Monthly Archives: April 2015

Important message from TWU International President Harry Lombardo

Good afternoon Sisters and Brothers,

I wanted to share with you that I will be testifying on behalf of our great union before Congress this Thursday, April 23, on the importance of reauthorizing MAP-21, the federal surface transportation funding legislation.  This is the first time a President of TWU has been asked to testify before Congress in recent memory, a task I am not taking lightly.  On the heels of our Transit Transportation Legislation Training Conference, I plan on fully taking advantage of this opportunity to highlight the unique history of TWU; how we had the backbone to fight for working people.  I will ask Congress where their backbone is when it comes to fighting for the priorities of our members, such as the need for greater and sustainable transit/transportation funding, opposing privatization of transit operations and ensuring the health and safety of transit workers by cutting down on assaults.

I will be testifying before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs on Thursday.  The hearing begins at 10 am and I will be the fourth of four people to testify. The hearing can be viewed live by going to http://www.banking.senate.gov/public/ and clicking on the “Watch Live Hearing” link in the middle of the page (just note that the “Watch Live Hearing” link will only be available once the Committee hearing begins).  I am asking that you share this information with your members and encourage them to listen in.  We will also be posting information on TWU’s Facebook and Twitter page, @transportworker, which can and should be shared, reposted and retweeted as much as possible.

This is an important moment for our union.  It’s time to let our elected representatives and the public know we are a force to be reckoned with.  When I was given the honor of leading this union, I said I wanted to increase our influence and activity on Capitol Hill.  Well I mean what I say.  Let’s use this as an opportunity to move forward as one union and create positive change for our members and all working people.

In solidarity,

Harry Lombardo
TWU International President

ONE UNION – ONE FIGHT!

Local 501 Officers had recently filed 88 grievances for contractual violations on behalf of members at our LGA & SJU stations. All grievances were granted and the awards total over 350 hours of compensation pay. (Thousands of dollars).
As our International President Harry Lombardo has recently stated below:
 

 

 

 

"We need every TWU member to know that when they're at work, on the clock, their union has their back," said  International President Lombardo. "We are with them and fighting for them on the shop floor, in negotiations with their employers, and in the offices of their elected representatives.  

 

 

Letter from Kerry Philipovitch regarding Tower Planners

Dear Legacy American Tower Planners:

As you have likely heard by now, on Wednesday, the National Mediation Board (NMB) issued a decision that affects your workgroup. I want to let you know what this means for you now, and in the future.

First, a little background. As you know, the legacy American Tower Planners have not been represented by a union. At US Airways, the Tower Planners have been included in the Fleet Service “craft or class” that is represented by the International Association of Machinists (IAM). A craft or class is the group of employees the NMB has determined is appropriate for purposes of union representation and collective bargaining based on the work they do (e.g., pilots are in a separate craft or class, flight attendants are in a separate craft or class). At legacy American, the employees in the Fleet Service craft or class are represented by the Transport Workers Union (TWU).

In anticipation of the merger, the TWU and the IAM formed an alliance (TWU-IAM) that would seek to jointly represent the Fleet Service employees at the new American. Last summer, the TWU-IAM alliance filed an application with the NMB to represent the Fleet Service employees at the new American. In Wednesday’s decision, the NMB agreed to process the application filed by the TWU-IAM alliance, and, as part of that ruling, the NMB determined that Tower Planners at the new American will be included in the Fleet Service craft or class. Once a union has been certified by the NMB to represent the Fleet Service craft or class, that union will represent the Tower Planners at the new American.

Under NMB rules, there is now a 30-day window during which any other union can file its own application supported by a “showing of interest” to represent all employees in the Fleet Service craft or class (including Tower Planners). That union would have to submit signed authorization cards from more than 50% of the Fleet Service employees to make the showing of interest the NMB requires. The NMB will then decide which union to certify as the representative of the Fleet Service employees at the new American. Once union representation has been settled, we can begin negotiating a new joint collective bargaining agreement (JCBA) for all Fleet Service employees, including Tower Planners.

For now and while the JCBA is being negotiated, your pay, benefits and work rules will remain the same as they are today. Changes will only come once there is a new JCBA. In addition, I expect the JCBA to address seniority for the Fleet Service group.

I realize this news is still fresh and you may have more questions along the way. If you do, please reach out to your HR Business Partner or manager, and we’ll do our best to get you answers.

