REPUBLIC MANAGEMENT’S LABOR RELATIONS ROADSHOWS EXCLUDES AMTS IN PIT AND CMH AND SIDESTEPS ANSWERS IN IND
Republic management introduced its new Director of Labor Relations, Ellen Hamm, who previously worked at Ford and Harrison. Ford and Harrison, if you remember, is the law firm that Republic hired to help them quash our efforts to form a union.
In PIT and CMH, only AMT leads and supervisors were invited to Ms. Hamm’s meeting. All other AMTs were excluded. The meeting centered on the question, “why do you want a union?” The problem is when you exclude the vast majority of AMTs from the meeting, how could you possibly get an accurate answer? This is a classic HR tactic. Get workers to believe that management is really listening and cares about our issues. If they really cared, they wouldn’t have excluded the vast majority of AMTs in PIT and CMH.
In IND, AMTs were somehow invited and asked questions. Ms. Hamm danced around a lot of the questions. AMTs asked if we can get answers in writing to our questions and were told by Ms. Hamm and management that they would get back to us. We haven’t received anything in writing to date.
We are not aware if Ms. Hamm has visited any other locations or plans to.
The reality is with a union, any and all of our issues, by federal law, would have to be addressed by Republic management and we would have the right to bargain contract language that would attempt to resolve these issues. We would also have the right to vote on a contract.
The truth is Ms. Hamm and the rest of Republic management will “listen” to us and may even fix some of our issues. But, because we are not unionized and do not have collective bargaining rights, Ms. Hamm and Republic management retain all the decision making power and we must accept their decisions even if we disagree with those decisions.
Airline Industry Showing Strong Signs of Recovery
We are only in the very beginning stages of our campaign to ensure that we have a voice in our future. The new Authorization Cards are coming in nicely and the legislative environment has taken a very sharp turn now favoring labor.
Some of the roadblocks of the past are starting to disappear. The President is telling you it takes Unions to build this Country back better. The travel industry is seeing record numbers of passenger bookings since the pandemic began and the US Airline Industry is showing strong signs of recovery.
Carriers are being approved for the Payroll Support Program, which will keep all airline employees working and something the IAM fought tooth and nail for. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
We hope you had a great holiday weekend and were able to spend time with your family. There's nothing more important.
Please take a few minutes to request and sign your Authorization card, ensuring you and your family can share in the post pandemic upswing that is on its way!
You can request an a-card online here.
Republic Management Hires Ford and Harrison Attorney to Impede Union Organizing, Institutes New Attendance Policy
Recently, Republic management hired Ellen Ham as Director of Labor Relations who previously worked at the notoriously union busting law firm, Ford and Harrison. Ms. Ham’s hiring is to ensure that Republic Airways management retains all control regarding the decisions that are made that affect every aspect of our professional lives. She will go on a “roadshow” with the aim to “listen” to our concerns. However, while Republic management will certainly “listen” to us, if we continue to not have collective bargaining rights, then we do NOT have any power to have a real effect on our employment terms.
A perfect example of not having the right to collectively bargain is the new attendance policy and its implementation. If we were unionized, the attendance policy and its implementation would be a subject of collective bargaining. At the very least, we would be consulted and would certainly have an impact on the policy and its implementation, and if there were issues of fairness we could address them in a fair and impartial grievance procedure.
For example, having a contract and a legally binding impartial grievance procedure, we would have the right to appeal “occurrences” that we believe are erroneous and we would have the right to ensure the policy is administered fairly among all employees.
Please sign an election authorization card (a-card) today. We are making progress and the groups recently added to the “mechanic and related” classification by the National Mediation Board (NMB) are showing support for our effort to unionize.
Please remember that your right to sign an “a-card” is protected under federal law and Republic management is prohibited from ever knowing who signed an a-card.
You can request an a-card online here.
COVID-19 RELIEF BILL SIGNED INTO LAW; AIRLINES TO RECEIVE MUCH NEEDED AID TO AVOID LAYOFFS THROUGH SEPTEMBER
Congress passed and President Biden last week approved a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill, which provides much needed aid for the airline industry. IAM members from around the country, as well as the IAM Legislative Department and other AFL-CIO airline unions, were critical in achieving aid for the still ailing air transport sector.
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 will provide $14 billion in additional aid to the airline industry, which also includes an extension of the Payroll Support Program (PSP). The PSP mandates that as a condition of accepting tax payer funded aid, air carriers will not be permitted to lay off any workers through September 30, 2021. Republic Airways managment has yet to indicate whether they will see additional aid.
