These past weeks have been unprecedented for our country and particularly for the US airline industry. US carriers have reduced operations to an alarming level to account for a largest air travel demand decline in the history of the airline industry. Airline workers face uncertain times, and during these times is when IAM representation is the most valuable.
The IAM led the legislative effort on Capitol Hill and ensured that the relief package focused on providing workers with protections and all airlines with necessary relief. Because of the IAM’s efforts, and the efforts of other airline unions, the following vital provisions were achieved:
It is important to emphasize that before the IAM’s input, the above critical provisions did not exist.
It is also important to note that these protections for airline workers protect those workers that are not yet represented by a union. For example, if Republic Airways seeks government grant funds to stabilize the carrier, then Republic AMTs cannot be furloughed for at least six months and all the grant funds must be used for the continuation of employee wages, salaries and benefits. The IAM leaves no airline worker behind.
However, to be straight with you, we are not out of the woods yet. People are still suffering because of this pandemic, losing family members, friends and our communities are suffering.
Regarding the US airline industry, while we have achieved a level of relief that may get the airlines through the toughest part of this crisis, we are by no means insulated from negative economic impacts if this pandemic persists.
An IAM contract will provide protections that Republic AMTs sorely need during this uncertain time. We are very close to filing for an election to gain IAM representation. Once we gain representation, the IAM will immediately enter negotiations with Republic management and fight for protections such as, but not limited to: the right to recall to your job if laid-off; seniority rights; severance pay if laid-off; alternatives and outright prohibitions to layoff and maintenance of benefits during layoff. These are protections that you deserve.
Without a contract, Republic management would be free to do as it wishes. Management could layoff AMTs with no regard for seniority, replace Republic AMTs with lower paid contractors as they are currently doing or layoff by location or shift, not permit laid off AMTs to go to other locations, among many other detrimental actions.
It is important that everyone sign an election authorization card today, so we can file for a representation election. You can request a card online and we will mail it out to you. When you receive it, please fill-out the card, sign and date it and mail back to the IAM.
Remember, your right to sign an a-card is protected under federal law and Republic management is prohibited from ever knowing who signed a card.
For more info on our campaign, visit www.IAM4republicairways.com.
For more info on the IAM: visit www.GOIAM.org
John Werkmeister, IAM Representative and AMT
Our Campaign, Coronavirus and the Airline Industry and Why Union Representation Matters More than Ever
As you know, our world has been turned upside down with the novel coronavirus pandemic spreading rapidly in the United States. Particularly, the US airline industry has been decimated as demand for air travel has plummeted. US airlines are considering a complete shutdown of all air travel, which was unthinkable only a few months ago.
The IAM has been leading the charge on Capitol Hill, pressing lawmakers to ensure that airline workers’ jobs are not lost due to the coronavirus. The Machinists Union is requesting that direct federal aid for the airlines be conditioned on the carriers retaining their current payroll and keeping workers employed. Airlines and airline workers did not create this crisis and all stakeholders need to come together and pass commonsense legislation that protects airline workers and American workers more broadly. Contact your elected officials and request they act now.
On a brighter note, our campaign for IAM representation is strong and we are moving closer to calling for an election. If you have not signed an a-card, please do so today. You can request a card be mailed to you by clicking here.
An example of how union representation is needed for Republic mechanics was never more evident than Republic management’s complete disregard of mechanics in a recent memo to employees regarding COVID-19. The memo starts off explaining how the company met with unions regarding the current recommendations of the CDC, the operational steps Republic has instituted, and additional steps the company can take to protect the health and safety of all Republic employees. Not one mechanic was at this meeting and mechanics were not even discussed.
We are essential workers, who are solely responsible for airworthiness of Republic’s aircraft, and have to come to work as directed every day. Every time we walk out of our house we are at risk. To be disregarded in this way is a slap in the face and is the very reason why we need representation and gain respect.
Please click here to contact an IAM representative.
Please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html for more information.
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