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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

TA full version

The full version TA can be found here.

AMR files Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

This morning American Airlines, the last of the major carriers that were established before deregulation, filed for bankruptcy protection in New York. My thoughts and prayers go out to the mechanics, and all employees, at AMR. As we can all attest bankruptcy is a heinous process for the employees.

Can we now declare deregulation a complete and total failure? Lets examine a couple of facts; 1 the airline industry prior to deregulation functioned well for the most part with very few bankruptcies, 2 Every major carrier established prior to deregulation has now filed for bankruptcy. Using this very simple fact set I'm prepared to say this policy was disastrous for the entire sector.

The continued lobbying for bankruptcy reform treating airlines the same as railways needs to continue.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Mechanics Dispatch 11-22-11

Sub UA Tentative Agreement Update

Many members have inquired as to when the full text version of the TA will be released. To date the TA is still in edit format looking for things such as incorrect article references, misspellings and dates. The TA was sent to the printer on Monday and they are formatting the text into a blueline (printer’s software) version that will be edited, based on the noted above corrections, to ensure accuracy prior to mailing out the hard copies with the ballots on December 2nd. Prior to the ballot mailing the electronic version should be available on the web Monday the 28th and additionally will be emailed to those sub UA members for which we have email addresses.

Sub UA and CO BA's Meet with United Management

On Friday the 18th Business Agents from around the United and Continental system met with United Airlines Tech Ops management to discuss the implications of LOA 28 of the new agreement if the membership ratifies the sub UA TA. The BA's discussed the resource utilization piece of the LOA and informed the company that the transition will be monitored closely and any scope violations would be grieved. The weekly BA conference call will continue to be used as a policing tool during the time it takes to achieve an amalgamated agreement.

Sub CO Benefits Committee Meets

The CAL benefits review committee met on Tuesday, November 15, 2011 in Washington DC, the purpose of this meeting was, to start gathering and discussing pensions in preparation for the amalgamation negotiations. Peter Hardcastle from Cheiron was asked to come and address the committee. With the help of Peter Hardcastle, Defined Benefit, Defined Contribution, single and multiple employer pensions as well as some different options such as "hybrid" plans, where discussed. Pete will be putting together a presentation for the committee with a comparison between the different plans.

The CAL committee will be working closely with its counterparts from UAL on the pension and benefits issues. This will be the first committee to integrate the two work groups to begin the arduous task of protecting one of the important issues that both
work groups will have to tackle.

The Benefits review committee will be meeting again December 5 2011 to continue working on both the health & welfare, and, Pension discussions. They will keep trying to come up with ways to better the benefits and keep cost under control.

Due to Thanksgiving there will be no Chief Steward or BA calls this week. Because of that, there will be no Mechanics Dispatch next week. From the Airline Division and the staff at the Mechanics Dispatch we wish you and your families a Happy Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Negotiation update 11-11-11

The negotiating committee worked over the last two days to reach an agreement that addresses the primary concerns of the membership. Feedback from the survey helped to guide us during these last two sessions with the company and an agreement has been reached.

We are finalizing the documents for the secret ballot ratification process. We anticipate that the ballots will be mailed out in Late November or early December for a vote of the full membership to be completed before the end of the year.

The highlights of this new tentative agreement include:
· Maintain current UA medical benefits

· Signing bonus of $11,500

· Extend protection of incumbent Leads for the duration of the new agreement

· The Company commits to an Early Out Program with a max of $75,000 per eligible person

· Improved language for RQ/FST/MPA

Majority of the provisions in the initial tentative agreement were retained and will become effective if approved by the membership.

To reach these goals the following changes were made from the June tentative agreement which include:

Retain some current 2005-2009 CBA provisions such as Article 14 sick leave, number of paid holidays, and 401K contributions. Additionally the parties agreed to withdraw the $100 tool allowance, withdraw the 2.5% medical plan wage increase offset set for 1/1/2013, and move the amendable date to 7/1/2013.

More details will be available in future updates. We appreciate the patience of all the members through this process.

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, 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

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

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Mechanics Dispatch 11-1-11

CAL Benefits Review Committee Meets

The CAL Benefits Review Committee held their fourth meeting of the year with the Company on October 6, 2011.

Discussions took place concerning how the employee’s portion of their medical cost is computed. During these past three meetings the CAL benefits committee requested and received countless documents, gathering information on the methodology and cost associated with all plans for all work groups.

The IBT Benefits Department, working closely with the Committee have been making sure the correct information has been requested, and determining if any other documents are needed. A comprehensive analysis is now being undertaken and once the Committee determines that a definitive conclusion can be made on whether or not the medical premium aggregate language is being applied correctly, the findings will be reported and posted. Information on the upcoming benefits election for 2012 was also provided to the committee for review, along with notification that the enrollment period would not open until November of this year.

