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Airline Division News, Week Ending, September 17, 2016

Body of missing IBT Flight Attendant is located

According to NBC 4 in New York, the body of Sierra Shields, the Delta flight attendant who went missing in January, when she apparently quit her job ahead of a flight and walked out of LaGuardia Airport, has been found.  

Family members have been searching for her since she was last seen walking out of the airport on Jan. 14.  Teamsters from across the Tri State region helped in the search and posted notices throughout the area. Additionally, the Teamsters offered a $10,000.00 reward for information. 

The report said that Sierra’s family says police contacted them and said they found their daughter's remains. Her cause of death has yet to be determined.  

Shields' family said in a statement Friday, "We are eternally grateful for the outpouring of love and support for our beautiful sweet Sierra. We are truly thankful for how God used Sierra's life to reflect the beauty of His Kingdom. Our family is requesting privacy at this time as we cherish the memory of our precious Sierra." 

Notified of the information, Airline Division Director David P. Bourne said, “This is a tremendously sad day for Sierra’s family and our Teamster family. While I never had the pleasure of meeting her personally, it is clear from the outpouring of concern and love from her fellow crewmembers that Sierra was truly a loving and loved person. Sierra was not just a member of our union; she was a part of our family who we have missed and prayed for her safe return. As we send our love, prayers and sympathies to her family, we will never forget her and the time she spent with us.”

TMC Management Agrees to 3 Year Duration for Future First Contract

Negotiations for the TMC Collective Bargaining Agreement (“CBA”) resumed on Wednesday, September 7, 2016, at the Fairfield Inn & Suites in Elkhart, IN. IBT Local 1108 President Capt. Efrem Vojta and TMC MEC Chairman Capt. Chad M. Sayler join the committee during the bargaining session.  

TMC CEO Scott Wise provided an update on the state of the Company. He expanded on the “Big News” email he sent a few hours prior announcing the hopeful addition of some Nextant 400XT aircraft. All Beechjet pilots will begin receiving differences training during their upcoming initial, recurrent or transition training in anticipation of the addition of Nextants to the Company’s fleet.  

The issue of repeat maintenance discrepancies came up. COO Scott Henely wanted to assure pilots that corrective actions are not being “pencil whipped.” The parties discussed how to better inform pilots of the maintenance history of assigned aircraft so they may understand what has, or has not, been done in the troubleshooting process.  

The next bargaining sessions are scheduled for:

• November 16 – 18, 2016

• January 9 – 12, 2017

• February 7 – 10, 2017
October & December were not scheduled due to scheduling conflicts.

Union negotiators have presented 20 of the 30 sections that will comprise the future CBA and reached TAs on half of them. Of the 10 open sections, both parties have agreed to the vast majority of the language, while some sections are being held open by only a few provisions. Negotiations are quickly advancing into economic areas that will have a direct impact on the Company’s operation and, ultimately, the bottom line. 

Family Kickoff Event in CVG for Atlas and Southern Air Crew Members

For Atlas and Southern Air crewmembers who are local to Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky or just happen to be passing through the area the weekend of October 1st, the union is hosting a “Giant Families Kickoff Event.”  

“Giant” is the FAA callsign for Atlas Air. 

With a day planned full of family fun, the union will be providing food and non-alcoholic beverages.  Spouses, significant other, and kids – all are welcome.  The committee is planning for a few friendly yard games and is looking into some additional entertainment for the kids.  Members should also feel free to bring games, balls, Frisbees, lawn chairs, picnic blankets, or anything convenient for some added family fun.   

To help the union better prepare, they ask all those planning to attend to click the following link and confirm your attendance (  

What:  Giant Families Kickoff Event

When:  Saturday, October 1, 2016

Time:  Festivities will begin at 4:00 p.m. EDT

Where:  Boone Woods Park, near the CVG airport   

This kickoff event is the first in a series of family awareness events to be held in various locations across the country for crewmembers over the next few months designed to bring together locally-based families and crew members who may be passing through.  

As a reminder, the union is not covering the cost of hotels and transportation for this series of Family Awareness events.

UAL Negotiators Continue work on AiP

The UAL IBT negotiating committee met on September 15th and 16th to discuss answers to many questions that were raised after the Agreement in Principal (AIP) was reached. At issue were several items that came to light with the full draft language from the company.

The complete language from the company was sent to the committee shortly after the AiP was reached. The committee set to the task of comparing the document line by line in order to verify the language that was agreed to. As a result, a majority of the CBA is complete; however during review the committee realized that some changes were not clear.  Some of these noted changes are settled as a result of questions posed to the company, and others required additional meeting time. Each of these changes was somewhat subtle on their own merits, but together, all of these changes created some concern for the committee.

As a result, while the Agreement in Principle still stands, as well as the NMB gag order, the committee voted, and the decision has been made that they do not yet have a Tentative Agreement.   The NMB has directed the parties to meet at their offices in Washington, D.C. on September 26th to discuss the issues. 

Airline Industry News

Governmental and Regulatory

Airline passengers should not turn on or charge their Samsung Electronics Co Ltd Galaxy Note 7 smartphones during flights or stow them in checked baggage due to concerns over the phone's fire-prone batteries, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said.

Airlines, Industry and Labor

Mark Powers, the chief financial officer for JetBlue Airways,plans to retire in November. Powers started working for the carrier in 2006, and has served as CFO for five years.

Thefirst batch of low-carbon jet fuel  derived from waste industrial gases from steel mills has been produced for use by UK long-haul carrier Virgin Atlantic, with flight trials scheduled to start in 2017.

A number of Concorde memorabilia items including scale models and original airplane parts are headed for the auction block this fall in Toulouse, France. Lots will be exhibited in late October with the auction taking place Nov. 3 to 5.

Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has confirmed that a large piece of aircraft debris, found just off the coast of Tanzania in June, is from the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 that crashed in 2014 while operating as MH370.