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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Weekly report 11-30-08

This was a busy week. The most important development this week was the release of the contract proposal forms. After some modification two forms are now available, one is to be printed out and hand written and the other is a fill in form. If you do the fill in version please e-mail it to me so I can compile all of them.

I reported previously for the MM group that management would begin to discipline people for violations of the rules that management may have missed or ignored in the past. After a meeting with the GQ management this week it is apparent the GQ group is going to come under the same scrutiny. The union will do it's best to protect you, however it is a good idea not to get into a situation to begin with. In MM the company has lived up to it's word and has begun disciplining people and I'm sure GQ will follow. There has been nothing said as far as PV goes but in this environment it would not surprise me if they also followed this policy. My advice is to do your work and don't give the company the opportunity to give you discipline. If you are doing your job the company will almost never prevail in the later stages of the grievance procedure.

For MM this week the ESS grievances were refiled and I expect an answer in the coming week. The vacation rules are out and there were no changes from last year. The reason for this is the large amount of unused DAT's on each shift. It is difficult to argue that we need more DAT usage if these days go unused. For all shifts there were untaken days in the spring and fall with the summer months used up. The company did commit to looking at opening up DAT slots as they determine manpower requirements on a roughly bimonthly schedule. While it is fresh in our minds I would suggest if you wish to see changes to next years rules that you get together with me to discuss areas of concern. On a positive note we were briefed on the hangar situation, and it continues to look positive for IAD getting the old ACA hangar. I remain skeptical but hopeful.

For GQ this week as I reported earlier I had a meeting with Greg and Duane on Wednesday. In addition to discussing people that, in the companies opinion are not performing their work, we also talked about some other small items in the shop. Both of these guys understand there are limited parts, but would like to see the lines of communication open up more with the leads. For instance if you don't have the parts to do your job let the lead know so that if management wants an update they can get it from the leads. The ten hour day schedule was also briefly talked about. One of the displaced mechanics passed the PV test and will report to that shop on December 7th.

For PV this week as stated earlier one mechanic will be reporting and no one will be bumped because of a voluntary furlough. The dayshift is working on an outsourcing grievance and I will report more on this when an answer is given. I was also given a report, after requesting one, for the mandatory overtime situation from two weeks ago.

As far as the TAA/ATAA program I found on the DOL website that AMFA had tried this as well in 2005 and were denied at each Station going through layoffs at that time. The case numbers were 58129A through M. This does not mean we will not prevail, but we need help on this legislatively. As reported in previous weeks the person from the DOL thought service personnel affected by foreign trade could be added and it is my opinion that this would be a perfect addition to the upcoming second stimulus package. It is imperative that we write our Congressional Representatives to let them know our feelings on this issue. If you would like a copy of the letter I sent let me know. For those who have also written if you forward your letters to me I will pass them on to others looking for ideas on how to write their own letters.

That's all for this week,

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Contract proposal forms

Hello Everyone,

I have begun to e-mail the contract proposal forms that I recieved today. It is taking a little while due to restrictions from Yahoo. You should have the forms in your inbox by morning.

If anyone does not recieve a copy or needs help filling it out let me know.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

I would just like to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving.

While it is true we are going through some rough times right now it does appear there are some good things on the horizon, and that is something to be thankful for.

I am thankful that I know and have worked with each of you. I hope you have a nice holiday with family and or friends.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Weekly report 11-23-08

Several questions were asked this week regarding the secondary bump in GQ and PV due to Baltimore being closed. These questions are pertinent to the rest of the local membership due to the possibility of secondary bumps in the January round.

In no particular order of how they were asked the first question answered deals with insurance on layoff. A call was made to the benefits center and an incorrect answer was given. Per the CBA Art. XXIV A. 5. page 95 states that insurance will continue for 90 days after furlough if premiums are paid. After this COBRA availability kicks in. Another question on insurance was whether the IBT carried a plan for furloughed members. The answer appears to be no. There was a question regarding protection within a shop due to skills or certifications. Article X goes into detail of how seniority works within and between classifications. This is further discussed in the Consent decree on the last two pages of the Agreement. I did discuss this particular issue with Bob Luciano and he was going to discuss it with Labor Relations.

Outside of the Agreement a question was asked as to why the company would not keep people until the January date to see if all positions were filled and layoffs could possibly be averted. After discussions with the Station Manager, Sherry Kawell, it was evident there will be no movement on the date because of budget issues. It was explained to me that if more money were to made available the first priority would be ramp personnel followed by customer service people. Mechanics are not on the Managers list of groups to be increased. When the Manager was presented with plans and ideas to pay for the increase in the budget she reiterated her priority for people needed at the station and stated that any increase in money coming into the station would be spent on those areas.

