptable job security and wage rates for IAM-represented workers is unacceptable and disgraceful,” said Klemm. “IAM members at United Airlines have spoken loudly and clearly that the issues of wages and job security are paramount to any acceptable tentative agreement.”

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GoIAM.org

The Winpisinger Center is excited to announce the call for the inaugural IAM Education Conference, to be held Sunday, March 26 through Friday, March 31, 2023, at the William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center in Hollywood, MD. 

The conference will provide an opportunity for IAM educators at all levels to learn and share training techniques, materials, and strategies. Local or District educators, members of education committees, and other Local, District, and Grand Lodge leaders who currently provide training or want to expand training in their lodges are encouraged to attend.

The overall goal of the Education Conference is to advance and strengthen the IAM’s long commitment to building power through member education and training.

Conference topics will include methods and techniques of labor education, organizing, and steward and officer training, among others. Discussions about the labor movement’s role in politics and economic systems are planned to round out the curriculum. The conference will also allow the Winpisinger Center to learn more about the educational goals of the membership so that the curriculum can be refined and expanded to better meet their needs.

The Winpisinger Center has removed the vaccination requirement as of December 1, 2022. Provided that current conditions do not substantially change, proof of vaccination is no longer required from members or guests. Our complete list of COVID protocols can be found on the Winpisinger Center website in the FAQ section.

The deadline for registration is February 15, 2023. Questions about the IAM Education Conference should be directed to Assistant Director Joe Gruber (jgruber@iamaw.org). Questions about registering for the program should be directed to Registrar Tracy Woodburn (twoodburn@iamaw.org).??

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GoIAM.org

The Winpisinger Center is excited to announce the call for the inaugural IAM Education Conference, to be held Sunday, March 26 through Friday, March 31, 2023, at the William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center in Hollywood, MD. 

The conference will provide an opportunity for IAM educators at all levels to learn and share training techniques, materials, and strategies. Local or District educators, members of education committees, and other Local, District, and Grand Lodge leaders who currently provide training or want to expand training in their lodges are encouraged to attend.

The overall goal of the Education Conference is to advance and strengthen the IAM’s long commitment to building power through member education and training. 

Conference topics will include methods and techniques of labor education, organizing, and steward and officer training, among others. Discussions about the labor movement’s role in politics and economic systems are planned to round out the curriculum. The conference will also allow the Winpisinger Center to learn more about the educational goals of the membership so that the curriculum can be refined and expanded to better meet their needs.  

The Winpisinger Center has removed the vaccination requirement as of December 1, 2022. Provided that current conditions do not substantially change, proof of vaccination is no longer required from members or guests. Our complete list of COVID protocols can be found on the Winpisinger Center website in the FAQ section

The deadline for registration is February 15, 2023. Questions about the IAM Education Conference should be directed to Assistant Director Joe Gruber (jgruber@iamaw.org). Questions about registering for the program should be directed to Registrar Tracy Woodburn (twoodburn@iamaw.org).??

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4 Things Most People Don’t Know About MLK

IAM141.org

Today is the day Americans celebrate the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. There are many aspects of his life that everyone knows, such as his prominent role in the Civil Rights Movement of the ’60s, his work as a pastor and union organizer, and the near-constant harassment and conspiracy theories he had to endure. Yet, there are still many chapters of his biography that remain largely unknown. Here are five things most people still don’t know about the Human Rights icon. 

Martin Luther King Jr.’s birth name was actually Michael King Jr.

Every year on the third Monday of January, America celebrates the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a champion of civil rights and a symbol of peace. However, very few people are aware that this historic leader was born under another name: Michael King Jr. Martin Luther only adopted his famous name after his father, a prominent Pastor in Atlanta, GA, changed both their names to Martin Luther in honor of Protestant reformist Martin Luther following an extended tour of Europe and Germany in 1934. While the exact reasons for the change remain a topic of debate, the elder King swiftly replaced “M.L.” or “Mike” King with “Martin Luther King, Sr.”

The younger King was more reticent about the name change. His original birth certificate was filed on January 15, 1929, when he was already five years old. He did not start referring to himself by “Martin,” in his letters until well into the 1950s, preferring instead to sign off with the initials “ML.” The first time he seems to have formally used the name Martin was in a July 18, 1952, letter to his then-girlfriend and future wife, Coretta. He ends the beautiful missive with “Eternally Yours, Martin.”

