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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Early Out Program

The company has posted on their website details of the early out program being offered to mechanics. If you are at home the link to Skynet is . Once on the home page go to United Services home page and the information is at the top of the page.

According to the FAQ submissions must be made by Aug 1st, so it is a quick time frame.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Response from Representative Capito

Yesterday I was contacted by Congresswoman Capito’s office regarding a letter written to her about problems in the Airline industry. Virginia Gum, the Congresswoman’s Aide discussed several issues, and explained that the Congresswoman was very concerned with the high price of oil and what it was doing to the Airlines. We discussed Colgan Air’s problems involving the servicing of smaller airports within the State of West Virginia. The Congresswoman is aware that many of her constituents work for the Airlines. This is particularly true in the Eastern Panhandle.

There was a discussion of possible hearings in the Aviation subcommittee of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

I urge you to continue to contact your representatives regarding the issue of how high oil prices are hurting the industry. If you’ve been contacted let me know and I will share your experiences on the blog.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Weekly Report 7-19-08

This week the price of oil dropped quite a bit. Hopefully this trend continues. In the meantime please continue to write your representatives requesting relief from these high oil prices. This week in the Senate S.3268 was introduced by Harry Reid and there are now twelve co-sponsors. The Teamsters are seeking quick action on this bill. Here is a link to the press release

There was some bad news from American yesterday. They are laying off 1500 people in the maintenance division. 1300 of those are mechanics. Here is the link to the story As for us, I still have received no official numbers.

In MM this week I was informed the ten hour day schedule continues to be productive. I was told all goals are being exceeded.

In GQ/PV I was unable to resolve the vacation and day off calling issue as Mark Reins was on vacation. A meeting was requested by the PV mechanics to have all of their Management present to discuss this issue. I will set this up as soon as possible.

This week shop steward training occurred. Bob Luciano was in town for this training as well as to meet with the members. His time to visit with members was somewhat limited this time as we finalized plans for the training.

I will be out of the office until July 28th. I will be checking my e-mail if you need to reach me.

That's all for this week,


Thursday, July 17, 2008

Steward Training

Yesterday a steward training session was held for approximately 20 stewards from three different carriers. The training was productive and included items such as communication skills, grievance handling, Teamster history, labor law and politics.

Many thanks to Local 210 and Business Agent Bob Luciano for inviting the International in to provide this training, and for providing lunch to the stewards.

Victoria Gray from the International Airline Division along with Iliana Flores from the International Training and Development Department provided a quality program for the stewards. Much information was covered and it could have easily lasted longer than one day. An exercise in arbitration decisions was particularly interesting. The stewards broke into groups and presented both the Union and Management sides, and an "arbitrator" made the decision. After each case the real decision was given and there was a discussion of how different factors including witness demeanor could greatly affect the outcome of any grievance hearing.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Teamsters Horsemen

Over the weekend the Horsemen contacted me. Tony, the President, is sending copies of the constitution and applications to start a Northern Virginia chapter. Eight people will be needed for officer positions.

For those of you that are unaware of the Horsemen, it is a motorcycle club whose purpose is “It shall be an objective of this organization to raise funds to help our brother and sister members within the Teamsters Union and to donate to charitable organizations especially children’s organizations.”

The quote is from the Horsemens’ website which is located here

Friday, July 11, 2008

New Links

There are a couple new links on the site. The first one is a link to Open Congress. This is a great site for researching all things congress from bills to representatives.

The next is a link to the Teamsters action page. You can sign up on this page to get legislative action alerts from the Teamsters.

The last link added today is for the Teamsters Horsemen. This is a charity driven motorcycle club, supporting causes such as the Fisher House, Toys for Tots and other worthwhile causes. Currently there is no chapter in Northern Virginia and information on forming a chapter has been requested.
Weekly Report 7-11-2008

This has been a bad week for oil. At the writing of this update oil is at $146 a barrel. The ATA has now started a website to curb speculation. Here is the link, . I again urge you to write you’re Senators and ask for support of S. 3183 and S. 3205.

