DEADLINE FOR REPUBLIC MANAGEMENT TO RESPOND TO IAM OBJECTIONS TO INFLATED VOTER ELIGIBILITY LIST IS TODAY
As reported previously, today is the deadline for Republic Airways management to respond to the IAM’s previously submitted objections to the voter eligibility list.
On September 1, 2020, Republic management, in consultation with its notoriously anti-worker and high-priced law firm Ford and Harrison, submitted an inflated voter eligibility, which included every supervisor employed by Republic and many clerical workers. This was done to inflate the list of eligible voters in hopes Republic AMT cards would fall below the 50 percent threshold to conduct a representation election and to greatly slow the process down. Both of these actions are an attack on our right to vote and meant to break our efforts to form a union.
By the close of business today, the NMB will have Republic’s response and will then have to review the response. The agency will then issue its determination regarding eligible voters.
It is important to note that there is NO DEADLINE for the NMB to complete its determination. The IAM will press for a timely determination, so a representation vote can be scheduled as soon as possible.
We must remain resolute in our unity and see this campaign through to a successful conclusion. It is clear that Republic will do all that it can for us to remain without a union and without power.
The IAM will provide us an update regarding the upcoming NMB voter eligibility determination when in becomes available.
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WHAT REPUBLIC MANAGEMENT CONSIDERS A "MIDDLEMAN" IS ACTUALLY US
Recently, Republic management sent us a communication about the new TDY program. Management claimed how this program is the result of Republic’s ability to be “nimble” and not have to deal with a “middleman.” They imply that if Republic AMTs formed a union, then something as wonderful as the TDY program would not have been possible. Nothing could be further from the truth.
First, the “middleman” that Republic refers to is us. Elected Republic AMTs would be the representatives that Republic management would propose this type of TDY program. Republic AMT representatives would then meet with Republic management to ensure that the program was fair to Republic AMTs and discuss things like travel pay, overtime pay, hours of service, seniority administration, among other things. Things that Republic management currently decides without our consent or input.
Secondly, IAM-represented workers at every major airline have come to terms with airline management months ago regarding programs to mitigate the detrimental effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. And when carriers tried to make changes to the detriment of IAM members, like at United Airlines, the IAM sued in federal court and United backed off and then negotiated some of the most generous programs in the airline industry.
Even at Republic, management quickly met with unionized Republic pilots and negotiated a letter of agreement that prevented all pilot furloughs and was approved by over 90 percent of Republic pilots. Having a union didn’t seem to be an impediment to negotiate that deal quickly and effectively.
The fact is, this is just another attempt by Republic management and its high-priced law firm, Ford and Harrison, to create doubt and uncertainty. They want us to believe that with Republic management having all the power to call the shots without our input that somehow we are better off because those decisions can be made faster without our consent.
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UNCERTAINTY AND RISK: EXPECT REPUBLIC MANAGEMENT AND ITS HIGH PRICED LAW FIRM FORD AND HARRISON TO ATTEMPT TO FEAR MONGER WHEN A VOTE IS FINALLY AUTHORIZED
As we wait for a representation vote to be scheduled, we should fully understand the tactics Republic management and its expensive law firm consultants, Ford and Harrison, will utilize to keep us without power and without a legally binding contract.
The central tactic that they will employ is fear and risk. They will say that if we vote yes to form a union, things could get worse. They will undoubtedly claim that what we have now is at risk if we enter negotiations for a first contract. These claims are always made by every company facing a union representation election. They are bunk.
Ask yourself these questions: Would a negotiating committee of Republic AMTs agree to a contract that is less valuable than what we have now? Would Republic AMTs vote for a contract that doesn’t address our needs and provide value above and beyond what we currently have? Obviously, the answer is NO.
The reality is, when we form a union and enter first contract negotiations, Republic is required by law to negotiate in "good faith.” In rough terms, negotiating in good faith means negotiating in a way that is likely to yield an agreement. Bad faith means just going through the motions for the sake of appearance, or even making moves to spoil the process, which is illegal under the Railway Labor Act. The IAM will hold Republic management’s feet to the fire and ensure they are compliant with federal law.
The fact is, no IAM first contract in the airline industry has decreased the value of new organized groups’ terms of employment. The reason? When a group of workers speak with one voice, form unity and demand a fair contract, it results in just that. A FAIR CONTRACT.
So, when Republic and their lawyers ramp up their fear mongering campaign to keep us without a voice and a vote, please know that it’s just scare tactics not based in reality or the law.
