Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Breaking: Teamsters file for American Airlines mechanics' election

American Airline mechanics at today's news conference in Washington.
Just days after filing for a US Airways mechanics election, the Teamsters today announced at a Washington news conference that we're filing for an American Airlines mechanics election with the National Mediation Board.

We already represent 18,000 airline mechanics and related workers. If the two airline mechanics vote for Teamster representation, we'll represent 30,000 airline mechanics and related workers.

Bill Wheeler, a 26-year American Airlines mechanic, explained why they want to be Teamsters:
Workers around the country have been under attack for years and we as American Airlines mechanics are no exception. After enduring 20 years of concessions, outsourced jobs, bankruptcy, frozen pensions and an overall lack of respect, we are coming together to bring in the bargaining power of the Teamsters Union, which has the strongest record representing mechanics in our industry.
Jim Witt, a 24-year American Airlines mechanic, added:
From day one, this campaign has been about our craft standing up and fighting back against the rampant outsourcing and other abuses we’ve seen over the years. We’ve had enough and today with the Teamsters we are drawing a line in the sand. The Teamsters have the experience and power to stand up to management and restore the dignity of our profession.
Tulsa World reported the news:
The International Brotherhood of Teamsters told the Tulsa World it has collected signatures from more than half of American Airlines' mechanics and related workers...
American Airlines employs nearly 11,000 maintenance workers, nearly half of them at the Tulsa Maintenance & Engineering Center at Tulsa International Airport.

If the National Mediation Board deems the signatures valid, there would be a vote on union representation among American Airlines maintenance workers.

"I wouldn't say the Teamsters don't win every battle, but they do things differently," said Hank Rogish, an American Airlines aircraft maintenance technician in Fort Worth who has been helping organize the Teamsters effort. "They won't just let their membership be decimated the way it has been here."
The Teamsters' press statement has more:
American Airlines has been in bankruptcy since 2011, resulting in the downsizing of aircraft maintenance stations and furloughs targeting AA mechanics. Meanwhile, a bankruptcy judge recently approved AA’s merger deal with US Airway, which will create the world’s largest airline.