TWU’s Lombardo Expresses Full Support for IAM’s Effort to Be Free to Strike American Airlines
Published 18 Mar, 2014
March 18, 2014
For Immediate Release
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The Transport Workers Union’s Lombardo Expresses Full Support for Machinists Union’s Effort to be Free to Strike American Airlines
Washington — The President of the Transport Workers Union of America (TWU), Harry Lombardo, today announced that the International Association of Machinists (IAM) would have TWU’s full support in its efforts to seek release from the federal National Mediation Board (NMB). Under the Railway Labor Act, airline and railroad workers in the United States must seek “release” or permission to strike from the NMB, the labor agency that regulates airlines and railroads, before taking any job action.
“This is supposed to be the new and better American,” said Lombardo. “Management has said they want to have better labor relations than existed at either US Airways or the old American. Yet, the airline’s leadership has locked mechanics and other ground workers represented by IAM into a second class status where they get lower pay and fewer benefits than workers represented by TWU for the same work at the same airline.”
An IAM-represented fleet service worker at US Airways earns roughly 10 percent below what a top-scale fleet service worker represented by TWU is paid at American Airlines, despite American emerging from bankruptcy only last year. American Airlines workers also are scheduled to receive a two percent raise in September. No raise is scheduled for US Airways ground workers.
Prior to the US Airways/American merger, IAM represented mechanics and fleet service workers at US Airways and TWU at American. IAM’s negotiations with US Airways have dragged on for more than two years.
“The TWU and IAM are partners,” said Lombardo. “Both unions belong to the AFL- CIO. We represent workers that share the same skills and classifications; the nearly 30,000 ground workers represented by IAM and TWU at the new American Airlines are union brothers and sisters.” Added the TWU President, “We will not sit idly by as management tries to drive a wedge between workers.”
The IAM currently represents mechanics, fleet service workers and stores employees at US Airways; TWU represents these classifications at American. TWU also represents aircraft dispatchers, flight crew training instructors and flight simulator engineers at both American Airlines and US Airways.
The Transport Workers Union of America (TWU) represents 200,000 workers and retirees, primarily in commercial aviation, public transportation and passenger railroads, including 22,000 workers at American Airlines. TWU represents more workers at American than any other labor organization. The union is an affiliate of the AFL-CIO.
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