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NMB GRANTS REPUBLIC’S EXTENSION REQUEST TO RESPOND TO OBJECTIONS TO INFLATED VOTER ELIGIBILITY LIST
The National Mediation Board (NMB) has granted Republic management’s request to extend the deadline to respond to the IAM’s objections to the inflated voter eligibility list. The deadline is now November 24, 2020, seven days after the original deadline of November 17, 2020.
When we filed for a representation election on August 13, 2020, the NMB ordered Republic management to provide a list of all eligible voters in the mechanic and related classification. At the direction of its highly paid law firm, Ford and Harrison, Republic management submitted a list with every supervisor included and many other workers who are not in the mechanic and related classification, including clerical and stores workers. They did this to inflate the list in hopes of brining our percentage below the needed 50 percent. A further motivation was to delay the entire process in hopes that we become exasperated by the process and discouraged. Make no mistake, this is a strategy.
Simply put, Republic management does NOT want us to form a union. The reason is that, by law, Republic management would have to negotiate with us in good faith regarding wages, benefits and working conditions. Presently, Republic management holds all the power and they like it that way. They can change our pay, benefits and working conditions any time they like, just like they did when they cut our hours earlier this year.
We must remain united and focused on our shared goal of gaining a legally enforceable contract.
With unity comes power and ultimately fairness.
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REPUBLIC REQUESTS DELAY TO RESPOND TO IAM OBJECTIONS TO VOTER ELIGIBILITY LIST
The National Mediation Board (NMB) has set a deadline of November 17, 2020 for Republic management to respond to the IAM’s objections to the inflated voter eligibility submitted by Republic management, which included every mechanic and related supervisor and many clerical employees who do not maintain Republic aircraft.
Yesterday, Republic management requested an extension to November 24, 2020 to respond. This is yet another example of purposefully delaying our vote. Why does Republic’s high priced layers need additional time to explain why they put supervisors and clerical employees on the list? After all, Republic put them on the list and shouldn’t need an extra week to explain why they did so.
It’s clear that Republic management will do everything that it can’t to prevent us from forming a union. Republic wants to retain control over our group. They want to be able to change the rules any time they want. They want to be able to discipline and terminate AMTs without a fair process. They want to be able to charge us extraordinarily high rates for medical insurance and offer us no real retirement package. These are all things that they would have to negotiate with us when we form a union and bargain our first contract, and it’s clear they want no part of that.
We will update all Republic AMTs when we hear if the NMB grants Republic the week extension they seek.
We must remain unified to gain the right to vote and negotiate a fair first contract. Unity will bring power and power will bring fairness.
SALUTING THOSE WHO SERVED
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
Today, we honor the brave men and women who have stepped up and served our countries with military service.
We owe a great amount of gratitude to our veterans. For their sacrifice, we are forever indebted.
These great patriots secure our democracy and the freedoms we hold sacred–the right to vote, the right of free speech, freedom of the press and the right to peacefully protest. Our work as a union would not be possible without these American and Canadian heroes.
As a U.S. Navy Veteran, I am extremely proud that the Machinists Unions has one of the highest percentages of veterans in the entire labor movement.
Just as they made a commitment to defend our great nations, the Machinists Union makes a commitment to each and every veteran. We continue to advocate on their behalf, support their missions and proudly build and maintain the best military equipment in the world.
As we recognize Veterans Day in the United States and Remembrance Day in Canada, please join me in thanking all those who have served our great nations.
Robert Martinez Jr.
A CONTRACT WILL PROVIDE FAIRNESS AND END FAVORITISM
Have you ever felt rules are applied differently to different people? Have you ever wondered why a pay discrepancy has been resolved for one mechanic but not for another? Have you ever been denied a vacation day only to find out someone else now has off the same day you requested earlier and had been denied?
Having a legally enforceable and defined grievance procedure to successfully resolve these issues will bring fairness to the workplace for every Republic AMT. Every IAM-negotiated contract includes a grievance procedure, with the final step decided by a neutral third party.
We still are awaiting the National Mediation Board (NMB) to issue Republic management a deadline to respond to our challenges and objections to the inflated voter eligibility list previously submitted by Republic. Once we have more information regarding the NMB process, we will communicate that directly to you.
We must remain unified during this drawn out process that Republic management has created and remember that the only way to achieve the changes on the job that we deserve is to gain power and equality. The only real way to do achieve that is by forming a union.
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