This week in PV the vacation rules were finalized. While a concession was made on DAT selection on holiday weeks it was offset with better language on DATs between shifts as well as an increase in the total number of slots allocated for vacation. In addition a joint review, two weeks prior, between the company and the union will occur to evaluate the availability of these DAT slots.

In MM this week several grievances were filed because of a glitch in the ESS program. Many members were left off the list and bypassed. These grievances were returned to the Union because of paperwork discrepancies. There were 24 from the afternoon shift and as of Friday 6 on the Day shift. We will review these on Monday and re-file them once the paperwork has been corrected. The paperwork problems are not major issues, and have been accepted in the past, but due to the large amount of money the company is looking for any out. Vacation bidding should start this week. The rules are very similar to last year with some minor exceptions to the DAT process. We agreed that it is premature to discuss the people coming into the station in January as to the total liability added to the vacation list. The reason for this is while the company does have a number they are working with, we are not sure how many people will elect to come to Dulles and what their vacation liability will be. The hangar is still a focus for the company but there is a potential roadblock to the old ACA hangar. The floor is not thick enough. An engineering firm is currently looking at this.

Thank you to all that have written letters regarding the TAA/ATAA. Anyone that would like a sample letter or need help with web posting a letter to your Representatives or Senators let me know. To the people that volunteered to lobby we should expect to be getting requests soon. Thanks to Bob Luciano for helping in this regard. Anyone else interested in fighting for our jobs through lobbying please let me know and I will add you to the list.

That's all for this week,

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Trade Adjustment Assistance Reform Act of 2002

Urgent Action Needed

Hello Everyone, Today after speaking with a representative from the Department of Labor I have filed a petition for the TAA/ATAA program. For those that don't know this is an assistance program for people being laid off because their jobs have been shipped overseas. For the people I spoke to earlier about this, the application from San Francisco does not cover us as each state requires a submission of this form. This would provide for extended periods of unemployment benefits and re-training money as well as other benefits to those affected.

The problem is this program does not currently cover service industry personnel. However, according to the person from the Department of Labor, there is an attempt to get us added in the current legislative session to this program. Here is where action is needed. We all need to contact our Senators and Representatives regarding this program and ask that service personnel be added to this legislation. When contacting them the official name of the act is the Trade Adjustment Assistance Reform Act of 2002.

Here are links to writing your congresspeople,

If you would like a sample letter let me know and I will forward what I am writing to my reps.

Thank you to all that have volunteered to lobby. I was impressed with the number of people willing to help out.

That's all for now,

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Weekly report 11-17-08

In case you have not heard, Terry Chura's dad passed away and I'm sure all of our thoughts and prayers are with Terry and his family at this time. Here is a link to the guest book if you would like to send your condolences you can do that here. Also last week Gary Berrian's mom passed away. You can find Gary's mom's information here to send condolences.

Just a reminder that the open enrollment period for benefits closes on November 19th.

This week a round of surprise layoffs occurred. This is due to the north american division not coordinating it's reductions with united services for the January 11th system layoff date. There are a couple of issues with this reduction and the application of the Washington Area Seniority Agreement. I spoke with labor relations in San Francisco late Thursday night and will try to resolve these issues this week. This affects the BAL shop as well as the IAD GQ and PV departments.

There have been many questions regarding the testing committee. The committee is working on a fair way to ensure all members are allowed to excercise their rights under the agreement. I know this is a very serious issue and there are many opinions on how members are selected to take the test as well as what the test should look like. If you would like your concerns addressed let me know and I will pass them forward to the committee.

For MM this week it still apears the company is serious about the hangar. There are a couple of different scenarios they are looking at including a complete new hangar. Also I met with Ron and Stuart regarding vacation selection for the upcoming year. We are going to try to finalize them this week.

For PV a meeting is scheduled tomorrow for vacation rules. Also the second step for the lead opening has been processed. This grievance has not been heard but I will pass on the results when it is.

For GQ the ten hour schedule has been delayed to the first of the year due to concerns from several members regarding holiday plans. This will make for a smooth transition at the beginning of the year to the new codes.

I have begun working on contract proposals. There is much that needs to be addressed in the upcoming negotiations. I have sent most of the industry contracts to the Stewards for review to see if there is some language from those agreements that would be a benefit to us. If you would like copies of these contracts let me know and I will send them to you. There are several CBA's and the files are large so they will be sent in three e-mails. Thanks to Bob Luciano for providing the agreements I didn't have.

There was a conference call on Friday and we discussed several things. Among them was our responsibility to diligently look for items completed by outside vendors which are a violation of our Agreement. This includes work accomplished in the New York point as well as Philadelphia.The reducing of work from our one and three service was also discussed. Remember even though the forms do not say to look at things such as tires and brakes if you see something that is out of maintenance manual limits it needs to be addressed. The FAA will not ask United Airlines why an obvious defect was missed. They will ask YOU! And when they ask more than likley they will incude a citation for not performing your duty. Don't fall into this trap.

