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Friday, October 28, 2011

Negotiation update

The parties met starting on the 25th and the Union presented their opening proposal. The proposal included the items addressed in the bargaining survey as priorities including maintaining the current medical coverage, retro pay, buyouts, lead ratios, and the inclusion of an EAP LOA.

The Company made their priorities known later in the day and informed the committee that the overall economic package would need to mirror the previous tentative agreement.

The parties passed counters through the week. Minor progress was made but the parties remained far apart on the major issues at the end of the week.

Due to the Union’s proposal regarding buyouts, the Company engaged it’s accountants to cost out the proposal and expect to have an answer for the Union when the parties reconvene on November 10th in Chicago.

The bargaining committee remains committed to achieving the priorities as expressed through membership feedback over the last several months.

In addition, Marcel Delhommeau announced that previously outsourced B757 sub Continental landing gear work is being brought in house to sub United in San Francisco starting during the month of January.

In attendance for the Union were Local negotiators Larry Calhoun – NYC, Jay Koreny – IAD, Mike Pecoraro, Scott Baroni – ORD, Mitch Hunt, Scott Brown – DEN, Roger Apana – HNL, Dion Cornelious - LAX, John Laurin, Don Stevens, Mark DesAngles – SFO, Business Agents, Javier Lectora - 856, Rich Petrovsky, Dave Saucedo, Dave Elmore – 986, John Hennelly – 455, George Graham, Kevin Giegoldt – 781, Ralph Salzano – 210, for the Division Joseph Prisco SFO, Ken Meidinger DEN, Representatives - Clacy Griswold, Paul Alves, Bob Fisher, IBT Legal - Ed Gleason, and Labor Economist - Norman Weintraub.

In attendance for the Company were Doug McKeen, Joe Ferreira, Marcel Delhommeau, Jeff Wall, Anil Khorana, Juan Ruiz, Ray Ames, Anita Davis, Michael O’Dell, Mark Prpich, Kathy Cassley, Gary Kaplan, Kellee Allain

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Tea Party tells companies "Don't Hire"

Here is a story from the local newspaper describing the Tea Party's plan for jobs. It is a disgusting testament to the depths some people will go for political gain. What more needs to be said except that these treasonous bastards should be deported to some uninhabited island so their disease can't be spread.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Mechanics for Change and seniority

Seeing the latest drivel from the Mechanics for Change regarding seniority, I felt compelled to respond. Like charlatans that pick and chose sentences from well known documents to prey on the unsuspecting masses, the authors of this rag chose to frame a story comparing contracts by selecting only certain sentences in order to make it appear that only they know the true path to perfect contract language.

Now let’s examine some facts as they pertain to this seniority flyer. The protection of seniority goes far beyond a couple of paragraphs in CAL Article 3. True protection takes advantage of multiple elements. In light of that how does the UA agreement fare? First in 2000 we had over 15,700 mechanics and related employed under this agreement. Today we have 4823. During that same time the CAL mechanics never suffered a furlough of any kind, and in fact their numbers increased by 15%. How could the Mechanics for Change claim the seniority language in the UA agreement is better if 70% of the membership has been decimated while the CAL membership increased? Gaining pay seniority while laid off is little comfort if there is limited possibility of return due to the extreme numbers of mechanics on furlough.

Looking at mechanic Jane Doe in their missive, they claim that under the CAL agreement using only the terms they spell out, she would lose 2 weeks of vacation. What they don’t tell you is this would be her choice to be furloughed to the street, because CAL has job security for everyone on the seniority list. LOA 22. This is unlike the UA language which currently provides no protection for 23.5% of the UA membership because the current UA agreement doesn’t protect anyone with less than October of 1989 seniority. In addition CAL Jane Doe would be able to bump anywhere her seniority would hold, Article 6, which would create many paid system bumps, which is and was a deterrent to layoffs in the first place. Of course the UA language requires that Jane Doe could only bump the most junior employee and that mechanic could be all the way across the country. The UA agreement requires a severely reduced exercise of seniority in all situations, including layoffs, when compared to the CAL language. But there is no sense letting the facts get in the way of a good story.

