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Airline Division News, Week Ending October 28, 2017

ExpressJet Negotiations Continue

Negotiators for the ExpressJet Mechanics, represented by the IBT met with the Company on October 10th and 11th, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia.  The meeting was attended by IBT International Representative Chris Moore, Lead Negotiator Bob Luciano, IBT Staff Attorney Nick Manicone and Financial Advisor Dan Akins for the Union. 

The meeting was a follow up to the September meeting at the National Mediation Board.  Both sides exchanged prospective proposals in an effort to reach an Agreement.   

In 2008, the Express Jet technician group represented by the IBT granted economic concessions to the Company.  In 2017, nine years later, the Company is still reluctant to return employee wages to pre-concession levels.  Union negotiators have told the Company that wage restoration to the 2008 levels on the date of signing with reasonable increases thereafter are the minimum baseline of wages needed to reach an Agreement.   

Since the Company has been given a new five year Capacity Purchase Agreement to fly at least 100 aircraft for United Airlines, it has the need for qualified mechanics and the financial wherewithal to pay for it. 

In a message to the membership, the negotiators said, “We think that this is an affront to the technicians who have worked for nine years at wages that are not only concessionary but well below industry standards.  Especially to a group of employees who gave up income to save Express Jet from bankruptcy. 

Qualified aircraft mechanics are in short supply and the major airlines are offering attractive compensation packages.  Express Jet may find itself unable to staff its maintenance positions in the numbers needed to complete its commitment to United.” 

ExpressJet COO Terry Vais, VP of Maintenance Jamie Hill, Financial Analyst Evan Leigh and H.R. Manager Basya Joyner were in attendance for the Company.

TMAP signs MOU with US Military to assist transitioning troops

The Teamsters Military Assistance Program (TMAP) entered into a new phase recently when the union signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the U.S. military at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio. At the signing were Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa and Karen Perkins, Director of Human Resources at Fort Sam Houston. 

TMAP has been working successfully with the military for almost a decade on specific hiring practices and policies that connect service men and women and their spouses to credentials and careers in the transportation industry. The Teamsters, as stakeholders in the transportation industry representing 1.4 million workers across the country, have been diligent in providing resources to our military to better identify the tools they require as they transition their military occupational skills into civilian careers. 

Many Teamster divisions are participating at stakeholder meetings with the military with regard to policies and training-to-placement efforts: the Airline Division engaging with A&P licensure; the Freight Division with regard to CDL licensing; and the Passenger Transportation Division launching a spouses’ initiative with First Group. 

The formal partnership and MOU with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, TMAP and U.S. Army Installation Management Command will allow existing TMAP programs to engage with Army installations and military families throughout the county. In addition to the formal partnership with the Army, on October 3, the Teamsters entered into a formal partnership with Department of Defense’s Military Spouse Employment Partnership. 

All of these efforts and partnerships continue to showcase decades of support the Teamsters have given to the men and women and their families who have honorably served this great country.

Airline Division Sponsors Non Profit that supports wounded veterans

Teamsters Airline Division Chairman Capt. David Bourne and Economics and Contracts Director Jim Kimball recently participated in a hospital visit as part of their work with a nonprofit that they coordinate closely with and raise money for, iPods for Wounded Veterans. 

The nonprofit, an organization that is completely run by volunteers, was started by a retired Teamster, Paul Cardello of Local 170 in Worcester, Mass. 

The nonprofit doesn’t restrict their activities strictly to donating iPods. They also donate Kindles, IPads, tablets, headphones and a number of other much-needed items for soldiers. They also bring the soldiers letters that were written to them by school children. The event that Bourne and Kimball attended was part of a multi-city tour down the East Coast that featured live entertainment in addition to donations for the recovering veterans. 

“If you told me five and a half years ago that we’d have an entertainment division, I’d tell you you’re crazy,” Cardello said. “This has never been attempted before.” Wounded veterans often have to be in a medical facility for multiple years while they recover from their injuries, and being stuck in a hospital for such a long time can lead to a great deal of boredom and feelings of alienation. 

