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Transport Workers Union of America Endorses Hillary Clinton for President

Transportation Workers Union Logo -TWUWashington D.C. – The Transport Workers Union of America (TWU), which represents 140,000 workers from all across the country, today endorsed Hillary Clinton for president. In making their endorsement, TWU’s International Administrative Committee (IAC) noted her dedication to ensuring working people have a voice against corporate America and her plan to invest billions in the country’s infrastructure.

“Working people in this country continue to suffer because of Corporate America. They see good wages and retirement security slowly ripped from them by CEOs who make millions. Our next president must be someone who will give working people a voice at the table—who will stand up and say enough is enough. Secretary Clinton will fight to protect airline workers’ retirement security in the face of continued corporate greed in that industry. She has put forth an aggressive, bold plan to invest billions of dollars to fix this country’s transit and rail infrastructure. We need someone who is going to sit in the Oval Office and represent us, not Corporate America. We need Hillary Clinton as our next president and we are proud to endorse her,” said the IAC.

In Secretary Clinton’s own words, “the diverse members of the TWU keep our airplanes flying, our trains running, and our buses driving…They keep passengers and residents alike safe, healthy, and moving every day. In the process, they’ve helped to build the American middle class. And they’ve stood up and demanded the fair treatment and respect that they deserve.”

TWU is dedicated to bettering the lives of working families. We work to safeguard, protect and improve working conditions and living standards of all workers. TWU is nearly 140,000 transportation workers, and “We Move America.” TWU has four main divisions: Air, Railroad, Gaming, and Transit, Universities, Utilities and Services. The union is composed of 100 autonomous locals representing members and retirees from New England to California and Texas to Michigan.

Today, following the endorsement of the Transport Workers Union (TWU), Hillary Clinton issued the following statement:

“I am honored to have earned the endorsement of the Transport Workers Union.

“Every day, members of the TWU keep America on the move—driving our buses and trains, flying our planes, and keeping our communities safe and healthy. For decades, transport workers have helped power our economy and keep families connected. And along the way, they’ve helped build the American middle class, standing up for workers’ rights and fighting for the respect they deserve.

“As President, I will always stand with the TWU in the fight to protect workers’ fundamental rights to organize, bargain collectively, be safe on the job, and retire with dignity and security after years of hard work. We will make the kinds of investments that grow the economy for everyone, including building 21st century roads, transit systems, and airports. In my first 100 days in office, I will put forward a plan to make the most ambitious investments in our infrastructure since the Interstate Highway System. And I will make sure workers always have a seat at the table and a champion in the White House.”

In A Close Vote, Ground Workers Approve New Contract With Southwest Airlines

Southwest Jet at BWI (image by Rudi Riet FLIKR CC)

Southwest Jet at BWI (image by Rudi Riet FLIKR CC)

New labor agreement with Southwest includes 20 percent wage increase, first raises in five years for many ramp workers at highly profitable airline workers at highly profitable airline 

DALLAS  – After a five-year, often difficult contract battle, Transport Workers Union Local 555, the union representing 12,000 ground crew workers employed by Southwest Airlines, announced today that union members narrowly voted to approve a tentative agreement with the airline. TWU members by a close margin, 50.4 percent (4,703) cast “yes” votes, and 49.6 percent voted “no” (4,628), out of 11,073 eligible.  Electronic voting began February 4 and concluded earlier today.  Ballots were tallied this afternoon in Dallas.

 On December 29, 2015, the TWU Local 555 Executive Board voted to send the tentative agreement to union members for a ratification vote without a recommendation.  Contract talks had been ongoing since July of 2011 and federal mediation with the assistance of the National Mediation Board began in September of 2012.

“Our Board wanted the members to decide this one,” said TWU Local 555 President Greg Puriski. “While we had reached agreement on significant improvements in compensation there were still unresolved issues important to our members related primarily to working conditions. This was a hard vote for many of our members and this explains the close results.”  The new contract includes pay raises of more than 20 percent over the five-year life of the agreement. 

Southwest Airlines earned a record 2.4 billion in 2015. The airline has been growing in both size and profits since the ground workers contract became amendable in 2011, yet many ground workers have not had a raise during that period.

“This agreement is not the end of the road,” said Puriski. “This is merely a stop on the journey. We will continue to work for improved job security and working conditions and stress the importance of recapturing the culture that has made this company a model for not only the airline industry, but for all U.S. employers.”