That's all for this week,

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Weekly report 11-08-08

Now that the election is behind us the real work begins. Many Legislators are listening to the Teamsters about outsourcing, but the IBT needs our help in this fight for our jobs. They are going to need us to show up when called upon to speak to members of congress. If you are interested in lobbying on Capitol Hill please let me know and I will add your name to the list. Because of our proximity to DC I expect we will be called many times with requests for people to lobby. In addition and just as important we need to fill out the outsourcing reports found here. These reports are for any item you find where an outside vendor has performed substandard maintenance.

This week I attended the meeting in Chicago of BA's and Coordinators. One of the things discussed that was not touched on in the weekly flyer was that the IBT has hired a lobbying firm to lobby for us regarding outsourcing issue. I was impressed with the amount of money the IBT is spending and time the time they are devoting to secure and return our work.

It appears the membership desires and the leadership supports the early opening of negotiations. With that said it will still take some time to prepare including training the negotiating committee and collecting contract proposal forms. The forms should be out in approximately three weeks. I have e-mailed each steward a copy of the agreement in MS Word format to begin editing in the changes they would like to see. If you have an issue you would like addressed please see a Steward or myself so we can get your idea down. This is a good way to get ready prior to the proposal forms coming out and we will be ready when they get to the station.

For BAL this week I was informed the station will close. I have not heard whether they will be rotated out with the Jan 11th group or it will be earlier. Neither the station manager nor the area manager have called me to let me know when it will be. Since neither would engage in talks to save this shop their lack of professionalism in this matter is not shocking.

For MM this week it appears the company is very interested in the old Independence Air hangar and are moving quickly to acquire it. There are still some obstacles so it may not happen. For those of you have been here for a while we have heard this all before, but it does appear a little more serious this time.

For GQ/PV a testing committee was formed this week to determine ability to bump into or bid between these work areas. I am not on this committee, however I feel confident after meeting the members of this committee that it will be done fairly. The committee consists of one GQ one PV and one MM member from around the system. When I have more info I will pass it on.

There is a new BA update from SFO on their website. It talks about the 20% outsourcing grievance, and several other issues including their application for a DOL program that would provide for an extended period of unemployment and money for retraining. I have reported this to the members already laid off and when I hear more about this I will pass it on.

That's all for this week,

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Weekly report 10-31-08

As many of you know I was in India last week so there was no report.

Weekly conference calls of BA's and Coordinators began last Friday. Several points were brought up on the call. The New York point is a big issue as it appears United is contracting work to Timco in the area. Legal is involved with this as well as the Local. A grievance has already been filed due to work being performed by an outside vendor at the point. Also it was requested that everyone continue to fill out the surveys regarding outsourcing. The survey can be found at "" about halfway down the page. A weekly newsletter with updates from the Airline Division will be going out to everyone that has their e-mail on file with the Teamsters. Next week in ORD there will be a meeting of BA's and Coordinators on Wednesday. We were also reminded to let you know of the physician of choice letter. Article XX J. on page 79 describes what you need to do. If you have any questions feel free to contact me. Because the layoff date has been moved back one month new WARN notices will be given out. For us that will affect the guys in BAL. That was about it for the call.

The GQ/PV manager approached me today to let me know there was a theft in the autoshop. Because of that they are going to start cracking down on access to the shop. He informed me anyone parking there without a pass would be towed.

On a positive note it appears the company is serious about the possibility of moving into the old ACA hangar. The hangar needs some improvement and they have contractors giving bids now. As far as the annual rent it looks like it would be close to cost neutral. We have all seen this before but it does look somewhat better because the new VP is very interested in doing the 767 a-check work here.

For MM I met with Ron Buetenmuller this week and we began discussions on vacation rules for the upcoming year. As you know with people coming in after the beginning of the year the liability will change and we need a common sense way to deal with the increase.

For GQ the ten hour day bid has begun according to Greg Pinelli. Also vacations will be bid beginning on Nov 15th. According to Joe Filice because of the ten hour schedule coming into play for next year the company has agreed to continue the rule from last year to move days to wrap around your vacation.

For PV I talked to Mark on Friday and we are tentatively going to sit down on Monday to discuss vacation rules. I also plan to address the discussed use of emergency overtime in the shop.

For BAL the company has refused to listen to any suggestions regarding keeping our members employed there. I am very disappointed but not suprised. This is the way they are dealing with us systemwide.

With that said we need some relief. The only way I see to get that is with a change in our government. The company is not listening because frankly they don't have to. So please on November 4th exercise your right to vote. My suggestion is to choose the candidates that have pledged to bring outsourced work back and strengthen the labor movement. For President only one candidate has made those promises and that is Barack Obama.

That's all for this week,