Other issues discussed for resolution were a hearing problem that has been indentified that is not currently being detected by the yearly testing being conducted by the Company’s vendor. The problem being reported is a high pitch hearing loss, causing the inability to hear in crowds. The Company will be looking into and will be reporting back to the committee on this topic.
Also discussed was a letter has been sent out by Walgreens, informing anyone using them as a provider, indicating that they will no longer accept Express Scripts. Starting January 2012, MedCo will become the prescription provider and the change is expected to be seamless.

In attendance for the Union was committee members, Bob Clever (IAH), Gary Kagel (MCO), Vinny Graziano (EWR), Audrey Scates (LAX), Tommy Esposito (BA LU 769) on conferences was Nick Manicone (IBT Counsel), and for the Company Jeff Wall (Labor relations), Robin Curtis (Staff VP, HR) and Dixon McKenzie.

The committee will meet next in Washington, DC on November 15th, to meet with a pension consultant to start research on different types of pension plans. Once the comparisons are complete the information will be made available to the membership.

UAL Negotiations 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 and Ralph Salzano – 210. In attendance for the Division were; Joseph Prisco SFO, Ken Meidinger DEN and International Representatives Clacy Griswold, Paul Alves and Bob Fisher. For the IBT Legal department; 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, and Kellee Allain.

Tech Ops reorganizational additions at sub UA

The negotiating committee was informed by Jim Keenan last week that the company is taking steps to move GSE and facilities maintenance into the fold. The committee was pleased to learn of this development as this has been a priority for the Union as reflected in LOA 26 of the previous TA. When asked if the company planned to now offer the members a clean slate in regards to dependability Jim responded, “We are all one family in Tech Ops, what’s good for one group is good for all. With that said when the changeover is complete we will wipe the slates clean for GQ-PV in the same manner as everyone else.”

Local Unions continues to monitor 757 pylon mod.

Local leaders in both MCO and SFO are monitoring the proposed B757 pylon mod work that has been done in Orlando. BA Tommy Esposito is working with the Local SFO committee to determine when the work actually begins in order to properly process the related grievance paperwork.

NMB responds to application for mediation for CAL and CMI

Responding to the request by UAL management for mediation, this week Lawrence Gibbons, Director of Mediation Services at the NMB replied to the request by the Company to move both Continental and Continental Micronesia into mediation.

In a letter to P. Douglas McKeen, Senior Vice President of Labor Relations at United Continental Holdings; the Board made no ruling at this time but rather requested further comment from the company. In his reply on behalf of the Board, Gibbons wrote:

“Enclosed is a copy of an October 14, 2011 letter from the International Brotherhood of Teamsters stating that Cal-IBT Technicians contract is not yet amendable and believe your application for mediation is not appropriate at this time. Further, the IBT believes your application involving Continental Micronesia is premature.

This letter acknowledges receipt of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters letter and requests comments from the carrier on or before October 31, 2011. The Carrier is also requested to provide the Organization with a copy of its comments.”

United Airlines announces insourcing of B757 landing gear work

This week, UAL management notified the United Mechanics Negotiating Committee that previously outsourced Continental Airlines B757 landing gear work will now be insourced to the SFO landing gear shop. The work is expected to begin starting in January of 2012.

IBT Airline Division joins UAL and CAL mechanics at Safety Round Table in Chicago

On October 27th, UAL Safety representatives Vic Austin, Bob Jensky, PT Thomas and CAL Safety representative Matt Mancini were joined IBT Airline Division Representative Chris Moore, at the Quarterly Tech Ops Safety Round Table meeting in Chicago. Flight Safety Chairperson John Fischbach also joined via conference call. The Tech Ops SRT is an integral part of the new United SMS program.

The company outlined plans and components of the SMS, provided a presentation which included injury trends, discussed fall protection training and ergonomic initiatives. Also discussed were aircraft damage trends and prevention strategies, MSAP update and plans for adopting an industry program titled LOSA (Line Ops Safety Assessment). Vic Austin addressed the IBT’s interest in working with the airline in an effort to improve safety and spoke to the concerns from the UAL rank & file on how LOSA will be conducted with a group of AMT peers mutually selected with management.

Discussions on LOSA will continue with sub-CAL and sub-UAL as they move closer to SOC and a single SMS program.

UAL also gave a brief presentation on a new program it is considering called “Move Smart” which includes teaching mechanics how better motion techniques as well as adding engineering controls can help lower OJI’s.