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Airline Division News, Week Ending October 29, 2016

NetJets Techs/Controllers and Related Discussions Continue

The union Negotiating Committee met with the Company for bargaining the week of October 10th, and presented management with proposals covering Article 1 (Recognition), Article 16 (Holidays), Article 17 (Insurance and Other Benefits), Article 25 (Sick Days) and Article 33 (Wages). Refusing to accept management demands for economic and work rule concessions, they also resubmitted all other outstanding proposals.  

At the conclusion of the week, management had not provided responses on the outstanding issues, and had no additional proposals. They continued to reiterate their plans to subcontract maintenance work to cheaper vendors rather than using the companies own, highly skilled work force to service their customers’ aircraft.  

In a letter to the membership addressing negotiations and management spread rumors, the Committee and ExCo said:

“There is an old saying: garbage in, garbage out.  That’s a good way to describe the proposals we received in negotiations this week. It’s also a good way to describe the propaganda management has been spreading out on the floor. The next time a maintenance manager or supervisor tells you the Union isn’t available to negotiate, or that management is available 24/7, or that we are trying to prohibit OEMs from doing any work, don’t buy for a second.  Come to a Negotiating Committee member for accurate information. 

Your co-workers have no reason to mislead you: we are fighting for your job security, for better pay and against management demands for concessions.   Management has a different motive: they want to wear you down and mislead you because they want you to turn against us rather than them. That will allow management to achieve their primary goal of continuing to conceal NetJets’ dirty little secret – subcontracting critical maintenance on a massive scale in direct contradiction of their glossy marketing materials and promises to customers.  

We aren’t trying to eliminate all subcontracting of maintenance work like management claims, but we are trying to stop the bleeding. Management failed to live up to their promises of five lines of base maintenance under the 2007 Agreement and they’ve increased subcontracting to third party vendors. For example, EJM closed LUK and it didn’t result in more work for CMH employees.  But the work went somewhere, just not here. It’s more of the same from this management group – subcontract first, last and always rather assign work to us.  Make no mistake about it –they would eliminate every one of us just like they did the workforce at LUK if they could get away with it.  That’s why we need a strong Union contract to protect us.  Given management’s preference for lower cost vendors, the time is now to strengthen those contractual protections.” 

Bargaining is scheduled to resume the week of October 31st, with additional weeks scheduled for November and December.     

ExpressJet, (sub) ASA Negotiations Update

Mediated contract negotiations for an initial, stand alone sub-ASA labor agreement were conducted this week.  The Union and Company negotiators were directed to meet in Atlanta, by National Mediator Board Federal Mediator Gerry McGuckin. The meeting dates were October 25th through the 27th. Unfortunately, the Mediator was unable to attend due to personal reasons. 

The focus of discussions for the week were; Section 2 (Definitions), 18 (Overtime), 15 (Compensation), 1 (Scope) and 17 (Benefits). 

Progress was reported with the parties reaching a TA on Section 2 (Definitions). The parties are working to schedule dates for the next round of talks.

Airline Industry News 

Governmental and Regulatory

The National Transportation Safety Board is looking into multiple aviation incidents that occurred last week at LaGuardia, O'Hare and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International airports. NTSB has deployed teams to determine the cause of the American Airlines incident in Chicago and the FedEx incident in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., while continuing to investigate a runway incident at LaGuardia involving vice presidential candidate Mike Pence's aircraft. 

Airlines, Industry and Labor

US are looking forward airlines to what future travel to Cuba represents. "We're in it for the long haul," American Airlines CEO Doug Parker said. "This is really a new market. We're excited to be the largest carrier there. We're committed to Cuba and making it work." 

UPS announced Thursday it plans to add 14 new cargo jets, valued at $5.3 billion, to its fleet. "These aircraft are a strategic investment for increased capacity for UPS customers around the globe," said Brendan Canavan, president of UPS Airlines, in a statement released by Boeing. 

United Airlines broke ground Tuesday on a $162 million operations center at Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport. The center, slated for completion in 2018, will offer around 200,000 additional square feet of hangar space. 

American Airlines reported third-quarter 2016 net income of $737 million, down 56.5% from a net profit of $1.7 billion in the prior-year period, and is planning conservative capacity growth through 2017.