The “United Unstoppable” slate won re-election at the Transport Workers Union 25th Constitutional Convention in Las Vegas, September 26, 2017. Officers are as follows:
John Samuelsen, International President
Alex Garcia, International Executive Vice President
Gary Maslanka, International Secretary-Treasurer
John Bland, International Administrative Vice President
Jerome Lafragola, International Administrative Vice President
Thank you for the participation of all our delegates in this election process. Together, we are United Invincible.
Transport Workers Union Locals Have a Message for CEO Doug Parker: Outsourcing Doesn’t Fly Here
On Monday, two TWU locals representing Aircraft Maintenance, Fleet Service, Facilities/Ground Support and Stores members at the world’s largest airline will picket American Airlines at SFO airport. TWU Locals 505 and 591 will host TWU leadership, officers, and members of labor organizations from around the country, including APA, APFA, CWA, IBT, and IAM. Their primary message is to shed light on American’s latest plan to outsource many more U.S. based jobs overseas and to outside vendors. The demonstration will also call on the company to start bargaining in good faith and to deliver on the “industry’s best contract” its executives have been promising for nearly two years.
At the heart of the issue lies the safety of the traveling public and our flight crews, as American plans to outsource a substantial portion of its aircraft maintenance work to places like Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and China – an attempt to increase profits because the cost of doing maintenance there is cheaper. The company has also announced a plan to invest $100 million into a new aircraft maintenance facility in Brazil that will be staffed with foreign workers, a large majority of whom are not certified by the FAA. While American Airlines CEO Doug Parker complains about unfair competition from foreign airlines flying in the United States, he is lobbying for his own company to offshore the majority of its aircraft inspections and maintenance to the lowest foreign bidder.
American has also outsourced its security inspections and aircraft cleaning to third party contractors that pay their employees minimum wage. This results in a high employee turnover and lack of experience, which could compromise safety and security.
After 9/11, American Airlines asked TWU to tighten their belts to help the airline financially, in order to keep the company afloat – and they did. In 2012, management took American into bankruptcy with nearly $4 billion in the bank, forcing more concessions onto the very workforce that saved them. Today, as the airline makes billions per quarter and the executives continue to reward themselves in compensation and bonuses, TWU members have seen very little. American Airlines is making profits like never before, but the way the company treats it workers, and the attention to detail and quality for the traveling public remains abysmal. Now, TWU members at American are standing united to tell CEO Doug Parker that it’s industry best, and nothing less.
The Working Women’s Committee met on June 27th, 28th, and 29th in Islandia, New York, the Conference was hosted by Local 252, TWU Rail Division, and was attended by our Local 505 representative Leona Taylor. Committee Chair, Gwen York, called the meeting to order at 9:00am Tuesday morning and kicked off the 3-day Conference. Women and Men from all Divisions of the TWU representing many Locals participated.
The Committee discussed legislative and political issues lead by Gwen York. Suffolk County Legislator Kate Browning was a guest speaker, over her 12 years in office she advocated strongly for labor, youth, and environment rights and protection. The Committee also heard from guest speaker Vanessa Braxton. Ms. Braxton is the CEO/President of Black Momma Vodka and is the first African-American woman owner and operator of a nationally distributed vodka.
Not all activities took place around the table – Committee Members got out of the conference room, suited up for some Community Service. They stood in solidarity with our Teamster Brothers and Sisters, carrying signs of protest against Anheuser-Busch to end the strike along the roadway in Suffolk County.
Members also learned and practiced S.A.F.E, (security, awareness, fight, escape) in a Woman’s Self Defense skill building program. Community Service Project included roadside clean up !! Committee Members got out and got dirty hitting the highway to collect debris through the Adopt – A – Highway program supported by TWU Local 252.
Local 505 is proud to be a Member of the Working Women’s Committee, we support and encourage their social, educational, and political involvement for the improvement of all working women, men, and their families.
Local 505 was proud to participate in this year’s San Francisco Pride Parade. We marched with our brothers and sisters from Locals 556 and 250-A, followed by the TWU bus driven by Local 100. As one of over 240 contingents, it was an opportunity for our Local to support all people in this celebration of diversity demonstrating that love, peace, and resistance is necessary now more than ever.
Pride history began in the early hours of June 28, 1969 an NYPD raid on Greenwich Village’s Stonewall Inn sparked the Stonewall Riots, one of the first well-known instances of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rebellion against government-sponsored oppression of LGBT people. On the one-year anniversary of the riots, the first Pride marches were held in San Francisco, New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles.
This year marks the 47th continuous year of celebrating the LGBTQ community, and while San Francisco’s Pride festival is the largest event of the year, it’s also a platform for radical progression for LGBTQ rights. This year’s theme, "A celebration of diversity," is a response to last year's election, urging people to resist regression, stand up against exclusion, demand equality, and celebrate diversity.
Labor unions have long been champions of anti-discrimination language and policies and have often been on the forefront of the struggle for equal protections at work. The Transport Workers Union International passed a resolution at the 2013 Constitutional Convention that reads:
“NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the 24th Constitutional Convention of the Transport Workers Union of America, restates its historic stand against discrimination of any kind, as espoused in the preamble to the TWU Constitution; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that TWU will continue to support and work with Pride at Work, the official constituency group of the AFL-CIO, that strives for equality for LGBT workers; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that TWU shall press for the passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) on the federal level, as a necessary step to end discrimination against LGBT people in the workplace.”.
Local 505 is dedicated to upholding this resolution and standing up against all practices of discrimination.
Local 505 was proud to host the California State Conference at our Union Hall on June 27, 2017. TWU State Conferences are a way for all TWU locals in a region to come together to support a common agenda. Representatives from Local 250A, 502, 555, and 556 were present to share concerns and ideas.
According to recent reports (L.A. Times Jan. 30, 2017) California could play a central role in determining which political party will control the U.S. House of Representatives in 2018. Developing a strategy to ensure candidates are elected that share TWU values and support working families is a primary mission of the TWU California State Conference.
Reports were given by Andrew Rangolan (National Director) and Matt Hettich (CSC Chairperson), the agenda included discussion looking forward to 2018 elections. The Committee has adopted an election strategy that includes a Candidate Questionnaire so we may pre-vet potential candidates and give support to those who are in line with labor concerns.
We discussed legislative issues including H.R AIRR Act, H.R. 2150 “Flags of Convenience”, H.R. 785 “Right to Work”, and S.J 27 “Workplace Injury/Illness”. The topic of Kin Care and how it is applied in relation to HWHFA. American Airlines and Southwest Airlines are applying both laws concurrently when there is an absence from duty. This is coming to the arbitration arena in July driven by a grievance out of Local 555 in San Diego. The desired outcome would be a language change that would better define a separation between the two applications.
Every vote counts, so please make sure your voice is heard; get registered to vote and encourage others too. It may not seem that political on goings effect you – but they do; protect your rights and keep getting out the vote. We are all in this together, let’s make the TWU voice heard !!