His name was formally changed when his birth certificate was updated with “Martin Luther” on July 23, 1957, when he was 28. 

Read more here >>

 

He was nearly assassinated a decade before his actual assassination

One of the stranger stories about King’s life happened on a cool September afternoon in the shoe section of a bustling Harlem department store when he was 29. King had become a national figure following the Atlanta bus Boycotts triggered by Rosa Parks’ refusal to sit at the back of a bus. King had written a book about the event called Stride Toward Freedom. While promoting the book, a 42-year-old black woman named Izola Ware Curry stepped forward and stabbed King in the center of his chest with a pen knife. She stabbed him with so much force that the blade broke off in his chest and remained there as the shocked crowd jumped to restrain her. 

Photos from the attempt on his life are eery. In the most famous, King is shown calmly having a wound on his hand treated while the blade juts from his chest, a small circle of blood spreading under his otherwise clean white shirt. (Take another look at the photo above.)

Curry was arrested, and it was later determined that she was mentally unwell. She died in 2015 after spending the rest of her life struggling with paranoid schizophrenia.

Read more here >>

His “I Have A Dream” speech was not originally planned.

The “I Have A Dream” speech delivered at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, is one of the most iconic speeches of all time. But interestingly enough, it was largely off-script; the words were mostly improvised. Before delivering the speech on August 28, 1963, in front of an estimated 250,000 people, King wrote a 20-page manuscript that his advisors had reviewed. However, throughout his speech, he made substantial changes – substituting facts with emotional appeals to rally civil rights supporters to action. The words “I have a dream” do not appear in his speech notes. 

The “I have a dream” section was almost entirely improvised and was based on a sermon that his parishioners knew well. Towards the end of the remarks, a voice can be heard calling for him to “do, ‘I have a dream! Tell them about the dream, Martin!” 

That voice belonged to Mahalia Jackson, a vocalist who had sang hymns to the crowd before King was scheduled to speak. King had often performed versions of what would later become the “I have a dream” speech at engagements around the South. But, he had not included it in his address at the Lincoln Memorial because he didn’t think he could fit it in. Hearing Jackson’s calls to him changed his mind, and King delivered remarks that would be recited for centuries. 

Read More >>

 

He was arrested more than 30 times.

King was regularly denounced as a “criminal,” a “Communist,” and a “troublemaker.” And police at the time were not reluctant to arrest him for any and every accusation made against the human rights leader. Over his career, King was arrested after being accused of standing illegally outside a government building, lying under oath, driving 5 miles over the speed limit, and tax evasion, among many other accusations. Notably, King was also regularly acquitted of these allegations by all-white juries that prosecutors had hoped would hand down lengthy prison sentences.

Exasperated, in December 1959, the Governor of Georgia, Ernest Vandiver dropped all pretense and simply outlawed Dr. King altogether. Claiming that King’s presence anywhere in the state would disrupt the “good relations between the races,” and that “wherever M. L. King, Jr., has been there has followed in his wake a wave of crimes including stabbings, bombings, and inciting riots, barratry, destruction of property, and many others” he placed him under constant police surveillance. 

While King certainly had powerful enemies but also friends in high places. Among them were John F Kennedy, Jr. and his brother, Robert Kennedy, who regularly made calls for his release from jail. Moreover, the arrests led to some of the most poignant writing in American history, as they allowed King to use his considerable skills to create such works as “Letters From Birmingham Jail.”

Listen to the Letters Here >>

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4 Things Most People Don’t Know About MLK

IAM141.org

Today is the day Americans celebrate the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. There are many aspects of his life that everyone knows, such as his prominent role in the Civil Rights Movement of the ’60s, his work as a pastor and union organizer, and the near-constant harassment and conspiracy theories he had to endure. Yet, there are still many chapters of his biography that remain largely unknown. Here are five things most people still don’t know about the Human Rights icon. 

Martin Luther King Jr.’s birth name was actually Michael King Jr.

Every year on the third Monday of January, America celebrates the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a champion of civil rights and a symbol of peace. However, very few people are aware that this historic leader was born under another name: Michael King Jr. Martin Luther only adopted his famous name after his father, a prominent Pastor in Atlanta, GA, changed both their names to Martin Luther in honor of Protestant reformist Martin Luther following an extended tour of Europe and Germany in 1934. While the exact reasons for the change remain a topic of debate, the elder King swiftly replaced “M.L.” or “Mike” King with “Martin Luther King, Sr.”