In monetary terms while Jane Doe at United was accruing her extra two weeks of vacation, Jane Doe at CAL, because of her extra protections, was actually receiving wages in the amount of $150,000 if she were on dayshift. Do the Mechanics for Change really advocate the position that the UA membership sacrifices $150,000 for two weeks of vacation? This idea is the very definition of insanity!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Mechanics Dispatch 10-10-11

Airline Division appoints Negotiators

With support from Local leadership in both cities, the Airline Division last week appointed two additional members to the UAL national negotiating committee.

Joe Prisco from San Francisco was appointed to provide additional input and insight regarding the line mechanics and Ken Meidenger from Denver was appointed to provide additional input and insight regarding the ground equipment and facilities mechanics. Additionally it was announced that Jim Prout from Denver TK will be the coordinator for the simulator technicians and available to the committee as needed.

The full committee will be convening on October 18th, and formal negotiations with United resume on October 24th.

Payroll issues identified at sub United

On the weekly Chief Steward call many cities reported payroll shortages relating to vacation pay. These shortages are affecting all departments as United transitions to a new payroll system. Several cities have contacted the payroll department and have been informed that the company is working to remedy the problem. Please scrutinize your pay during this transition period and notify your steward if you have been shorted.

Facilities work being outsourced systemwide

Many cities are reporting the work to rebrand terminal facilities is being outsourced. Members are encouraged to file grievances when they witness this activity. According to the Chief Stewards on the call this appears to be driven by corporate real estate and they are not reviewing this work with local committees prior to sending this work to the vendors. This is happening at both sub United and sub Continental.

CAL benefits review committee continues to meet

The review committee that was established as a part of the Continental mechanics agreement met again last week. The purpose of this committee is to provide oversight and to ensure that the company provides benefits as described in the agreement.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Former Continental CEO Larry Kellner recently joined the Boeing board of directors. I wonder if that will effect the upcoming narrowbody order process? Here is the article.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

AA mechanics and the NMB

I’m sure many of you are aware that most union groups at American are in mediation and have been for several years. Today an article was shared with me that described the current state of negotiations in some detail, and it is eye opening to say the least. Without releasing the parties to self help, according to the article this is what happened;

“A National Mediation Board mediator recessed talks last month between American and the union for 11,000 mechanics over a lack of progress and didn’t set new sessions, after a similar outcome for baggage handlers in July. An April NMB session ended with no dates for more talks with 17,000 attendants.”

And further down in the article; “The National Mediation Board declined to comment on the status of American’s labor talks. With the freeze, American isn’t getting its sought-after savings, and its work groups don’t have payback for the 2003 concessions or the required federal clearance to move toward a strike.”

Read more from this Tulsa World article at

It’s no wonder the NMB won’t comment. The NMB knows the parties are at an impasse. The NMB knows the next obvious step is release. The truth is the TWU mechanics at American won’t be able to achieve their bargaining goals until allowed to strike. The NMB won’t allow it to happen and instead just put them on ice. So now it appears it’s the TWU mechanics, and all the union employees at American, against the company and the government. The RLA is set to continue interstate commerce but there is an ultimate end provided by that statute. In researching the law, I can’t find the provision that removes forever all leverage from the represented groups at the airlines. Again, it’s no wonder the NMB won’t comment.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Mechanics Dispatch 10-3-11


In order to better keep the mechanics at United, Continental, and Continental Micronesia informed as the merger progresses, this e-newsletter has been developed by the Airline Division and will include updates from the Division as well as Locals.

BA and Chief Steward Calls Established

Systemwide; from Guam to Boston, Business Agents from ten Local Unions have been participating in conference calls with the Division for the last three weeks. Many merger related issues have been discussed including; communications, SOC concerns surrounding attempts by the company to cross utilize the membership in several areas, ensuring that the respective seniority lists are accurate, and station reports from each Local.

Two results from the communications discussions are this Mechanic’s Dispatch and the establishment of weekly systemwide Chief Steward calls. The first Chief Steward call was held on September 29th. The main focus of the call was an overhaul of the way information is distributed to the membership. Similar to the BA calls, the Chiefs requested a single website to distribute relevant information to the membership as well as this ongoing e-blast.