Added Puriski, “Southwest’s long-time winning formula has largely been replaced by a structure not unlike the failed legacy carriers of the past. Other airlines have become more like Southwest. Somewhere our flight paths crossed—we’re now becoming what they used to be. Management should look at the closeness of this vote and respect what the “no” voters have said and work with the union leadership to improve working conditions and employee morale in order to build an even more successful Southwest Airlines.” 

TWU Local 555 is a local union of the Transport Workers Union of America (TWU), representing more than 12,000 ramp, operations, provisioning and freight agents at Southwest Airlines.

Ground Workers to Vote on Tentative Agreement with Southwest Airlines

Southwest Jet at BWI (image by Rudi Riet FLIKR CC)

Southwest Jet at BWI (image by Rudi Riet FLIKR CC)

TWU Local 555 Members Will Have Final Say on Proposed Agreement after More than Four Years of Negotiations

 DALLAS  – TWU Local 555, the union representing more than 12,000 ground crew workers from Southwest Airlines, announced on Dec. 29th that union members will vote on a tentative agreement with the company.

An agreement in principle was reached on Dec. 23rd following several weeks of lengthy negotiating sessions. Talks for a new contract began in 2011 and took more than four years. Ramp, operations, provisioning and freight agents at Southwest Airlines have not had a new contract since 2009.

The proposed new contract includes substantial pay raises of more than 20 percent over the life of the agreement for union members in all classifications. If ratified, the contract will remain in force for five years from the date of ratification and will be amendable at that time.

Meeting today in Dallas, the TWU Local 555 Executive Board voted to send the tentative agreement to union members for a ratification vote, without a recommendation.

“After more than four years of negotiations, our members will have the final say on this tentative agreement,” said TWU President Greg Puriski. “It’s an important choice for workers and their families and the decision is theirs and theirs alone.”

 A final copy of the tentative agreement will be mailed to the homes of union members. TWU Local 555 will have phone banks available to answer question about the agreement. Voting is expected to begin in January, and TWU Local 555 members will have the opportunity vote by telephone or through a secure online platform. 

TWU Local 555 is a local union of the Transport Workers Union of America (TWU), representing more than 12,000 ramp, operations, provisioning and freight agents at Southwest Airlines.

Southwest Baggage Handlers to Protest as Airline Receives “Airline of the Year” Award

Southwest Jet at BWI (image by Rudi Riet FLIKR CC)

Southwest Jet at BWI (image by Rudi Riet FLIKR CC)

Employees Baffled by Honor for Airline with Increasingly Hostile Labor Relations 

WASHINGTON – Workers who handle baggage at Southwest Airlines, members of TWU Local 555, will protest at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC

Today, February 25th when Southwest Airlines receives the “Airline of the Year” award from Air Transport World magazine.

Who:  More than 100 ground workers employed at Southwest Airlines

What: Protest when Southwest receives “Airline of the Year” award

When: Today, Feb. 25, from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm

Where: Omni Shoreham Hotel, 2500 Calvert St. NW, Washington, DC 20008

“When we heard a magazine was giving Southwest ‘Airline of the Year’ award, we figured it must be The Onion,” said Charles Cerf, president of TWU Local 555, referring to the satirical publication which entertains readers with fake headlines. “Because if you’re giving an award to an airline which acts like a bully to its workers, squeezing workers while earning billions in profits – that has to be a joke, right?”

Transportation Workers Union Logo -TWUAir Transport World says ‘excellent labor relations’ is one of the criteria for receiving this award,” said Greg Puriski, a member of TWU 555 and a Southwest baggage handler who plans to be at the Washington protest. “They never asked us, that’s for sure. If they want to have better labor relations, let’s settle the contract.”

Despite difficult workloads due to handling larger aircraft and higher health care costs, most Southwest ground workers have not received a pay raise in the past four-and-a-half years. TWU Local 555 has been in negotiations with Southwest for a new contract since July 2011, with little progress during the past three-and-a-half years.

Since 2011, Southwest has earned over $3 billion in net income, including a record profit of $1.14 billion in 2014, following the airline’s merger with AirTran.  The airline also is continuing to benefit from a steep drop in the price of jet fuel.

Breaking from the Southwest tradition of rewarding employees as important stakeholders in the company, current management has held down wages despite healthy profits.  While most baggage handlers have seen their wages frozen, Southwest imposes higher health care costs on its employees each year, resulting in a loss of take home pay.

