IAM Continues to Press NMB, Awaiting a Response
IAM attorneys have contacted the National Mediation Board (NMB) representative assigned to the Republic Airways case and they have yet to receive a response regarding the federal agency's determination regarding the voter eligibility list submitted by Republic Airways management. We are extremely frustrated regarding the slow pace of this process. IAM attorneys are awaiting a response and when one is received it will be immediately relayed to all Republic Airways mechanic and related employees.
It cannot be over emphasized that the delay in this process has not been caused by the Machinists Union. Currently, due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, NMB employees are working from home, aside from support staff that report to work for only part of the day to perform duties that cannot be performed at home. However, in our case we are at the point in the process in which the NMB has all the information it needs to make a determination regarding the voter eligibility list without reporting to the NMB offices in Washington DC. We have not been informed of anything to the contrary.
We understand that President Biden fired National Relations Board General Counsel, Peter Robb, due to Mr. Robb not resigning his position. Mr. Robb was known to be very pro-management. We have not received any information that a similar move will occur at the NMB. As always, if that changes, all Republic mechanic and related workers will be notified.
We understand that the length of this process is extremely frustrating to everyone, including the IAM. However, please remember why this campaign to gain IAM representation exists in the first place: To get a seat at the table and a voice in our future.
We must remain unified and finished the job we started no matter how long it takes.
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AS WE WAIT FOR NMB’S DECISION ON THE VOTER ELIGIBILITY LIST, LET’S REMEMBER WHY WE NEED A SEAT AT THE TABLE
As of this morning, there has been no update regarding the NMB’s determination regarding who will be eligible to vote in a representation election. As previously reported, Republic management submitted an inflated list, which included supervisors and office and clerical workers, in an attempt to take away our right to vote in a union representation election. The IAM has disputed the list submitted by Republic management’s high priced law firm—Ford and Harrison—and we are waiting for the NMB to make a determination. When we have an update from the NMB, we will report that info immediately to you.
We must remember why having IAM representation is critical, especially during these times of real uncertainty.
Without union representation, company management has all the power to make decisions that affect our profession and our lives. With union representation, we have a right to negotiate with the company regarding our pay, benefits and working conditions, which includes disciplinary action, and vote to accept or reject what we ultimately negotiate.
Currently, supervisors can write us up for anything they want and we have no real recourse or right to appeal. With a union contract, we would have the right to dispute disciplinary action issued by the company, with the final step in the appeal process (arbitration) decided by a neutral arbitrator. This contractual right protects our jobs and careers and our family’s security. It also provides us power and a voice to tell management that they are wrong. That’s important.
It’s important that we stay unified during this process, so we can gain the power that forming a union will provide us and gain the fairness on the job that is sorely needed.
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IAM EXPECTS NMB DECISION ON VOTER ELIGIBILITY LIST SOON
As reported previously, the IAM expects the National Mediation Board (NMB), the federal agency that handles union representation elections in the airline industry, to make a determination on the voter eligibility list submitted by Republic management to the NMB last September.
To refresh everyone’s memory, Republic management, directed by its high-priced anti-worker law firm Ford and Harrison, submitted an inflated voter eligibility list with the hope that doing so would decrease our percentage of signed authorization cards below the federally mandated 50 percent threshold to conduct a representation election under federal law and draw out the process. The list submitted by Republic included supervisors and office and clerical workers that the IAM has objected and challenged the list officially and has argued that these workers are not part of the mechanic and related class and craft and should not be included on the list of eligible voters.
It is important to understand that the NMB is the only entity that controls when this important determination is to be made. The IAM, nor the company, controls the pace in which the NMB conducts its official duties. However, since the IAM has made all evidentiary submissions in challenging the list, the NMB has all that it needs, and barring any other stalling tactics by Republic management, the NMB should deliver a determination soon.
We will immediately notify all Republic mechanic and related workers of any further developments.
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