Late last year, IAM Legislative Director Hasan Solomon and myself met with staff of Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal. Senator Blumenthal had several constituents who thought they had been exposed to contaminated cabin air and the Senator asked the Machinists Union to explain how that happens and what needs to be done to protect the flying public from this hazard.
As a result of the meeting, Senator Blumenthal introduced Senate Bill S.1405, Cabin Air Safety Act of 2017. This is part of the FAA Reauthorization bill and needs to be approved on the Senate floor. Hopefully, this will be part of the FAA bill in the final form will include all the items in Senator Blumenthal's bill.
The Senator's bill includes educating pilots, flight attendants, aircraft maintenance technicians and airport first responders on how to respond to incidents on board aircraft involving smoke or fumes. It will require all events to be reported to the FAA. It will provide funding for research to develop techniques to monitor bleed air quality and finally, require a report on the feasibility and efficacy of certification and installation of systems to evaluate bleed air quality.
For many years, we have been aware there is a danger with the cabin air in commercial aircraft. The IAM has helped fund independent studies on the issue, and I have served as an expert witness in lawsuits filed by flight attendants who contracted serious, debilitating illness as a result of contaminated cabin air. But this is the first time the federal government has acknowledged this being an issue and we thank the Senator for taking this fight on!
The health of our flight attendants, flight crews and maintenance workers, as well as passengers, are at risk. This is the first step in getting this issue brought to the forefront and get solutions on fixing the problem of contaminated cabin air for everyone.
The amendment to the FAA bill passed in the Commerce Committee last week. We need all our members to urge their Senators to oppose any attempt to remove or weaken this provision when the FAA bill comes up for a Senate floor vote.
The IAM supports and sympathizes with all Flight Attendants affected by last night’s traumatic incident on Delta Flight 129. The IAM will continue fighting for safety improvements for not only its members, but for all workers. There needs to be zero tolerance for such violent and criminal behavior against Flight Attendants.
The House Transportation Committee today will be considering an FAA Reauthorization Bill that directs the Department of Transportation (DOT) to revise current rules for flight attendant rest. The bill would require them to be given a rest period of at least 10 uninterrupted hours.
This important safety change replaces the current eight-hour rest period. The bill would also require airlines to submit to regulators fatigue risk management plans for attendants.
“Flight Attendants have a crucial and often life-saving job responsibility,” said GVP Sito Pantoja. “The inclusion of the ten-hour rest rule in this bill is a step towards ensuring that Flight Attendants are properly prepared to do their jobs.”
The IAM has been aggressively lobbying Congress to adopt this ten-hour rule for years, meeting with lawmakers from both parties and holding rallies on Capitol Hill.
“The IAM places a great deal of importance on the safety and well-being of both flight attendants and passengers,” said GVP Pantoja. “I congratulate our legislative team and our members for working hard and pushing for this legislation change.”
IAM members will be receiving approximately $1.5 million as a result of the IAM's successful arbitration against Alaska Airlines regarding HMO coverage. In its December 20, 2016 Order, the IAM-Alaska System Board of Adjustment, through Arbitrator John LaRocco, ordered Alaska to cease and desist from violating its contractual obligation to contribute the "same amount" to its HMO plans as it does for the same tier of coverage for PPO plans.
"This arbitration victory demonstrates the importance of filing grievances and fighting diligently for our members, said GVP Sito Pantoja. "I thank our District 142 representatives and, in particular, LAX Alaska member Rachael Ackerman for filing the grievance that is benefiting thousands of our members who will receive this award."
Alaska will make these payments to all affected employees within 45 days, by August 7, 2017.
To read the full story click here
To read the Arbitration Award click here
Delta Leaders to Delta FAs:
STOP getting hurt
STOP getting sick
STOP taking crew rest
STOP taking summer vacation
STOP calling scheduling
IAM Activists to Delta FAs:
START having a voice
START taking control
START being respected
START making positive changes
START by signing an IAM card
An IAM contract will clarify IROPS, sick policy, crew rest minimums, vacation allotments, staffing requirements for increased service, and meaningful overtime pay.