“It’s absurd that anybody would honor Southwest after the way it treats employees,” said Puriski. “Stagnating pay and the decline of the middle class are huge problems in this country.  Southwest is a profitable company that has a chance to be part of the solution.  Instead, they’re making the problem worse.”

“We want everyone attending this high-profile event to know that Southwest can do better – and must do better – to succeed in today’s competitive travel industry,” added Cerf.

TWU Local 555 is a local union of the Transport Workers Union of America (TWU), representing more than 10,000 ground crew workers at Southwest Airlines. 

Workers ask “Is Allegiant’s Proposed Expansion at Punta Gorda a Trick or a Treat?”

Discount carrier has track record of cancelling routes and abandoning entire communities

PUNTA GORDA, FL – Members of the Transport Workers Union, representing more than 600 flight attendants at Allegiant Air, will leaflet passengers at the Charlotte County Airport in Punta Gorda, Florida on Halloween – Thursday, October 31stfrom 9 am to 1 pm.

Responding  to reports that Allegiant frequently abandons routes and cancels service, union members will ask if Allegiant’s proposed expansion of service to and from Punta Gorda is “A trick or a treat?”

Who:   Members of TWU Local 577
What: Informational Leafleting, informing passengers of reports that Allegiant has cancelled routes and abandoned service in many communities.
Where: Charlotte County Airport
                2800 Airport Road, Punta Gorda, FL 33982
When:  TODAY – Thursday, October 31, 9 am to 1 pm (Eastern Time)

Allegiant, a discount carrier, claims low fares but has been reported to add fees which can double the price of a ticket. The airline recently announced new flights from Punta Gorda to communities in Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri, New York, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.

“We’re always glad to see our company add new service,” said Debra Petersen-Barber, an Allegiant flight attendant who is lead negotiator for TWU Local 577. “We’re convinced that success for our company depends on mutually-beneficial long-term relationships with employees, passengers and communities.”

To accommodate the proposed increased flights, Charlotte County Airport is undergoing a $7 million expansion. Ninety percent of the funding is expected to come from the Federal Aviation Administration, according to a report in the Charlotte (FL) Weekly, with the remainder provided by the state of Florida and the airport authority.

“It’s always a treat to see announcements for new routes and new service,” said TWU International Vice President Thom McDaniel. “But the trick is that Allegiant has claimed it’s a ‘badge of honor’ when they abruptly cancel a route or completely abandon service to a community,” he added, referring to comments made by a senior company official during a June 5, 2013 interview on Fox Business News.

“With millions of dollars in public money at stake, the public has a right to know about this company’s track record,” said McDaniel.

An ‘UnRoute Map’ on a TWU website, WillAllegiantBeThere.org, shows a dozen communities where Allegiant has completely abandoned service, and 23 routes that have been cancelled by the airline.

Allegiant has been reported to add fees for items like using a credit card when buying a ticket.  Passengers have enduredreported mechanical failures and other events that have caused inconvenience, emergency landings and delays of up to 52 hours.

The leafleting at the Charlotte County Airport in Punta Gorda is not a work stoppage, nor a request for any individual or group to take action.

A majority of flight attendants at Allegiant voted in favor of TWU representation in December 2010.  Union representatives began negotiations with company officials in June of 2011.  More than two years later, Allegiant has yet to reach a first contract agreement with flight attendants.

The Transport Workers Union of America (TWU) represents 200,000 workers and retirees in commercial aviation, public transportation and passenger railroads, including 11,000 flight attendants. The union is an affiliate of the AFL-CIO.

Transport Workers Seek a Seat at the Table in US Airways/American Airlines Merger Case

Transportation Workers Union Logo -TWUCase will go forward despite government shutdown

Washington, DC – The Transport Workers Union has taken legal action in federal court to protect the jobs, pay and benefits of its members, TWU President Harry Lombardo said today.

The TWU, Lombardo said, is seeking intervenor status in a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) against the proposed merger of American Airlines and U.S. Airways. The case will go forward despite the current government shutdown, under terms of an order issued on Oct. 1 by U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly.

“We represent workers at both airlines, and the livelihood of our members is at stake” said Lombardo. “That’s why we filed for intervenor status.”

More than 23,000 TWU members work at American Airlinesand American Eagle in seven crafts and/or classes, including: Mechanics and Related, Fleet Service, Materials Logistics Specialists, Dispatchers, Ground School and Simulator Pilot Instructors, Maintenance Control Technicians and Flight Simulator Technicians.

