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Monday, September 26, 2011

SFO visit

Over the last four days I got to see many members at SFO in both the craft meetings as well as the steward training over the weekend. I would like to thank the members for their hospitality and great questions during the visit. The feedback received regarding what was needed for communications tools moving forward was invaluable. In addition the energy and focus of the stewards during the training session was inspiring.

The local action committee in SFO relayed that last Monday they passed out 4000 flyers to passengers at the airport. Their facebook page can be found

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Lobbying effort

As previously posted, on Tuesday several members along with representatives from the International and our lobbyists the Albertiens' lobbied on behalf of passage of the FAA reauthorization bill. We met with both Democrats and Republicans. There are several items of importance in passing a bill but it looks like congress will pass the 22nd continuing resolution for short term funding if Senator Coburn allows it to come to a vote. Otherwise we will see another partial shutdown of the FAA on Friday. Here is the article describing the current blockage to short term funding.

Why is it important for us that this bill passes? For us there are two key provisions, one that we need, and one that we oppose in the bill. A change in NMB voting procedures was instituted by the agency last year which Delta, JetBlue and the ATA oppose. As a favor to these entities Congressman Mica attached a rider to the House version of the bill which would force the NMB to use the old voting rules. If congress had to run under these conditions there would be few in elected office right now. This rider has no place in a funding bill for the FAA. If the Congressman would like to amend the Railway Labor Act then perhaps that's the direction he should go. If that law is opened I could think of several elements that should be changed. Of course this has nothing to do with actual governing and is only an attack on organized labor.

The piece of this bill that we need adopted is the single standard of maintenance which is found in the Senate version of the bill. To provide a worldwide standard for training, background checks, drug testing, and oversight would help the nation as well as our profession. If overseas facilities were subject to the same level of training and scrutiny it would be difficult for those MRO's to provide such cut rate maintenance plans. Once passed this standard would provide equal footing for us to compete. So this single standard of maintenance would provide much needed jobs at a time when we have 3300 people on the recall list, piece of mind that the work is being done correctly, and dramatically reduce the threat of some nefarious device being planted by a terrorist while an aircraft is wide open in overhaul. That seems like a pretty common sense idea. Even Republicans agree this would be good for the country. So why don't we have a bill? See the above paragraph. The fact that politicians are willing to put at risk the lives of their constituents and the American people, as well as returning good paying jobs to America, over partisan politics is DISGUSTING! Please take the time today to ask your Congressmen and Senators to pass the Senate version of the reauthorization bill.

EDIT: President Obama signed the extension today. Here is the article.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Are you on facebook? If so here is a suggested page to like. The page appears to have the purpose of educating the public about United's policy of outsourcing aircraft maintenance.

EDIT: link updated to reflect correct page instead of general facebook page

Thursday, September 8, 2011

FAA Reauthorization Bill

As I watched the President's speech tonight with its focus on jobs, including those in transportation, it really made me think about the FAA reauthorization bill. Here is a bill which would provide the stimulus for thousands of jobs with spending on projects that will upgrade many aspects of aviation and the air traffic control system. Funding on this the 21st continuing resolution expires on September 16th. The last amendment holding up passage looks to be Congressman Mica's
provision to change voting rules at the NMB for employees to unionize. I would urge you to call and write your members of Congress and ask them to pass the Senate version of the bill which does not include Congressman Mica's amendment.

Next week the TAMC along with several Chief Stewards and Safety Reps, as well as Reps from the Airline Division, the TWU, and our Lobbyists will spend time on the hill urging support for passage of this much needed overhaul. There is no reason for a 22nd Continuing Resolution. Now is the time to get this bill passed.

The fact that members of Congress would hold up important legislation in order to make it more difficult to unionize shouldn't be shocking. We've seen it all over the country recently. The thing that surprises me is that they are so blatantly trying to destroy the middle class for a few sheckels from their sponsors. I will give a quick update after our meetings here on the blog.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Update from Summit meeting

Thursday the parties met to discuss merger issues moving forward. The meeting was very productive and as a result the parties agreed to meet prior to the commencement of mediated negotiations, pending NMB approval, to attempt to reach an agreement. Stay tuned for further details.

Here is a link to the press release from 9-2