Tentative Agreement Reached for 6,500 Agents at US Airways

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teamster airline

Washington, D.C. — The Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters reached a tentative agreement covering 6,500 passenger service employees at US Airways. The IBT and CWA together represent the reservations and airport agents.

The tentative agreement provides for wage increases at every step for all passenger service employees and includes a ratification bonus. It also provides critical job security protections, an important issue for workers as the US Airways- American Airlines merger goes forward.

Agents from US Airways and American Airlines have launched a joint campaign to make certain they have a strong union voice at the merged airline.

‘“Working together, passenger service employees at US Airways have built a strong, united group that will continue to make advances for all agents as the US Airways-American Airlines merger proceeds,” said CWA Chief of Staff Ron Collins.

 

A ratification vote is being scheduled.

 

Why It Is So Important For American Airlines Workers To Hold Union Election

Sixteen former and current American Airlines passenger
service agents lobby Senate offices.  Credit CWA Union

American Airlines has been pushing back against their employee unions for quite a while now.  They recently resolved their dispute with the Airline Pilots Association (ALPA) to avoid possible strikes and airline shutdowns.   However they are continuing to push back against service agents who are awaiting the upcoming election of CWA as their employee union.

This election has been very ugly. American Airlines have been doing every possible thing they can to delay the election with the hope that it would never happen at all.   They have even been ‘outsourcing’ agent jobs.  They are hiring inadequate contractor to clean their planes, and check in passengers.

With the help of CWA, workers are taking their case straight to Washington D.C.  Below is a recent post from the CWA Union Blog that explains what they are doing and why it is so important to hold these elections.

Below: Agents and their supporters rally
outside American Airlines Washington office.
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Original Post from CWA 

American Airlines passenger service agents aren’t backing down.

On Friday, 16 former and current employees — including some who were even facing layoffs at the close of business — visited U.S. Senate offices to raise awareness about American Airlines’ dirty campaign to delay their right to vote in a union election. Then the agents and CWA supporters rallied outside American Airlines’ lobbying office in Washington, D.C., to focus public attention on the airline’s anti-democratic campaign to stop the vote.

American Airlines’ actions have shown that it doesn’t care much about its workers or passengers. AMR, the airline’s parent company that filed for bankruptcy last year, continues to outsource jobs across its system, hiring low-paid contractors for hundreds of gate and ramp agent positions at the height of the busiest holiday travel season of the year.

“My last day was Tuesday and they put us out on the street with nothing,” said Sylvia Solis, a former passenger service agent at Miami International Airport. “The outsourced people don’t know how to check in an infant, and they think JFK is London. They do not have the slightest airline industry background.”

Renee Similien had worked the First Class check-in counter at Logan Airport in Boston for the past 12 years until Friday, her last day of formal employment at American Airlines. She said she was working 50-60 hour weeks for the past several years saving for her child’s college tuition, and her salary maxed out at $50,000 a year. “Everyone who was at max pay was kicked out,” she said, adding that her replacement is currently making $9 an hour without benefits.

Following the orders of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the National Mediation Board scheduled an election for nearly 9,700 American Airlines agents to vote on union representation beginning December 4. Despite two determinations from the appeals court ordering that the vote go forward, American Airlines now is seeking a stay of those decisions from the U.S. Supreme Court.

AMR recently announced that since it filed for bankruptcy last November, it has spent over $200 million on fees and expenses related to the bankruptcy. Of that, AMR paid $19.5 million to the New York City-based law firm Paul Hastings LLP, to help the airline throw out existing union contracts and stop passenger service agents from voting in their democratic election.

American Airlines Service Agent Deserve A Voice Not To Be Outsourced

American Airlines is once again sticking it to their unions.

American Airlines (AMR) is still spending millions of dollars to block the service agents from holding their election.  The election would officially recognize the Communication Workers of America (CWA) as the sole representation of the workers.  This election has been held up for months due to a technicality over the percentage of people who say they want the union representation prior to the elections.

“We filed for this election almost a year ago and the company has been uncooperative from the beginning,” said CWA Organizing Director Sandy Rusher. “What are they afraid of? They know what we know – a union will give agents a voice and a seat at the table. Agents haven’t given up and we won’t give up on them.”

Two American Agents event went to Congress looking for assistance with this matter. See the video here.

No matter what American Airlines says the hard working agents are not giving up.  The agents and CWA have been fighting for their election for months and now they will finally get the vote they are asking for.

American Airlines agents will vote for representation beginning Dec. 4, when voting instructions will be mailed, and ending Jan. 15, 2013, under a schedule announced Nov. 1 by the National Mediation Board.

“After more than a year of needless delays, we finally can vote to form our own union, to secure a real voice on the job,” said Anne McCarthy, BOS. “It’s about time,” added Ted Tezino, SRO. “This shouldn’t have been in the courts in the first place. To all the agents out there who are undecided, I say wake up and see what’s going on! The company is not on our side.”

Ted is right American Airlines is not on their side.  A local Dallas TV station aired this story on the problems American Airlines is having with their third party contractor (embeded below).

The story highlights that the third party contractor may not have the proper clearance and credentials to access the secure side of the airport.  They have also been receiving numerous complaints on the work these contractors have been doing across the country.  These contractors are reportadly responsible for over 300 flight delays in their first two days.

These are only some of the horrors being brought to light about this outside contractor.

Agents for American Airlines need to know that without a union their jobs will be outsourced too.  AMR will cut your job, just to hire you back at less pay and no benefits.

Stand up for your rights and get out there and vote between Dec 4 th and
Dec 7 th.
 Get all the information about how to vote and make your voice heard!

 

My name is Matt and I stand in solidarity with the Service Agents at CWA!