Three hundred employees of US Airways are also TWU members in the Flight Dispatch, Flight Crew Training Instructor and Flight Simulator Technician crafts and/or classes.

“TWU members have been involved with intense negotiations with current management at American Airlines and at US Airways,” said Lombardo. “We don’t see any reason for the Department of Justice to be involved in the merger process – but if this case is going to court, our members deserve to be heard.”

As a result of negotiations with airline management during the bankruptcy of American Airlines and talks leading up to a merger agreement with US Airways, TWU members at the new American Airlines will receive a four percent pay raise if the merger is successfully completed, as well as a 4.8 percent equity stake in the new company.

The TWU filed for intervenor status in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Sept. 30th.  On Oct. 1, Judge Kollar-Kotelly denied a request by DOJ attorneys for a stay of the proceedings due to the current government shutdown. Employees of American Airlines and U.S. Airways, the judge noted, “have a vested interest in adjudication of this case without delay.”

Union Delegates to Hold Protest Outside Allegiant Airlines Las Vegas Headquarters Thursday Afternoon

allegiant-air-with-pyramid

Transport Workers Ask, “Will Allegiant Be There?” as Problems Continue for Both Passengers and Workers at Discount Airline

LAS VEGAS – Delegates and union activists from the Transport Workers Union (TWU) 24th Constitutional Convention will gather for informational picketing at Allegiant Air headquarters in Las Vegas this coming Thursday, September 26th at 3:30 pm (Pacific Time.)

TWU members, who will wear t-shirts highlighting Allegiant’s “Delayed Service, Cancelled Routes and Abandoned Cities,” are concerned about ongoing customer service issues at the Las Vegas-based discount carrier. Union delegates also will protest the failure of airline management to reach a labor agreement with more than 600 flight attendants who are members of TWU Local 577.

Who:           Delegates and union activists from the TWU convention

What:          Informational picketing and rally

Where:        Allegiant Air headquarters, 8360 South Durango, Las Vegas

When:         Thursday, Sept. 26th, 3:30 pm Pacific Time

“It’s wonderful to have the support of so many of our TWU brothers and sisters from around the country,” said Debra Peterson Barber, an Allegiant flight attendant and Las Vegas-based flight attendant who serves as the lead negotiator for TWU Local 577. “Everyone who works in transportation knows that customer service is the key to success, and we all want to see Allegiant ready to deliver the best possible travel experience for our passengers.”

Allegiant customers have endured reported mechanical failures and other events in recent months that have caused inconvenience, emergency landings and delays of up to 52 hours. The airline, which offers discount fares to vacation destinations, is also reported to add fees for items like using a credit card when buying a ticket.

Earlier this month, Allegiant grounded more than 50 of its airplanes to inspect emergency slide equipment. The action was taken after an emergency evacuation of an Allegiant flight on a runway in Peoria, Illinois, when  one of four emergency slides did not deploy properly.  Following the incident, an inquiry by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) found that Allegiant was not overhauling emergency slides more than 15 years old on an annual basis.  Annual overhaul, as opposed to past practice of once every three years, has been recommended by slide manufacturer Zodiac Aerospace since 2007.

“We are glad that Allegiant, as directed by the FAA, is taking prompt action to ensure the safety of our customers and flight crews,” said TWU International Vice President Thom McDaniel. “Everyone in our union and in Allegiant management agrees that safety must be our number one priority.”

“In that same spirit, we’ll be at Allegiant headquarters on Thursday to urge prompt action on a first contract for Allegiant flight attendants,” McDaniel said. “With a signed agreement in place, our members will be empowered as full partners to ensure safe, affordable travel for our passengers and help this airline succeed.”

The informational picketing at Allegiant headquarters airport is not a work stoppage, or a request for any individual or group to take action.

A majority of Allegiant flight attendants voted for union representation in December 2010.  Union representatives began negotiations with company officials in June of 2011. More than two years later, Allegiant has yet to reach a first contract agreement with flight attendants.

Additional information is available at WillAllegiantBeThere.org

The Transportation Workers Union Elects New President Moving Union In New Direction

Transportation Workers Union Logo -TWU The Transport Workers Union of America,  which represents workers at major transit systems in cities such as New York, Philadelphia and San Francisco along with workers in railroading, gaming and commercial airlines — including more workers at American Airlines and Southwest Airlines than any other labor union — this week elected a new leadership team that promises a more aggressive approach in its dealings with employers.

