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April 29, 2013

TWU, IAM agree on seniority lists for mechanics, fleet service and stock clerk workers at combined American/US Airways

Unions representing mechanics, fleet service and stock clerk workers at American Airlines and US Airways have agreed on a seniority list for its workers at the combined carrier.

According to documents posted by the Transport Workers Union, which represents American workers, to its website on Sunday, it has agreed on a "date of entry" into a work group to determine an integrated seniority worklist. The agreement is with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace workers, which represents US Airways workers in those work groups.

It is not a strict date of hire agreement but will create the lists based on when an employee was placed into a work group classification that is currently outlined in the union contracts with each airline. If there are two or more employees that have the same date of entry, then the seniority will be determined by their date of hire.

Employees will also not be able to displace another employee from a position as the result of the seniority list integration. The seniority list integration will not be implemented until after a single union contract is negotiated with the newly merged carrier, the documents, dated April 24, said.

"The IAM/TWU seniority agreement is yet another positive step forward in the merger between U S Airways and American Airlines," said US Airways spokesman Ed Stewart.

Both unions are part of the AFL-CIO and were encouraged by AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka to come to an agreement. A union representation fight is already brewing as the Teamsters and AMFA are attempting to become the unions for the mechanics at the merged carrier.

"I am urging you to consider a more constructive approach, one in which both unions will share representation rights at the merged airline, with each union retaining its basic pre-merger membership. This approach seems to me the only one which will avoid either union feeling that it is being or has been raided and will generate the kind of harmony that we need for acting together in labor's best interest, and which will guarantee that labor's organizing dollars in the next year are not devoted to unions fighting one another," Trumka wrote in a letter to the TWU and IAM presidents.

The seniority agreement affects 25,000 workers at the two airlines.

Click here to view the documents posted to the TWU website.

-Andrea Ahles


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Walt Bridge

The IAM and TWU cannot proceed to implement their co-representation scheme. The Teamsters union has filed and been recognized by the National Mediation Board as one of three parties to the election for representation of the employees of American Airlines. The NMB has no history of naming Co-winners in such races, so even if the Teamsters are defeated, the outcome will be either the Machinists Union or the Transport Workers Union, but not the shared representation that they tried to put together.
The Teamsters filing came only hours before the NMB closed the door to all other filers for the election, thus, AMFA was denied their chance to be on the ballot.
The appeal letter from Richard Trumka of the AFL-CIO, served as the template for the collusion by the TWU and the IAM.
Mr. Trumka said that he feared a long battle if it came down to a representation fight by the members, and what he really feared was that the opposing unions, AMFA and I.B.T. were not members of the AFL-CIO and that the dues money of 30,000 workers would dry up after the election. It just happens that his concerns were justified and that is on the agenda, right after the determination of a "single-system" status ruling by the N.M.B., sometime next year. Walt at MCI

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