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October 02, 2012

As layoffs loom, TWU shrinks locals

With thousands of Transport Workers Union employees at American Airlines preparing to leave the company either through a layoff or the early-out program, the TWU is shrinking its locals.

In a letter sent to members on Tuesday, the union said that it will realign its various locals and merge several locals into one single local. The restructuring comes as part of its new contract with American as the carrier will no longer cover local officers' salaries "at a percentage of represented members on a per capita scale."

The members of Local 567, which represents workers at the Alliance Fort Worth maintenance facility, those who work at the Dallas/Fort Worth airport maintenance hangar will become part of Local 514, which represents mechanics and related workers at the Tulsa maintenance facility.

Keep reading for the full letter from TWU Air Transport Division deputy director Robert Gless.

-Andrea Ahles

Dear Brothers & Sisters:
Since the filing of the AMR Bankruptcy, there has been a growing concern as to the ability of Locals to continue to properly represent their members. With the removal of the “Baker Letter” from within the M/E contracts, this has become a reality. The Baker letter was negotiated in 1993 (attached) to cover Local officers’ salaries at a percentage of represented members on a per capita scale. During Self Determination in 1999, it was negotiated to include the newly formed line Local’s Presidents in this formula. In the recent round of negotiations, the M/R negotiation committee decided to remove this provision of the contract.

Today at the Presidents Council in Texas, it was announced that the ATD and IAC believe with the removal of this provision that some Locals that are no longer covered by the LOA will lack the resources to properly represent their members. With this in mind, it has been determined to ensure the future representation of the membership that Locals 561, 562, 563, 564 and 565 will be merged to a single Local to be known as Local 591. In addition, due to the similarities of the workforce, Local 567 and the Dallas DWH maintenance base members will be moved into Local 514. This will create two MJE Locals with the size and resources to continue to represent its members and be financially viable for future contract negotiations.
The following points highlight the additional moves that are required to realign the proper members to the associated Locals:

  • New Local 591 will incorporate all Title I and V from Locals 561, 562, 563, 564, 565, 510, 529, Title V 507
  • Title II from Local 562 moves to Local 507
  • Title II from Local 561 moves to Local 568
  • Title II from Local 564 moves to Local 502
  • Title II from Local 513 (DWH) move to Local 514

We are requesting that the Locals above receiving these new members take steps to ensure they are properly represented by creating Title Specific elected positions within their bylaws.
The timeline for elections for Local 591 officers will be; send out a notice of elections and an Officer Nomination letters around 10/29/12, close the nomination process on 11/15/12, ballots out between 11/26/12-11/30/12 and votes counted on 12/21/12.
We plan to work closely with all of the impacted Locals and offer assistance throughout this transition; International Executive Board member Richard Boehm has been assigned as the election chairman.
We believe that having two strong and financially viable M/E Locals, with the membership and resources to survive, will help to better represent the membership in the future.

Fraternally,
Robert Gless
Deputy Director Air Transport Division

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Less fat cats on the union payroll is just fine with me!

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