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
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