The global airline industry has been rocked by the novel coronavirus pandemic, with US carriers reducing their flight schedules by up to 90 percent. You'd have to go back to the 1950s to find fewer people traveling by air than they are now. Needless to say, we are in uncharted waters and airline workers are especially at risk.
Given the dire circumstances, how would having union representation help?
With IAM representation, Republic AMTs would have protections that they do not have right now. Two critical components of a union contract that are sometimes overlooked are how layoffs are conducted, if necessary, and how do workers get called back to work after a layoff (recall rights).
Every IAM contract contains provisions on how layoffs are conducted. The central principle is that seniority governs layoffs and laid-off workers receive severance pay. Without a union contract, Republic Airways could layoff AMTs without regard to seniority and offer no severance pay. Management could violate seniority in a myriad of ways and layoff AMTs by location, by shift, subjective performance or by any other reason that management deems appropriate.
When it comes time to recall employees because the industry recovers, IAM contracts offer workers that have been laid-off "recall rights." Recall rights give the worker the right to return to their previous position, in their previous location with no loss of pay and seniority. Without a contract, Republic management would not have to recall any worker it laid off. Republic management could hire new AMTs at the bottom of the pay scale with no seniority.
During these tough times, having the most powerful and largest union in the United States, the IAM, backing up Republic AMTs would never be more important and valuable than it is right now.
If you haven't yet signed an election authorization card (a-card) to request the right to vote in a union representation election, you can request an a-card online and the IAM will mail one out to you.
REQUEST AN A-CARD HERE.
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