Las Vegas – After a hotly contested election campaign, Harry Lombardo was elected by acclamation to lead the Transport Workers Union of America (TWU). Lombardo in his remarks to delegates pledged to take a more aggressive stand with employers, to beef up the union’s lobbying efforts in Washington and the states and to restructure the union in order to apply more resources and manpower to TWU and AFL-CIO -sponsored campaigns.

Support for the American Airlines/US Airways Merger

The new TWU International President voiced support in principle for the merger and strong opposition to the U.S. Department of Justice’s interference in the merger process. “The DoJ’s blocking of the merger has already led to layoff notices in Tulsa where we represent aircraft maintenance workers and blocked raises and the distribution of stock to more than 20,000 hard-working TWU ground workers at American,” said Lombardo.

“If the merger does move forward, and since management has committed to growing the airline, there is no reason that management can’t commit to protecting every job on the property,” the newly-elected president added.

Fighting Outsourcing in Public Transit and Commercial Airlines

Lombardo and his running mates also pledged to redouble efforts to fight privatization of public service jobs along with the outsourcing of aircraft maintenance to overseas repair stations.  “Our national political figures talk a good game about creating jobs,” said Lombardo, “but government has become either a sponsor of outsourcing or an enabler. In public transportation we are seeing foreign companies like Veolia and First Transit taking over more and more public transit operations. In commercial airlines, overhaul work is being shipped to China, El Salvador and other overseas locations with lower standards of quality and security and little oversight from the FAA and the Department of Homeland Security.”

Lombardo went on to say, “We’re even seeing companies like Southwest Airlines that historically have had good relations with TWU and a culture of labor/management cooperation push for increased use of low-wage outsourced workers who lack company loyalty and who are not part of the company culture. This shift in company policy has been clear in our prolonged negotiations for ground workers at Southwest.

We will not go quietly on this issue of outsourcing.”

Immediate Action

Lombardo immediately took several decisive actions that were approved by convention delegates. Among the changes:

  •  More control will be given to local unions in dealing with employers rather than through International and divisional officers. 
  • The union’s governing board, the International Executive Council, will now have a greater number of local union officers. Senior staff will be removed from the Council.
  • TWU will restructure to strengthen both state and regional conferences and reassign staff to serve these groups including additional staff to deal with political and legislative campaigns.  In particular, this will allow the union to be better prepared to deal with attacks on bargaining rights, public employee pensions and other challenges and to advocate for additional transit funding.
  • The union will invest more resources in strategic planning and research for contract campaigns. TWU also will provide training to its local leaders on better methods to communicate to the public and cutting edge tactics to bring pressure to bear on employers.

On Thursday afternoon, Lombardo will lead busloads of convention delegates and guests along with Allegiant Air flight attendants to a protest outside Allegiant’s Las Vegas headquarters. TWU recently organized flight attendants at the discount carrier but management has refused to agree to a first contract and the airline’s practices of leaving passengers stranded or routine hours-long delays has become an issue for the union as well as consumers.

Up From the Ranks

Harry Lombardo began his career as a transit worker in Philadelphia in the 1970’s and led Transport Workers Union Local 234 in Philadelphia as local president during a strike against SEPTA in 1995. Prior to his election this week, Lombardo served on the national level as the union’s International Executive Vice President.

A New Team

Joining Lombardo is a new team of leaders:

John Samuelsen, currently serves as President of the 39,000–member TWU Local 100, representing transit workers in New York City.  In addition to his duties in New York, Samuelsen will assume the position of Executive Vice President of the international union.

Alex Garcia, who previously served as the union’s political director and prior to that was president of an American Airlines local in Miami was elected to the position of Secretary-Treasurer.

John Bland, a veteran of TWU’s transit division and Gary Maslanka who directs the union’s railroad division were both elected as Administrative Vice Presidents.

Transition

Lombardo and the rest of the leadership team took office immediately after the election results were announced.  Each was elected to a four-year term.

Since 2006, TWU was led by James C. Little who announced two months ago that he would not be a candidate for reelection after the Lombardo slate formally announced their candidacy. Joseph Gordon, the union’s Secretary-Treasurer during the Little years announced a campaign for union president and fielded a slate of candidates, but withdrew from the race prior to the convention.

TWU’s 24th quadrennial convention is being held at Las Vegas’ Mirage Hotel through September 27.

