NMB Process Plods Along

The National Mediation Board (NMB) requested additional information from the TWU/IAM Association relating to our request for a determination of Single Carrier Status (SCS). Specifically, the NMB asked for documentation related to both American Airlines and US Airways Simulator Technicians.

This request is evidence the NMB is actively engaged in processing the Association’s SCS determination filing, which is required before Alliance Mechanic and Related, Fleet Service and Stock Clerk members can start negotiating agreements that recognize all of the hard work and sacrifice they have made.

PRESIDENTS MESSAGE

VICTOR J. GONZALEZ 
  PRESIDENTS MESSAGE

 As I reflect back to October 2013 when I succeeded to the Office of President it was one of the proudest moments of my Life!

 After serving our Local 501 membership since 1997 as a Steward, Chief Steward, Section Chairman,

 Executive Board Member, Recording Secretary, and 1st Vice President, my Dream to become President

 became a reality when I was duly Elected on May 23, 2014.

     Taking charge and being responsible for everything from our Local Communications,

 Finances, to the rebuilding of a New Local 501 Administration doesn't happen without being prepared, motivated and focused. On May 23, 2014 the voices of our membership were heard loud and clear when they voted and duly Elected a New Administration which took over Office on June 1st, 2014.

     I am proud to say that our entire Local 501 Executive Board really stepped up from day one to perform their duties and carry out all the responsibilities that come with running our Local. The Local 501 Financial bottom line has increased without effecting Our Steward team which has grown and is motivated and providing a robust representation for the membership. As a Local we support and have been committed to the Benefits, Veterans, Working Woman’s and Safety Committees. We are active at the NY State Conferences and at the   Central Labor Council.

  Our goal as an Administration is to be visible, provide timely and accurate information.

                          (AND EARN OUR MEMBERS RESPECT!)

 As we move forward into the future, Local 501 is ready to take on any and all challenges we may face at the New American. Our Administration will do everything in our power to protect our members and be a part of producing a future CONTRACT we Deserve under our Leadership!

 At the end of the day my experience with the membership lets me know that our members do not want to hear any excuses, they Just want RESULTS!

In conclusion I encourage ALL of our members to Stand as ONE, support one another and be

 A PROUD TRANSPORT WORKERS UNION MEMBER of LOCAL 501.   

      ONE UNION—ONE FIGHT!

 

                                                               Fraternally, 
                                                           Victor J. Gonzalez
                                                              PRESIDENT

 

On the early morning of November 29, 2011 I was in the line control room of JFK Ramp Services when I got a text message from a 501 member in Philadelphia telling me that AMR Corporation, our employer, had just filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.  This employer, with over $4 billion in reserves, had just notified the world that it was broke and that it now was looking for to get on the corporate welfare system and slash all of it’s obligations and commitments made to its employees.  So desperate was their cry of poverty that they were even willing to cut ties with those they claimed to hold in the highest esteem… it’s “beloved” shareholders.   We often hear the term “Corporate Greed” associated with Wall Street fat cats and know we were witnessing it in our own backyard. 

When we look back at the history of TWU Local 501 we proudly remember the “glory days” when our Local included stations like Albany and Islip.  We now sadly add to that list Bradley, Newark and Philadelphia.  Why?  Because this employer of ours has done nothing but attack Air Transport Division Locals ever since Alfred E. Kahn, at the behest of then President Jimmy Carter, led the final push to deregulate our industry in the hopes that it would stop the subsidized airlines from heading down the same road of the nation’s railroad industry…workers and their families futures notwithstanding.

It would be impossible to deny the fact that the Local suffered greatly during the bankruptcy.  Costly negotiations, frozen pensions, medical costs increases, along with a management group hell bent on trying to demoralize our Membership with a heavy hand toward discipline and intimidation also exacerbated the FEAR that the company AND our employment would not live to see another day.  Many of our fellow brethren are no longer with us due to the downsizing and the company is still attempting to do what they can to beat in to us their “more with less” philosophy that we know could actually backfire and land us right back where THEY put us on that fateful day that saw the beginning of the end of AMR Corp.