"Congress and the Biden Administration have done the right thing by passing this much needed legislation. IAM members, as well as our AFL-CIO affiliated sisters and brothers in the labor movement, kept up the political pressure to achieve this essential relief package," said General Vice President Sito Pantoja. "The transportation sector is still ailing due to the pandemic, but this relief will keep hundreds of thousands of workers employed, including our non-union sisters and brothers. Our hope is that demand for air travel will continue to rebound as vaccination efforts continue, mitigating the need for future layoffs."
This is the second time the PSP has been extended since the initial passage of the CARES Act in late March, 2020. US airlines have reported over $35 billion in losses in 2020 due to an historic decrease in demand for air travel. The PSP has kept tens of thousands of airline workers employed who would have otherwise been laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Please sign an IAM election authorization card (a-card) today. You can request one online here. Your right to sign an a-card is protected under federal law. Republic Airways management is prohibited to ever know if you signed an a-card.
SIGN, DATE AND RETURN THE AUTHORIZATION CARD YOU RECENTLY RECEIVED
If the IAM has a valid address for you, you should have recently received an election authorization card (a-card) in the mail. If you did not receive an a-card in the mail, please click here to update your address and request an a-card online.
As you are likely aware, the National Mediation Board (NMB), a federal agency, dismissed our application to hold a union representation vote, as the agency claimed that supervisors and other employees typically not in the “mechanic and related” class and craft should be included in our application. While we vehemently disagree with the Board’s decision, we must adhere to it. Currently, organizers are reaching out to these groups of employees and the response has been positive and encouraging.
The campaign to gain union representation continues, and the first step is to sign an a-card. 50 percent of the group, which we now know the exact size of, must sign an a-card to hold a union representation vote.
Please remember that your right to sign an a-card is protected under federal law. Republic management is prohibited under federal law from ever knowing if you signed an a-card. Click here and learn about your federally protected rights to form a union.
In other news, you may have heard that Amazon workers are attempting to form a union at an Amazon facility in Alabama and are currently voting. President Biden issued a very strong message to workers regarding the benefits of unionization and the federal protection that you have when organizing a union in your workplace.
Click here to view the video.
NMB RULES REPUBLIC SUPERVISORS AND OTHER GROUPS OF WORKERS ELIGIBLE, REPRESENTATION VOTE DELAYED FOR NOW
In a very expansive determination, the National Mediation Board (NMB) has determined that Republic Airways Supervisors and other groups of workers, such as Engineers and other groups listed below, are part of the "mechanic and related class and craft" at Republic Airways and, thus, eligible voters.
The main issue of contention was whether Mechanic Supervisors should be eligible. The IAM argued that they should not be eligible because they exercise managerial authority and, according to federal guidelines, are therefore excluded. Republic argued that Mechanic, Aircraft Auditor and Production Control Supervisors do not possess management authority and therefore should be part of the group. The NMB investigator agreed with Republic, even though that is not what actually happens at Republic Airways or in the airline industry in general.
Given Republic's view of Supervisors not having management authority, and the NMB's agreement, we welcome their inclusion and hope they too will desire the rights and benefits that come with IAM representation.
This determination, which includes the workers below in the mechanic and related class and craft, has inflated the voter eligibility list and reduced our percentage of election authorization cards (a-cards) below the requisite 50 percent. Yesterday, the NMB officially dismissed our application for a union representation vote.
Even though this ruling is a disappointment, it will not stop the IAM from supporting Republic Airways mechanic and related workers from seeking union representation; it will only delay Republic Airways mechanic and related workers from gaining the right to vote in a union representation election for 12 months. We now know that the NMB will include the following workers in the group of eligible voters:
We have loud and clear that Republic workers' desire to organize is stronger than ever and we understand the frustration and disbelief over the NMB's decision. We've heard from the Company that they respect your right to form a union, but, in fact, that was just "lip service" as they worked at every turn to prevent you from gaining the right to vote in a union representation election. the IAM will not abandon you and will continue this campaign. We have already begun to reach out to Republic employees in the aforementioned groups and we have received a very positive response.
THE IAM WILL NOT ABANDON YOU OR THIS CAMPAIGN until ALL Republic Airways workers in the mechanic and related classification, as determined by the NMB, gain a seat at the table and a voice in their future.
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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