Monthly Archives: May 2017
American negotiations continued this week in Washington, D.C. By mutual agreement, the Chairperson of the National Mediation Board (NMB), Linda Puchala, joined our negotiations. The purpose of entering Executive level negotiations is to bring the talks to a successful conclusion and to the degree the NMB can assist in that goal, Ms. Puchala is welcomed.
The conditions set forth in agreeing to NMB participation is that the parties (the Company and the Association) will set their own meeting schedule that is not dependent on the availability of the NMB representative and that there be no interference with the Association communications to our TWU and IAM members.
The bargaining sessions this week focused on some of the difficult language issues that have been left open during the negotiations up to this point. The Association participants in these talks vigorously defended the positions laid forth in our ongoing negotiations. Progress at the table has occurred with some success. While some critical items have been addressed and general agreement has been signaled by the parties, we know full well that a total agreement must include economic agreements that are satisfactory to our negotiators.
Negotiations are scheduled to resume May 22, with additional sessions scheduled after that week.
These joint negotiators remain fully committed to bringing the best contract in the industry for a vote of our membership. Your solidarity and support are both appreciated and necessary in order to achieve that goal. Remember, do not listen to rumors—your only official negotiations report is that issued by this Association.
Fleet Negotiating Committee:
Mark Baskett, William Fa, Mike Fairbanks, Tim Hughes, Steve Miller, Tim Murphy, Pat Rezler, Art Risley, Andre Sutton, Rodney Walker, Bill Wilson
Mechanic and Related/Stores Committee:
Jason Best, Mike Bush, Ken Coley, John Coveny, Dale Danker, Mark Huﬀman, Bennie Martino, Gary Peterson, Rollie Reaves, Sean Ryan, Jay Sleeman Mark Strength
IEC Unanimously Elevates John Samuelsen As 10th International President After Harry Lombardo Announces Retirement
At the TWU International Executive Council meeting today, Executive Vice President John Samuelsen was elevated to International President after incumbent President Harry Lombardo unexpectedly announced his retirement, effective immediately. Samuelsen is President of TWU’s largest affiliate, Local 100 in New York City, which is also the nation’s biggest transportation local union with 42,000 active members.
Samuelsen, 49, becomes TWU’s 10th International President and the youngest to achieve that position since founder Michael J. Quill in 1937.
A lifelong Brooklynite, Samuelsen joined TWU in 1993 after signing on with the New York City Transit Authority as a Trackworker.
He was elected Local 100 President in December 2009 and was overwhelmingly reelected in 2012 and 2015.
Samuelsen emphasized that the core leadership of TWU remains strongly united with Secretary-Treasurer Alex Garcia, and Administrative Vice Presidents Gary Maslanka and John Bland, all standing firmly as one. He said the leadership’s immediate priority will be working with the TWU national bargaining committee on all of the union’s pressing national contracts, including the vital American Airlines negotiations, which covers over 25,000 TWU members nationwide. Samuelsen said he will continue in his role as Local 100 President for the short term, to see through the implementation of the most recently negotiated agreement for the Local’s largest bargaining unit, the 38,000 members at MTA-NYCT, MTA-MABSTOA and MTA Bus.
Like TWU’s founding President, Michael J. Quill, Samuelsen is an ardent believer in industrial trade unionism. He explained his philosophy of leadership to the International Executive Council in the following manner: aggressively take on management to win the best contracts possible for TWU members; develop a strategic plan to organize new workers across all of our industrial sectors; utilize the resources of the International union to fight back against governmental fiscal austerity in public transit; work alongside TWU locals to develop and fight strategic campaigns to advance the union; and challenge the Democratic Party to once again become the party that wholeheartedly represents the interests of the trade union movement and blue-collar America.
American Airlines yesterday announced mid-contract pay increases for its pilot and flight attendant groups. The Company states its reasoning is that those two groups have fallen significantly behind their industry peers with long durations before their collective bargaining agreements are open for negotiations. The TWU-IAM Association negotiated industry leading pay increases last fall for the membership at American. Those pay increases for Association represented employees are locked in and have benefited those employees for several months. It appears the Association action that kept its members from lagging behind the industry helped these other employee groups.
The difference between all the other American employee groups and the Association members is that, while industry best pay increases were already achieved, Association members will benefit from our current joint collective bargaining that will bring more pay and benefit improvements putting them even further ahead. As previously reported, TWU-IAM Association negotiations have entered Executive level status with the objective of bringing those negotiations to conclusion so our members can reap the benefits of the improvements yet to come. Your patience and solidarity are needed while the critical final stages of our negotiations take place.
Sito Pantoja Harry Lombardo Association Director and Vice Director