“We saw a young woman who we had seen the last time we were at the medical center, and that was a number of months ago,” Bourne said. “You tend to see a lot of the same people over and over. They have to wait weeks and months between operations recovering, and this sort of becomes their life. But they’re always happy to see us, and they’re a very inspiring group of young men and women.” Over the summer, Kimball and Bourne went on a hiking tour of England and Scotland to raise money for the organization, and they ended up raising more than $10,000. “I appreciated the opportunity to do something for our wounded veterans, however small it was,” Kimball said. “I wish them a speedy recovery and thank them for their service.”

David Renshaw, a business agent with Local 769 who also serves as the Southern Region Representative for the organization, said they are looking to expand. “It would be great to see additional growth in the West Coast – by that I mean awareness, sponsorship and involvement,” Renshaw said. “We really enjoy visiting these veterans and spending time with them. Once we recruit a new volunteer, all it takes is one hospital visit and they’re hooked for life.”

Local 19 Shop Stewards Help Teamster Members, Houston in Days Following Hurricane Harvey

Phil Cady and Art Collins are United Airlines mechanics who also serve as shop stewards with Local 19. As long-time Houston residents, they’ve seen severe weather before, but Hurricane Harvey was something different altogether. 

“There’s a lot of suffering out here; not just our people, but everyone.” Collins said.  “The devastation, I’ve never seen anything like it. We have everything from guys getting four inches of flooding all the way up to eight feet. You go to approach people to ask what they need, and they just have this look on their face: like, ‘I don’t know what to do.’”

Collins’ own neighborhood got hit by Harvey, and his home flooded with about a foot of water.  Nevertheless, once the storm had calmed down, he and Cady jumped at the chance to become disaster relief volunteers. “The biggest priority we have right now is getting to the flooded homes; pulling out sheetrock, drywall, carpeting, everything that’s been ruined by the floodwater, and preparing these homes for adjusters and for rehabilitation,” Cady said. “At the same time, we’re looking for people who have lost everything, and trying to get them the basics – food, water, toiletries. We want to try andget them to at least a place where they feel like there is hope.”

Collins and Cady have been coordinating with the Teamsters Disaster Relief Fund, United Airlines, and their membership in the days following the wreckage. As stewards, they have been in touch with fellow mechanics at their shop, checking in on their co-workers who have suffered as a result of Hurricane Harvey. Despite the hardship, both Collins and Cady are confident in the resilience of their city. “We’re not just union members, we’re a family,” Cady said. “Membership, management, hourly, we’re all together working as a team during this type of crisis.”

Teamster Volunteers Head to Puerto Rico to Assist with Relief Efforts 

Seventy-nine Teamster members from across the country departed on a flight out of Newark, N.J. as part of a humanitarian mission organized by labor unions to send volunteers to Puerto Rico to assist in the ongoing hurricane relief efforts. More than 200 volunteers from various labor unions traveled to the island on the flight donated by United Airlines and coordinated by the AFL-CIO. The volunteers will fill critical roles needed to advance the relief efforts in Puerto Rico. 

“The incredible outpouring of volunteerism that I have witnessed from our membership these past 72 hours is truly inspiring, "said Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa.”We had hundreds of members reach out to us expressing their desire to donate their time and skills to the relief effort despite the challenges they will face in Puerto Rico due to the state of its infrastructure." 

Puerto Rico has slowly made progress recovering from Hurricane Maria, but the scale and enormity of the job ahead of them is daunting, and any assistance they receive from the mainland is welcome. "I'm proud that the Teamsters and the labor movement are leaders in bringing relief to Puerto Rico,” said Local 210 member Jessica Yance. “Many Teamsters have family on the island who were hurt by the hurricane. We will be putting our skills to work getting Puerto Rico back on its feet." 

Joint Council 16, which has jurisdiction over Local 901 in San Juan, spearheaded the effort to identify and select volunteers with the proper skill sets needed in Puerto Rico. “Our members that volunteered have demonstrated what we can be at our best as Americans," said Teamsters International Vice President and Joint Council 16 President George Miranda. "Without thought of personal hardship, these union men and women are doing whatever they can to help Puerto Rico recover. I am proud of them and proud of the labor movement."

