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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IAM FILES MORE EVIDENCE REGARDING VOTER ELIGIBILITY LIST. EXPECTS NMB DECISION SOON.
Yesterday, the IAM filed further evidence to remove certain Republic employees, like supervisors, from the voter eligibility list. The IAM was forced to submit further evidence to the NMB due to Republic management’s outright mistruths submitted to the NMB. In fact, much of what Ford and Harrison’s high-priced attorneys submitted to the NMB regarding the specific jobs of certain workers on behalf of Republic management is in direct contradiction to Republic’s own policies and job descriptions.
It is vital to understand that these long procedural delays in attaining our right to vote in a representation election is a direct result of Republic’s strategy to exhaust us and hope we lose interest in forming a union with the IAM. Their strategy is flawed and we will not be deterred, and neither will the IAM.
IAM attorneys, experts in federal union organizing laws, have spared no resource to fight back against Republic and Ford and Harrison’s anti-workplace democracy tactics. We are confident that we will ultimately prevail and attain the right to vote. All we want is to have Republic mechanic and related workers to decide for ourselves with the interference from management.
The IAM has pressed the NMB to make a determination on our case as soon as possible. This has gone on long enough. However, we do not control the timeline in which the NMB makes determinations.
We must remain united in our determination to see this through, get the right to vote and form a union with the IAM. Thank you for your patience.
We will advise on further developments when we receive them.
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IAM TO RESPOND TO REPUBLIC’S HIGHLY SUSPECT NMB SUBMISSION REGARDING VOTER ELIGIBILITY LIST
The IAM has requested and has been granted the ability to respond to Republic’s very misleading and outright untrue submission regarding what exactly the jobs are of the different groups of workers the company placed on the list of eligible voters.
The IAM felt the need to respond to the NMB to show the inaccuracies of Republic’s submission. In fact, in some instances, Republic’s submission contradicts the company’s own published policies.
The IAM will not allow such gross inaccuracies to go unanswered.
Companies are required to tell the truth in these types of processes before the federal government and it is clear that Republic has absolutely no regard for the truth. It’s very obvious at this point that Republic will do anything it can to keep us from forming a union.
We will advise when IAM attorneys have submitted the IAM’s response.
Please also review your rights under the law to form a union please click here.
If you feel your rights have been violated, please click here.
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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.
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