REPUBLIC MANAGEMENT TO MECHANIC AND RELATED WORKERS: WE’LL GET BACK TO YOU. WHEN?
A few months ago, Director of Labor Relations Jane Ham, previously employed by the union-busting law firm Ford and Harrison, held meetings in PIT, CMH and IND, in an attempt to hear our concerns and answer questions that we had.
Well, it’s been months since those meetings took place and many of the questions that we posed to Ms. Ham have gone unanswered. In fact, during the meetings, she said she’d get back to us, which was fair enough. But, not following up on her commitment to get back to us is disrespectful and unprofessional.
The unfortunate fact is, Ms. Ham is under no obligation to get back to us. Without collective bargaining rights, which only comes from unionizing, Ms. Ham can string us along forever and never answer our questions or do anything about our concerns regarding our workplace.
The only sure-fire way to have our questions answered and our concerns addressed is at the negotiating table. But first we must unionize. Then Ms. Ham is under a LEGAL obligation to take us seriously.
Having a union levels the playing field and offers equality for workers. Just ask Republic Pilots and Flight Attendants. Republic management’s corporate updates to flight crews consistently talk about the “industry leading wages and benefits” they have. How do you think that happened? It’s because they have a union and the right to collective bargaining.
The time is now for us to gain respect and fairness on the job. We deserve it. We deserve the industry leading wages and benefits that Republic management boasts about when talking about flight crews.
The fact is, the flight crews don’t fly without us. Too bad Ms. Ham doesn’t respect this.
Click here to request an a-card online.
REPUBLIC MANAGEMENT USING THIRD PARTY VENDORS TO PERFORM OUR WORK
Republic management has decided to utilize third party vendors to work alongside us because, they claim, they are having trouble filling AMT vacancies. This latest move by management is unfair and seriously diminishes our profession threatens our jobs.
Without a union contract and legally enforceable terms, Republic management can, and will, turn over our work over to lower paid vendors who will work right alongside us. There is no action that we can take to prevent this with a union contract. How long will it take to phase us out and replace us with vendors? The only way we can protect our work and our jobs is by unionizing and negotiating a contract with "scope" language.
"Scope" provisions in a union contract define the work that we do, and prevent others from performing our work. Contractual "scope" language protects our jobs and families.
And, Republic management can do things that would attract new applicants by raising the standards at our airline. That, however, doesn't seem to be the case. It appears that Republic management will attempt a patchwork fix to this problem instead of finding a long term solution. Having IAM representation could even help Republic find AMTs to hire.
For example, the IAM has a long history and relationship with Aviation High School in New York City. The IAM supports Aviation HS and works to find jobs to it graduates. Aviation HS is known to produce some of the finest young AMTs in our nation. Click here to find out more about Aviation HS.
The bottom line is that unionizing and negotiating a legally enforceable contract will not only benefit us, it will also benefit Republic Airways management.
Please click here to request an election authorization card.
Click here to download and distribute the flyer.
IN TIME OF INDUSTRY CRISIS, IAM REACHES TENTATIVE ACCORD FOR INDUSTRY LEADING AIRCRAFT MECHANIC CONTRACT AT AIR WISCONSIN
The International Association and Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) District 142 last week, amid the worst global airline industry downturn in history, reached an industry best tentative agreement for mechanic and related workers at Air Wisconsin, one of the largest regional carriers in the United States.
The tentative deal includes an average wage increase of 18.4 percent, a signing bonus, maintenance base job security with no sunset clause, increases in license and crew chief premiums, many contract language improvements and wage increases beyond the amendable date of the contract.
"I congratulate IAM District 142 and the negotiating committee on a job well done in what was a long and tough negotiations," said John Werkmeister, IAM Grand Lodge Represenative and lead negotiator. "This tentative agreement keeps Air Wisconsin mechanic and related workers at the top of the regional sector, right where these hardworking and dedicated workers belong. When Republic Airways mechanic and related workers unionize with the IAM, they can expect a contract that fully recognizes their value to Republic Airways. This is especially true as the industry recovers."
The Air Wisconsin tentative accord runs through September 30, 2023 and either party can opt to open negotiations six months early.
IAM District 142 is in the process of arranging a ratification schedule. The tentative agreement can be viewed here, with changes displayed bolded text. The negotiating committee unanimously recommends ratification.
Download and distribute the flyer here.
US Airline Industry Poised for a Comeback Thanks to Airline Unions: Sign Your A-Card Today!
Over 7 million people went through TSA check points from May 28th to May 31st in the United States, the most over any four day span since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although still down from 2019 levels, airline executives and analysts are signaling the industry's recovery from the worst downturn in the history of aviation.
How did the airline industry survive when demand collapsed by approximately 90 percent because of the pandemic? Airline workers, particularly airline union members, mobilized and demanded that the US government provide the industry with support while protecting airline workers' jobs and pay rates. Because of the political pressure applied by airline workers, air carriers were not bailed out on the backs of workers. This is a perfect example of the positive gains that can be made when workers act collectively for a common purpose.
It is also a perfect example of why Republic mechanic and related workers must form a union. It is the only way to achieve a legal voice and contract that provides the fairness and equity that we deserve.
In approximately eight months we will be able to again file for a representation election, which includes groups of workers that the National Mediation Board (NMB), a federal agency, deemed to be part of the "mechanic and related class and craft."
Election authorization cards have been coming in at a steady rate and the interest in forming a union with the IAM is strong. We ask that you submit your a-card today, so we can get the 50 percent needed to again file for an election.
Please visit our website to request an a-card and receive more information about our campaign and the IAM.
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.
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