Friday, September 4, 2015

Teamster airline mechanics fight for safety

Members of the Teamsters Aviation Mechanics Coalition (TAMC) came to Washington last week to air their grievances and fight to improve airline safety.

TAMC members held several Capitol Hill meetings.
TAMC Chairman Chris Moore led the effort to meet with a bipartisan group of policy experts and legislative staff. He was joined by International Representative and TAMC Board Member Bob Fisher; Gary Kagel, a member of the TAMC Steering Committee from Local 769; Tom Reid, a TAMC Steering Committee member from Local 210; and Greg Unterseher, a business agent from Local 1224.

The TAMC requested that global drug testing standards be brought into uniform parity so that testing can be fair and equal for all airline mechanics.Airline repair stations exist all over the world and many carriers based in the U.S. outsource their repairs to foreign countries.Each nation has different standards for their drug testing, some of which are lower that the standards in the U.S.

Additionally, the TAMC lobbied for a moratorium on the certification of new repair stations worldwide following three consecutive reports by the U.S. Office of the Inspector General detailing an extensive failure by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to properly oversee existing repair stations.The TAMC believes that if the FAA cannot oversee existing repair stations, new ones should not be certified until all of the existing stations are able to be examined for compliance on a regular basis.

Moore was pleased with the meetings and is hopeful that action on these items can happen soon:
Our number-one goal is to improve safety and conditions for airline mechanics and the flying public. To that extent, these past two days have been full of productive and informative meetings with policy makers across the political spectrum and I’m hoping we can get some attention paid to these issues.
Captain David Bourne, Director of the Teamsters Airline Division, applauded the efforts of the TAMC to pressure lawmakers on airline safety issues:
I’m grateful for the work of the entire TAMC. The FAA needs to remember their commitment to the safety of the flying public. The efforts of the TAMC are important in keeping the spotlight on these issues.
The TAMC represents more than 18,000 aviation mechanics and related workers at seven airlines, including United, ExpressJet, Frontier, Horizon Air, NetJets, Piedmont Airlines and UPS. The Coalition will continue to fight for good working conditions for airline mechanics and safer skies.
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