The younger King was more reticent about the name change. His original birth certificate was filed on January 15, 1929, when he was already five years old. He did not start referring to himself by “Martin,” in his letters until well into the 1950s, preferring instead to sign off with the initials “ML.” The first time he seems to have formally used the name Martin was in a July 18, 1952, letter to his then-girlfriend and future wife, Coretta. He ends the beautiful missive with “Eternally Yours, Martin.”

His name was formally changed when his birth certificate was updated with “Martin Luther” on July 23, 1957, when he was 28. 

Read more here >>

 

He was nearly assassinated a decade before his actual assassination

One of the stranger stories about King’s life happened on a cool September afternoon in the shoe section of a bustling Harlem department store when he was 29. King had become a national figure following the Atlanta bus Boycotts triggered by Rosa Parks’ refusal to sit at the back of a bus. King had written a book about the event called Stride Toward Freedom. While promoting the book, a 42-year-old black woman named Izola Ware Curry stepped forward and stabbed King in the center of his chest with a pen knife. She stabbed him with so much force that the blade broke off in his chest and remained there as the shocked crowd jumped to restrain her. 

Photos from the attempt on his life are eery. In the most famous, King is shown calmly having a wound on his hand treated while the blade juts from his chest, a small circle of blood spreading under his otherwise clean white shirt. (Take another look at the photo above.)

Curry was arrested, and it was later determined that she was mentally unwell. She died in 2015 after spending the rest of her life struggling with paranoid schizophrenia.

Read more here >>

His “I Have A Dream” speech was not originally planned.

The “I Have A Dream” speech delivered at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, is one of the most iconic speeches of all time. But interestingly enough, it was largely off-script; the words were mostly improvised. Before delivering the speech on August 28, 1963, in front of an estimated 250,000 people, King wrote a 20-page manuscript that his advisors had reviewed. However, throughout his speech, he made substantial changes – substituting facts with emotional appeals to rally civil rights supporters to action. The words “I have a dream” do not appear in his speech notes. 

The “I have a dream” section was almost entirely improvised and was based on a sermon that his parishioners knew well. Towards the end of the remarks, a voice can be heard calling for him to “do, ‘I have a dream! Tell them about the dream, Martin!” 

That voice belonged to Mahalia Jackson, a vocalist who had sang hymns to the crowd before King was scheduled to speak. King had often performed versions of what would later become the “I have a dream” speech at engagements around the South. But, he had not included it in his address at the Lincoln Memorial because he didn’t think he could fit it in. Hearing Jackson’s calls to him changed his mind, and King delivered remarks that would be recited for centuries. 

Read More >>

 

He was arrested more than 30 times.

King was regularly denounced as a “criminal,” a “Communist,” and a “troublemaker.” And police at the time were not reluctant to arrest him for any and every accusation made against the human rights leader. Over his career, King was arrested after being accused of standing illegally outside a government building, lying under oath, driving 5 miles over the speed limit, and tax evasion, among many other accusations. Notably, King was also regularly acquitted of these allegations by all-white juries that prosecutors had hoped would hand down lengthy prison sentences.

Exasperated, in December 1959, the Governor of Georgia, Ernest Vandiver dropped all pretense and simply outlawed Dr. King altogether. Claiming that King’s presence anywhere in the state would disrupt the “good relations between the races,” and that “wherever M. L. King, Jr., has been there has followed in his wake a wave of crimes including stabbings, bombings, and inciting riots, barratry, destruction of property, and many others” he placed him under constant police surveillance. 

While King certainly had powerful enemies but also friends in high places. Among them were John F Kennedy, Jr. and his brother, Robert Kennedy, who regularly made calls for his release from jail. Moreover, the arrests led to some of the most poignant writing in American history, as they allowed King to use his considerable skills to create such works as “Letters From Birmingham Jail.”

Listen to the Letters Here >>

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Make JetBlue a Better Place to Work With a YES VOTE!

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Make JetBlue a better place to work with a YES VOTE! 

We are all proud to work for JetBlue, and we work extremely hard to make JetBlue a successful airline, even though we have been placed in difficult circumstances over the last few years. 