UAL Bargaining to Resume

The parties will return to the table October 24th to attempt to reach an agreement before entering mediated talks in February.

Continental Micronesia Talks Scheduled

The parties will convene November 7th through the 9th to attempt to reach a transition agreement.

License Protection Program

On September 30th, the Airline Division and the TAMC announced the implementation of the Teamster Aircraft Mechanic License Protection Program.

As aviation maintenance professionals we take safety very seriously. Unfortunately there are times when; due to circumstances we sometimes cannot control, we find ourselves in a position where we are accused of violating the FAR’s, or have unfortunately actuallyviolated the FAR’s. And despite the fact that many of our workplaces do have robust ASAP and MSAP programs, they sometimes are not enough.

In recent months the FAA is taking a more punitive approach to FAR violations and in some cases denying ASAP and MSAP cases they once accepted. They are now also vigorously pursuing License Action and fines.

For that reason, the Teamsters Airline Division and the TAMC are proud to present, at no cost to the members, Legal Representation for those who find themselves receiving a LOI (letter of investigation) from the FAA.

Here’s how it works:

When a mechanic (licensed or not) receives a LOI from the FAA he or she should immediately contact their Business Agent. If this is the first time they have become aware of the violation they should fill out the MSAP/ASAP form. If the MSAP/ASAP program does not automatically refer your filing to ASRS/NASA; or if your airline does not have such a program, you should make that filing immediately. (It must be done within 10 days of your
knowledge ofthe incident)

You and your Business agent will discuss the circumstances surrounding the LOI and then a decision will be as to whether or not to contact attorney Richard Edelman from O’Donnell, Schwartz and Anderson. Only the Business Agent should contact Mr. Edelman at first. If the case is to be referred to the attorney, you should draft a response, explanation or justification for the work the FAA is investigating which will be sent to the attorney for him to use as a basis to answer the LOI. (If possible the draft response should be sent by e-mail) The attorney may have questions or need additional information that he may request by phone or e-mail. You will also get a letter explaining the arrangements for the attorney to represent you through the Union.

Mr. Edelman will help you craft your response to the FAA to make sure that the situation is clearly explained.In many cases the LOI responseends the investigation. Should the FAA decide to continue to the next step, you and your BA or Program Administrator will discuss next steps with the attorney. If the decision is be made by your Program Administrator to proceed to the Informal Conference step with the FAA, the Attorney will help to prep you for the meeting and he will be present in person or via conference call for the meeting.

If the matter cannot be resolved at the Informal Conference and the FAA proceeds with a certificate action before the NTSB; you, your Program Administrator and Attorney Edelman will decide the best course of action, and should the parties decide to go in front of the Administrative Law Judge for a hearing, Attorney Edelman will represent you.

This program is open to mechanics whether you are licensed or not and is at no cost to the employee. The Teamsters Aviation Mechanics Coalition (TAMC) and the Airline Division are committed to providing the best representation in the Airline Industry and we will continue to develop programs like this.

SMC, MOR, MOC Update

As a result of the BA calls it was brought to the Divisions attention that the mechanics on the United side who answer the crew radios in their respective city control center were still scheduled for elimination. Representatives of the Division met with the Company on September 29th and this issue is now resolved. While there will be an addition of supervisors to these positions, all current mechanic positions will be grandfathered to keep these jobs. As supervisors are hired they will be responsible for the delay reporting and handling station budget resources as well as any discipline related issues that may arise.

Cross Utilization of Training

Local 210 was notified that the company intended to use DST’s to cross train United and Continental mechanics in the New York point. Business Agent Ralph Salzano notified the company this would be a violation of both agreements. The company agreed with Ralph and the issue is now resolved.

Cross Utilization of Ground Radio and Facilities Maintenance

There is an ongoing issue with the cross utilization of the members that service the ground radios across the system. In addition through the BA calls the Division learned that field service work on Continental facilities was being performed by United mechanics. At the September 29th meeting Representatives of the Division informed the company that using the membership in this manner was a violation of the respective agreements.