In MM issues of parking lot transportation and mobile lounge issues were discussed with the company. This was primarily for the swing shift finishing at 1am. We will continue to discuss options next week. Also a “RUMOR” of about 325 line mechanics being laid off has been circulating. I can’t confirm this to be true, but with the announced numbers in Management, Pilots and Flight Attendants, this number could be close.

In GQ and PV after visiting with both groups over this last week vacations and time off continue to be an issue. I will work on this more next week.

There is nothing to report from BWI again this week.

For all, the ballots have gone out for the letter of agreement regarding the 1% instead of the PIP. Two questions surfaced regarding this letter. The first question was if we accept this do we only get ½% for our next scheduled increase? The second question was does this constitute a full-blown opening of the contract? In answer to the first question bullet point number 1 stated that all pay rates in effect on or after May 1st in Exhibit A will increase by 1 percent. So the answer is no. It will not reduce the upcoming scheduled increase. The answer to the second question is also no. This is stated in bullet number 4.

The IAM announced this evening a buyout package for ramp and customer service. It looks similar to the flight attendants offer.

Steward training has been finalized with both managers agreeing to the time off for stewards. The training will be held on July 16th from 8am until 5pm. This will occur at the Comfort Suites in Chantilly.

That’s all for this week,

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Weekly report 7-5-08

I hope everyone had a good 4th.

This was a busy week. As previously posted the week started with the new monthly conference call of all Business Agents and Chief Stewards. A conference call is also being set up for the Safety Reps across the system. Shop Steward training is being finalized. The training will be held on July 16th and both Managers have agreed to allow the Stewards time off for this very important training session.

For the MM Department the ten-hour day schedule has prompted some changes in manpower allocation. I have been asked about permanent swapping of shifts when no opening exists. The answer I gave to the company is the Union has no problem with this as long as the mechanics requesting these swaps are the most senior people with bids on file to the respective shifts.

For the PV GQ departments, I met with Mark Reins regarding issues with the centralized manpower office. I made a suggestion to improve this process. However at this time Mark would like to attempt to fix the system already in place rather than scrap it. We also discussed the canceling of DAT days after they had already been awarded using the MARs system. We also had a discussion of how DATs are allocated currently. Mark agreed his team would try to rectify these issues, and we would further discuss them this fall.

There is nothing new to report from BWI this week.

Currently on the legislative front, prior to the holiday vacation the House passed the Energy Markets Emergency Act of 2008 (Engrossed as Agreed to or Passed by House) H. R. 6377

In the Senate two bills are being considered. They are,
End Oil Speculation Act of 2008 (Introduced in Senate) S 3183 Introduced June 24th 2008

Energy Markets Emergency Act of 2008 (Introduced in Senate) S. 3205 Introduced June 26th 2008

I urge you to contact your Senators and ask for support of these Bills.

That is all for this week.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

It has come to my attention that now in addition to confiscating or pudding and soda pop the TSA has decided to target our tools as well.

Tools have been confiscated inside the aircraft as well as at the nose of the aircraft recently. Both times it was the TSA's determination that even though we are in a sterile controlled area that you must have all tools within your sight at all times. They state this is a security issue.

It has long been our practice to take tools with us to the work site, leave them in a central location for convenience, and then take them with us when finished. I am suggesting that this practice be halted until the TSA can sort this out. In the mean time if a delay is incurred because of this, inform the company of the reason.

The problems I see with the government confiscating our tools, beyond the inability to service broken aircraft, are that no receipt is given, and no contact has been given to arrange for the return of our tools.

I have included in this post the links for the Chairmen of both the Senate and House Committees on Homeland Security. In addition I have included Senator John Warner and Representative Tom Davis of Virginia's 11th District. I would suggest writing to these Gentlemen and ask if there is an approved method for tool usage and placement when performing line maintenance on aircraft, as well as if there is an approved list of hand tools, which we may use in accomplishing this task.

If anyone needs help crafting a letter please feel free to contact me.

Joe Lieberman, Chairman Senate
John Warner, Member

Bennie Thompson, Chairman House
Tom Davis, Member

That's all for today,