We’ve worked through a pandemic and had our hours and pay cut; we’ve worked short because of extremely high turnover; we’ve worked with ground equipment in disrepair; we’ve worked with inexperienced supervisors in deteriorating working conditions; we’ve been dependent upon a management team and a company-controlled “Values Committee” that has hurt employee morale by taking away profit sharing, who lied about Labor Day a paid holiday, who abolished the lead classification and then removed the Lead, OPS and AGR premiums.

All that plus more has stressed GO CMs to the breaking point. If you have worked for JetBlue for a few years, you will realize that management teams come and go. Jetblue is OUR AIRLINE and WE can make JetBlue a better airline by having a CONTRACT. A contract that recognizes our value to JetBlue, so quality GO Crewmembers stay, and a contract that serves to attract new employees to JetBlue.

When we have a real and legal way to ensure that our voices are heard through collective bargaining rights, and a real way to hold management accountable when they violate OUR CONTRACT, only then will we have real power, and fairness at JetBlue.

THE “DIRECT RELATIONSHIP” LEAVES US POWERLESS AND TOTALLY DEPENDENT ON JETBLUE MANAGEMENT AND THE “VALUES COMMITTEE.” And, that’s why management and the “Values Committee” tell us to vote no. They like having all the power. They don’t want us to have the same RIGHT TO NEGOTIATE A CONTRACT, LIKE CEO ROBIN HAYES HAS. This is about GO Crewmembers having THE RIGHT to ensure that OUR IDEAS and OUR COLLECTIVE VOICE will not only be heard but will be RESPECTED. It’s about GO Crewmembers securing our wages, benefits and working conditions, so they cannot be changed by management anytime management wants.

THIS IS ABOUT US. THIS ABOUT HAVING A LEGALLY BINDING CONTRACT. DO YOU REALLY THINK THAT JETBLUE MANAGEMENT AND THE “VALUES COMMITTEE” WOULD BE PAYING SO MUCH ATTENTION TO US IF WE WEREN’T VOTING TO UNIONIZE RIGHT NOW?

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Make JetBlue a better place to work with a YES VOTE!

We are all proud to work for JetBlue, and we work extremely hard to make JetBlue a successful airline, even though we have been placed in difficult circumstances over the last few years.

We’ve worked through a pandemic and had our hours and pay cut; we’ve worked short because of extremely high turnover; we’ve worked with ground equipment in disrepair; we’ve worked with inexperienced supervisors in deteriorating working conditions; we’ve been dependent upon a management team and a company-controlled “Values Committee” that has hurt employee morale by taking away profit sharing, who lied about Labor Day a paid holiday, who abolished the lead classification and then removed the Lead, OPS and AGR premiums.

All that plus more has stressed GO CMs to the breaking point. If you have worked for JetBlue for a few years, you will realize that management teams come and go. Jetblue is OUR AIRLINE and WE can make JetBlue a better airline by having a CONTRACT. A contract that recognizes our value to JetBlue, so quality GO Crewmembers stay, and a contract that serves to attract new employees to JetBlue.

When we have a real and legal way to ensure that our voices are heard through collective bargaining rights, and a real way to hold management accountable when they violate OUR CONTRACT, only then will we have real power, and fairness at JetBlue.

THE “DIRECT RELATIONSHIP” LEAVES US POWERLESS AND TOTALLY DEPENDENT ON JETBLUE MANAGEMENT AND THE “VALUES COMMITTEE.” And, that’s why management and the “Values Committee” tell us to vote no. They like having all the power. They don’t want us to have the same RIGHT TO NEGOTIATE A CONTRACT, LIKE CEO ROBIN HAYES HAS. This is about GO Crewmembers having THE RIGHT to ensure that OUR IDEAS and OUR COLLECTIVE VOICE will not only be heard but will be RESPECTED. It’s about GO Crewmembers securing our wages, benefits and working conditions, so they cannot be changed by management anytime management wants.

THIS IS ABOUT US. THIS ABOUT HAVING A LEGALLY BINDING CONTRACT. DO YOU REALLY THINK THAT JETBLUE MANAGEMENT AND THE “VALUES COMMITTEE” WOULD BE PAYING SO MUCH ATTENTION TO US IF WE WEREN’T VOTING TO UNIONIZE RIGHT NOW?

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