The fight is for a strong, unified negotiating position against the largest airline, not against each other.
Following up on AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka’s suggestion to the IAM and TWU to work towards a mutually acceptable alternative to a representation battle at the new American Airlines, both unions have been putting their best efforts into finding an answer. Both unions are members of the AFL-CIO and as such have a common interest in expanding and improving organized labor. President Trumka’s message focused on the fact that after an expensive and emotional battle between the unions, if a representation election is held, not a single new or unorganized member would join the winning union. In other words, after all the cost, arguments, permanently hurt feelings, and negative campaigning the number of union members would not change, just the logo would. Good intentioned representatives of both unions are looking for another way to bring quality representation to the employees of what will become the world’s largest airline. The success or failure of this joint problem solving effort will have an effect on airline employees at other carriers, whether they belong to a union or not. A strong, unified negotiating position against the largest airline will strengthen and improve the futures of everyone in coming negotiations.
It was discouraging this past week to see that not all unions view this situation as a time to come together as organized labor do what is best for working people. The Teamsters union petitioned the NMB this week to hold an investigation and possibly an election among the Mechanic and Related classifications of USAirways. This type of representation election is exactly what President Trumka was warning about. Even if they are successful in this election, the IBT will not have increased the number of organized workers nor will they have strengthened the solidarity among mechanics. They will only guarantee that more representation elections will have to be held in the future and the fracturing of members will continue, to the benefit of the airlines.
Preparations to return to negotiations at United Airlines
Preparations to return to negotiations at United Airlines continued this past week. It has been more than a month since the IAM and United jointly petitioned the National Mediation Board for their services in our negotiations. To date there has been no response from the Board. There has been no mediator assigned to our talks and therefore no schedule created to resume. Our desire is to return to talks and find a solution to the issues that have prevented us from reaching an agreement with United that is acceptable to our membership. We want to follow the rules of the NMB but we also think productive talks could be held between the company and Union even if a mediator was not available. We want to discuss this possibility with United and if they agree we believe talks could restart. The establishing of a survey system that is secure and accurate is taking more time than is acceptable. We believe we could reenter talks and have meaningful discussions on several major issues without waiting for a full, detailed survey of members; but use the results of a survey to reinforce the importance of, or identify, issues that have to be addressed before another agreement is reached.
USAirways negotiation update:
USAirways negotiations, originally scheduled for last week, were postponed but will resume the first week of June in Chicago. Although we are still far apart from the company concerning issues of compensation and benefits, our recent agreements with them regarding seniority integrations and job protection for line stations indicate that progress can be made. As the expected date of merger comes closer the need to reach an agreement for USAirways members becomes critical. We look forward to the June sessions to see if true progress can be made.
The Galactic Informant is at it again, selling conspiracy theories. The aluminum-capped expert has proven once again the inner child rules many of our minds. District 141 has created a series of some funny and some sad out of body experiences of some of our more creative members.
We have many new members at District Lodge 141 and we will provide documented information to help you make an informed decision. As Union members, we vote on how our Union is run. We do this on a set schedule based on rules that were voted on, called Constitution or By-laws. Each time we vote we have a chance to make our Union run more efficiently and to be a better Union for our members today and the future.
Grand Lodge, Convention Delegate
The Grand Lodge Convention happens every four year’s, every IAM member is eligible to be an elected delegate. Local Lodge membership elected their own delegates to vote on Constitutional Changes at the Grand Lodge Convention. Any member can submit Grand Lodge Constitutional proposals.
District Lodge 141, Convention Delegate
District Lodge 141 Convention happens every year, every IAM member affiliated with District Lodge 141 are eligible to be an elected delegate. Local Lodge membership affiliated with District Lodge 141 elect their own delegates and every member can propose By-Law Changes. The Delegates at the convention approve the By-Law proposals and then the District Secretary-Treasurer submits them to the members in a Referendum vote. If the By-Law proposal’s pass through all of these process, they still need approval from the IAMAW, International President.
In the - ABOUT - drop down navigation button, on the iam141.org web site, you will find the IAM Constitution, District Lodge 141 By-Laws. District Lodge 141 is required to follow its By-Laws, even if they do not seem to make sense. The By-Laws are over 60 years old and have served the organization well, but nothing is timeless and changes need to happen.
By-Law Referendum XII and XIII
Review the two Referendums - Download
Review the voting schedule at your Local Lodge - Download
US Airways - Updates