Flight Attendant Union Coalition Launches Campaign To Raise Funds For Flight 93 Memorial

fa-union-coalition-img

Flight Attendants Join Together on Capitol Hill in Effort to Close Funding Gap 

Washington, DC – On the eve of the 12th year marking the tragic events of the September 11 terrorist attacks, the Flight Attendant Union Coalition, representing nearly 100,000 Flight Attendants at carriers nationwide, joined forces on Capitol Hill to request that members of Congress make voluntary personal contributions to close a $1.5 million funding gap for the Flight 93 National Memorial. Flight Attendants distributed a letter to every member of the United States Congress asking that they set an example by making a personal contribution towards funding the memorial’s Tower of Voices and educational programs.

In 2002, Congress authorized the creation of a national memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, as part of the National Park System, to honor the crewmembers and passengers of Flight 93 who, on September 11, 2001, gave their lives to prevent an attack on the United States Capitol. This national memorial, marking the final resting place of the 40 heroes of Flight 93, is a permanent tribute to those aboard whose incredible acts of bravery saved countless lives at the cost of their own. It is the only national park commemorating the events of September 11, 2001.

The Flight 93 National Memorial officially opened to the public on September 10, 2011 but still needs to meet its ultimate fundraising goal in order to be completed.

“Twelve years ago, 25 Flight Attendants took action as first responders in a war we didn’t know we were fighting. These heroes were among the first to relay the intelligence that alerted our country and our flying partners on Flight 93, who in turn sacrificed their own lives to save countless others on the ground. Since that fateful day, our country’s history has been changed forever. We promise to never forget the events of that day and to ensure they never happen again. As our work continues and evolves, the role of first responder has been added to our responsibilities in aviation’s last line of defense. Our heroes will forever unite us. We will never forget,” repeated the Coalition.

The Coalition of Flight Attendant Unions coordinates on issues of mutual interest to Flight Attendants. Members of the Coalition are the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, Association of Professional Flight Attendants, Transport Workers Union, and International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.

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Transportation Workers Union Call For DOJ To Drop Suit Against Airline Merger

Transport Workers to Deliver Petition with Thousands of Signatures to U.S. Dept. of Justice Offices in Tulsa Thur., Calling for End to Lawsuit Aimed at Blocking the American-US Airways Merger

Transportation Workers Union Logo -TWUJobs at American Airlines’ Maintenance Facility, Tulsa’s Largest Private Sector Employer Placed in Jeopardy by DoJ’s Misguided Interference

 Tulsa  – A caravan of vehicles driven by members of Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 514, employed at the American Airlines maintenance base, will deliver a petition with more than 8,000 signatures to the U.S. Department of Justice’s office in Tulsa on Thursday, August 29.

Airline workers and supporters are calling for the government to drop its irrational lawsuit against the proposed merger of American Airlines and US Airways.  The merger will protect good-paying U.S. jobs and give consumers the only real chance for competition with the Delta-United duopoly, which currently dominates the U.S. airline industry.

“We put this on the Internet a couple of weeks ago, and it’s spread like wildfire,” said TWU Local 514 President Dale Danker. “People just can’t understand why our own government is trying to block a merger that’s pro-competition, pro-consumer and that protects good-paying U.S. jobs.”

More than 8,000 signatures calling on U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to drop the government’s lawsuit against the proposed merger were collected all over the United States, said Danker.  They are being delivered in Tulsa, where American operates the largest remaining U.S.-based hub for aircraft repair and maintenance.  With 6,000 workers, the airline is the largest private-sector employer in Tulsa.

AMR, the parent company of American Airlines, is ready to emerge from a difficult two-year bankruptcy process with a plan to merge with U.S. Airways.  The proposed merger would create, for the first time in years, head-to-head competition with Delta and United and an American Airlines more able to compete with foreign carriers.

“The DOJ says this merger is anti-competitive. Actually, it’s their lawsuit against the merger which will block competition,” said Danker. “Neither American nor US Airways alone can effectively compete against Delta or United, which means the duopoly will eventually control more routes, raise prices even higher and give consumers fewer choices.”

“If this merger goes through, it will protect the jobs of our members and allow us to give consumers excellent service and real choice.  If DOJ succeeds with its wrong-headed attempt to block this merger, we’ll lose jobs and income, and consumers will have fewer choices at a higher cost.  That’s why we’re asking Eric Holder to reverse course and drop the DOJ lawsuit.”

The union also has sent a letter to Attorney General Holder requesting that he meet with TWU members.

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