As the 1st Vice President of TWU Local 501 it is imperative that I spend my time in office educating our Membership as to why certain things happened and what we need to do to fight back at the threats and intimidation tactics that the bosses know so well.  I’m often confronted with the claim by Members that management is always harassing them.  To this valid claim I will agree.  And that is because that is what management does.   They are good at it.  They are trained to do it.  And if they get away with it they will continue to do it.  The Executive Board of the Local has spent valuable resources in the last 6 months at preparing all of our appointed Stewards with strategies that can help combat these issues.  If you have done nothing wrong you should have no fear at standing up to management with Union representation and defending yourself.  As your Vice President, let me be clear on this one point that I have preached over and over; TWU Local 501 is in no position to demand that our employer run an efficient business.  But we will make damn sure that we do everything by way of the contract and/or government legislation that they run a safe business that allows you to go home to your families at the end of the day without injury or retaliation.  If a flight does not depart on time or a piece of cargo was not sent to a flight and you and your fellow 501 Sisters and Brothers were at your work area at the assigned time and performed your tasks safely, then the delay is on the company NOT YOU!  If after a delay someone from management wants to speak to you, I implore you to get a Shop Steward and let your Representative do what they are trained to do.  If you have performed your job properly, and used the tools made available to you in our Auto/Facility/Ramp shops this Local will fight tooth and nail to make sure your contractual rights are not violated and that the principles of “Just Cause” are maintained.  Our contracts allows the company to conduct an investigation when they deem fit (Art. 29f.)  But that same contract guarantees you, the Member, robust union representation along with a grievance procedure to fight back that which we deem an unjust resolution.  And as the advocate for all of our Local’s arbitrations many of you already know my personal resolve at fighting unfair or excessive discipline doled out by management.

Our bankruptcy was a sham.  There I said it.  And I’m never going to retract that statement.  Corporate America (including American,) and our elected officials on both sides of the aisle have spent the last 40+ years dismantling workers rights through legislation and loopholes that have destroyed the middle class of this great nation of ours.  We must fight back.  We must fight back in the shops.  We must fight back in arbitration.  We must fight back in negotiations.  We must fight back in the streets.  And we must fight back in the voting booths.  We, as a society, have grown too accustomed to thinking that it will all work out.   In our work sites it will continue to deteriorate if we just resign ourselves that it is ok to lift that heavy tagged bag or piece of cargo by ourselves.  That it is ok to go to work when you have a “slight” fever and you should not go to the doctor.   That it is ok that the horn or brakes do need to be fixed in your baggage tractor.  That it is ok to allow a member of management to berate you when you have done nothing wrong only to empower them to continue doing it to others.  None of these things are ok.  We have recently done some things to show what strength in unity can accomplish in the shops.  We must continue building on these things.  I implore you all to join forces with the Executive Board of Local 501.  The Transport Workers Union, under the leadership of Harry Lombardo, John Samuelsen and Alex Garcia took over in late 2013 with the vision of empowering the Locals of this great organization.  As a delegate to that convention I believe in that mandate.  If you are a Veteran join our Veterans Committee, I ask all of our Sister Members to seek out and join the Working Woman Committee.  Contribute to the Committee on Political Education (COPE) so we can remove the bums that have destroyed our working conditions and our morale at the same time.  When a call-to-arms come across that another of our TWU Locals may be in trouble join them as they have done in the past for Local 501. 

As we continue future newsletter communications please feel free to contact me with any items you would like to see addressed.  My email is Acuzz11228@aol.com and I can always be reached on my cell at (347) 661-3527.  I commit to you that I will spend my every single day as your Vice President to strengthening our Executive Board’s collective goal to create better working conditions for you AND your families.  All I ask in return is that you stand with our Executive Board to fight for those same things for you and your family as well.