“Tronquistas (Teamsters) are in the street working since the first day after the hurricane passed and we will continue working to bring peace back to our people,” said Alexis Rodriguez, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 901. “The only goal of the Tronquistas is to raise Puerto Rico back up, stronger and better.”  

The Teamsters Airline Division is contacting employers that operate in Puerto Rico and local unions throughout the United States and Canada to identify avenues of support and volunteers. The labor movement is working on the ground in Puerto Rico to bring volunteers to meet specific needs. The TAMC would like to say thank you to all who have been and will continue to help those in need.  

Additionally, the Teamsters Disaster Relief Fund is collecting monetary donations to support those impacted by Hurricanes Maria, Harvey and Irma. Contributions can be made online at:

Local 769 continues support for hurricane victims in Florida Keys and Puerto Rico

In addition to their ongoing support to residents in the Florida Keys devastated by this seasons hurricanes, over the weekend, Teamsters Local 769 and Teamsters Hispanic Caucus Florida Chapter, along with local Union members and residents of Pembroke Pines, worked together to collect hurricane relief supplies for Teamsters Local Union No. 901 and the community in Puerto Rico.

This event in Pembroke Pines was held on Saturday, October 14th and Sunday, October 15th at Flamingo Park on the corner of Sheridan and Flamingo.  During this two day event, a multitude of folks stopped by to drop off their donations.  Some folks stayed to volunteer and some stayed to chat with Commissioner Jay Schwartz who was in attendance along with his wife. They not only donated items for relief but also volunteered both days to help sort and load donations that were being delivered.

Local 769 Business Agent David Renshaw, who has been volunteering his free time to help distribute two semi trailer loads a week in the Keys said, “On behalf of all of the organizers of this event, we would like to thank everyone who donated and volunteered as well as the following groups for their efforts above and beyond; Ultimate Software, Pembroke Pines Charter Middle School and Renaissance Charter School at Pines for their donations. This event would not have been possible without the partnership with Crowley Liner & Logistics. Again, a big thank you to all.”

The donations of 70,000 pounds collected over the weekend is in transit for final destination to Puerto Rico, courtesy of Crowley Transportation, who operates the ports in Jacksonville, Ft. Lauderdale and San Juan.

If anyone has any questions regarding future donations, please contact Business Agent and Human Rights Commission Representative David Renshaw at (305) 642 6255 ext 2236.

Airline Industry News

Governmental and Regulatory

The Federal Aviation Administration has chosen Patricia Chasse Hiatt as its new Deputy Director of Airport Safety and Standards. Hiatt has risen through the ranks of the FAA as a safety inspector and in a variety of policy, regulatory and senior leadership positions.

Airlines, Industry and Labor

UPS expects to handle 750 million packages this holiday season, including 30 million parcels per day for 17 of the 21 shipping days leading up to Christmas. The company will hire 95,000 temporary seasonal workers to keep up with the flood of packages. Meanwhile, UPS reported a strong third quarter. "We managed through headwinds in the US, delivered strong ... broad growth in the international business and continued to generate excellent results in the supply chain and freight group," said David Abney, CEO of UPS.

A renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement would be better for the economies of the US, Mexico and Canada than having no treaty at all, says David Abney, CEO of UPS. The three countries are in talks to update the treaty, and President Donald Trump has promised to terminate NAFTA if changes are not made.

The Pennsylvania township of Lower Swatara approved zoning for a UPS hub at Harrisburg International Airport. The facility is expected to bring 1,200 jobs to the area. 

UPS plans to add 3,400 seasonal employees in Louisville, Ky., through the end of the year. The company's primary need is for part-time package handlers.

Boeing Co. Chairman, President and CEO Dennis Muilenburg said the manufacturer is seeing renewed interest from passenger airlines in its 767-300ER jets. Boeing's last sold the jet's passenger version in 2014 but has continued production of freight and military versions amid strong demand.

United Airlines is auctioning select hardware from its fleet of Boeing 747 planes, including seats, cockpit indicators and tail numbers. The funds, collected in frequent flyer miles, will be used to help students and teachers travel to Air Camp to learn about aviation and aeronautics.