"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.
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.
Senior Vice President – Customer Experience
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The issuance of the NMB single carrier decision for the American Airline crafts and classes of Mechanic and Related, Fleet Service and Stores is a land mark in the history of TWU representation of its airline members. It opens the way to members to continue to enjoy vigorous TWU representation at American Airlines, both through the several joint associations established by TWU and IAM to represent the classes or crafts at the merged single carrier, and through the continued efforts of both TWU and its AA locals to deal with American Airlines management at the local level and with regard to problems particular to the formerly AA side of the merged single carrier.
The first steps that follow the single carrier determination will be elections, at each of the three classes or crafts, that will determine the certification of the TWU/IAM Association for each class or craft. The Association will be certified when it receives a majority of the votes cast. It is important that TWU officers and activists work hard to get as large a vote as possible, even if there is no competing organization; a large vote will be to the advantage of our members in later dealings with the airline.
TWU has anticipated this decision for some time. Preemptively, we conducted a week-long negotiations training class for our US Airways and American Airlines Presidents. In depth discussions on strategy, committees and economics dominated the week. Additionally, an ATD Presidents meeting has been scheduled for early June. During the conference there will be an in depth historical analysis of the airline industry as it relates to management teams, economics, contract negotiations and various other issues will be presented.
Even as the matter proceeds to a vote, TWU will be working with its locals and members to prepare for the process of working out with the IAM the demands that the Association will make in negotiating with the airline, following certification. TWU will be 100% prepared to fight for and deliver a contract that recognizes the concessions that our members have endured over the years. It is important that this work go on as quickly as is consistent with doing the best job possible for members.
In its decision, the NMB addressed a number of class or craft issues that reflect pre-merger representational differences between American Airlines and US Airways. To mention only one of these issues, the NMB determined that Simulator Technicians would continue to be included in the class or craft of Mechanic and Related at the single carrier, as they were at pre-merger AA, rather than being considered a separate class or craft, as at pre-merger US Airways. Anyone who has a question regarding the status of any group of employees may either consult the detailed NMB decision, or their local officers.
Brother and Sister TWU/IAM Members:
In an announcement that brings us one step closer to joint contract negotiations for more than 30,000 Mechanic and Related, Fleet Service and Stores employees at American Airlines, the National Mediation Board (NMB) today ruled that the carrier is operating as a single transportation system.
Today's determination is a necessary precursor to certifying that the TWU_IAM Association, an alliance formed by both unions after the merger of American Airlines and US Airways, as the collective bargaining representative for the above employees at the merged carrier.
Today's ruling sets the stage for Association members to get to the table and do whatever it takes to get a labor agreement that recognizes the sacrifices our members and their families have made in order for American Airlines to become the largest and most profitable airline in the world.
30,000 TWU-IAM Association members determined to achieve the industry's best contracts presents the most formidable labor alliance in the airline industry.
The TWU and IAM have been preparing for joint contract negotiations on the combined carrier, and contract surveys are already underway. Upon NMB certification, the Association will bring American Airlines to the bargaining table so the members the Association represents can achieve the contracts, pay and benefits that are long overdue.
Please click here to download this communication to all American Airlines/US Airways Mechanic & Related, Fleet and Stores Employees, and to view the official NMB determination.