Sincerely,

Kerry Philipovitch
Senior Vice President – Customer Experience

7 Union Leaders Urge Congress to Support Opening Consultations with Qatar and the UAE to Address Unfair Subsidies

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 16, 2015
 
MEDIA CONTACTS:
ALPA: 703-481-4440, media@alpa.org 
APA: Captain Dennis Tajer, 847-902-8481, dtajer@alliedpilots.org / Gregg Overman 817-302-2250, goverman@alliedpilots.org
APFA: Anthony DeMaio, 202-292-3355, ADeMaio@oneillandassoc.com
AFA/CWA: Molly Sheerer, 202-550-5520, press@afanet.org
Teamsters: Galen Munroe, 202-624-6904, gmunroe@teamster.org
TWU: Samantha Saly, 202-719-3900, ssaly@twu.org
 
Washington, D.C. (April 16, 2015) – Today the presidents of the Air Line Pilots Association International, the Allied Pilots Association, the Association of Flight Attendants, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, Communications Workers of America, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the Transport Workers Union of America, AFL-CIO sent a letter to Congress urging members to call on the U.S. government to open consultations with Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
 
Over the past decade, Qatar and the UAE have provided more than $42 billion in subsidies to their state-owned airlines, Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways and Emirates, a clear violation of the Open Skies agreements. Without the pressure of financial profitability, these airlines are competing with an unfair advantage over U.S. airlines.  In the letter, the union presidents argue: 
 
“These subsidies make it possible for these airlines to flood the market with excess capacity on international routes, displacing U.S. airline market share and shifting U.S. jobs overseas.  By one estimate, each international roundtrip route ceded or foregone by U.S. carriers results in a loss of more than 800 American jobs.”
 
The full text of the letter is below.
 
April 16, 2015
 
Dear Members of Congress,
 
We are writing today to bring your attention to a situation that is threatening the future of the U.S. airline industry.  The governments of Qatar and the United Arab Emirates are aiming to dominate global aviation, to the detriment of U.S. airlines and workers, by providing enormous subsidies to their state-owned airlines: Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways and Emirates Airline. 
 
Over the past decade, Qatar, Etihad and Emirates have received more than $42 billion in subsidies and other unfair benefits from their governments, which is a violation of the Open Skies agreements the U.S. has with Qatar and the UAE. These subsidies make it possible for these airlines to flood the market with excess capacity on international routes, displacing U.S. airline market share and shifting U.S. jobs overseas.  By one estimate, each international roundtrip route ceded or foregone by U.S. carriers results in a loss of more than 800 American jobs.
 
Unlike U.S. airlines, these enterprises need not turn a profit. Evidence gathered during a global, two-year investigation reveals that since 2004, Qatar, Etihad and Emirates have received:
 
·         $15 billion government “loans” and “shareholder advances” with no repayment obligation
·         $6.3 billion in pure capital injections
·         $3.8 billion in free land, subsidized airport infrastructure, and airport fee exemptions and rebates
 
These subsidies are incompatible with the premise of fair and equal competition that is embodied in all U.S. Open Skies agreements, including those that Qatar and the UAE have signed.  Together, they tilt the playing field and make fair competition impossible.
 
Moreover, Qatar, Etihad and Emirates do not operate under independent regulatory scrutiny.  In fact, the government officials running these airlines are often those in charge of their regulation. In addition, because Qatar and the UAE have banned unions or have severely restricted any right of association, Gulf carrier workers do not have legal rights or say in work conditions or safety standards. These factors are allowing the Gulf carriers to expand precipitously, harming American companies in the process. 
 
Gulf carrier competition, enabled by these unfair subsidies, has caused France and Germany to call for the EU to address the Gulf carriers’ unfair competitive advantages.  Additionally, last month the EU Transport Commissioner announced plans to pursue a mandate from EU member states to open talks with the governments of the UAE and Qatar to address the subsidies issue.
 
We ask that you join us in calling for the U.S. government to seek consultations with the UAE and Qatar to attempt to resolve the subsidies issue and to seek a freeze on further expansion by the Gulf carriers in the U.S. while the consultations proceed.
 
Our members, and the U.S. airline industry for whom they work, can compete with anyone on a level playing field.  Please help us restore fair competition to the global airline marketplace.
 
Sincerely,
 
Captain Tim Canoll, President, Air Line Pilots Association International
Captain Keith Wilson, President, Allied Pilots Association
Sara Nelson, International President, Association of Flight Attendants
Laura Glading, President, Association of Professional Flight Attendants
Larry Cohen, President, Communications Workers of America
James P. Hoffa, General President, International Brotherhood of Teamsters
Harry Lombardo, President, Transport Workers Union of America, AFL-CIO
 
 
To download the official press release, please click here