STOP THE HAVOC.
STOP LOSING GROUND.
START LIVING BETTER.
SIGN AN IAM CARD TODAY.
PLEASE WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW:
PRESCRIPTION DRUG COSTS AT DELTA ARE RISING AND FLIGHT ATTENDANTS HAVE NO SAY IN SETTING THE COSTS!
IAM Members’ Voices Heard Loud and Clear at Annual Legislative Conference, Brown Cites Importance of IAM-Delta Campaign
Hundreds of IAM members this week descended on Washington D.C. at one of the the largest legislative conferences in organized labor. IAM members fanned out on Capitol Hill and met with lawmakers from both parties and pressed for legislation that would better the lives of workers and their families.
Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, a stalwart of labor and workers’ rights, electrified the delegates when he emphasized the vital importance of the IAM-Delta campaign to all workers in the United States.
IAM-represented airline workers, including flight attendants, met with the likes of Senators Elisabeth Warren (D-MA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Al Franken (D-MN) and many others.
Flight Attendants and Customer Service Agents (CSAs) lobbied Congress to adopt a 10-hour minimum rest requirement for flight attendants and pushed Congress to adopt an "Employee Assult Prevention and Response Plan." This plan would include guidelines for CSAs should they encounter violent behavior.
The IAM’s Legislative Department Director, Hasan Solomon, updated conference delegates on the status of important legislation and the union’s legislative strategies for the 115th Congress. International President Bob Martinez Jr. gave the keynote address and stressed the importance of IAM’s resolve in the face of many attacks on organized labor and thanked delegates for their continued hard work back in their home states.
IAM delegates concluded the week with the Machinists Non-Partisan Political League (MNPL) conference. The MNPL was created in 1947 to allow IAM members to gather individual contributions, coordinate political activity, and elect candidates who support IAM members and their families. It’s important to note that any money from the MNPL given to candidates for political office comes from IAM member donations and NOT from union dues.
IAM Representatives out in force today with Detroit strong!!
Don't wait one minute longer, sign a card NOW and let's get the election we DESERVE!!!
Also, be on the lookout for a new mailing that will have a personalized a-card and a letter of support from IAM International.
“In spite of these achievements, there is much work yet to be done,” said GVP Pantoja. “We cannot allow ExpressJet to continue delaying a fair agreement for our Flight Attendants, and we will redouble our efforts to finally organize Delta flight attendants and ground workers and JetBlue ground staff. I look forward to celebrating the successful conclusion of these campaigns at our next Transportation Conference.”
The IAM Transportation Department sends its support to the Delta Flight Attendants who were stranded in terminals throughout the country this past week. Delta’s operational breakdown, and subsequent abandonment of its Flight Attendants, is further proof of the importance of having a union contract. Without the protection a union contract affords, the safety and well-being of flight attendants will continue to be neglected by Delta.
SIGN A CARD TODAY AND HAVE A VOICE IN YOUR FUTURE!
Is it that we’re paying for our own raise with the loss of over 50% of our Profit Sharing?
Or that our real hourly rate has inched up only 3.6% in thirteen years?
No. Those facts are NOT the best thing ever. The BEST thing for our group is that NEGOTIATIONS START FROM HERE!
When we begin negotiating our first IAM contract, Delta is bound to preserve all current pay, benefits, and working conditions. We will negotiate improvements to what we currently have.
We simply need to earn a union vote first to lock in our negotiations starting point.
Don’t fool around with our future: sign an IAM card today!
Visit iamdelta.net/acard to request a card online. When it arrives in your home mailbox, sign, date, send, and email verify as instructed on the receipt.
Preserve and protect what we have now, and let’s advance toward an industry leading contract!
The mere fact that Delta HAS an advocacy policy says a lot. Its very existence quantifies that Delta management will do everything possible to prevent us from advocating! (Read about your federal rights here)
We CAN have IAM bag tags in non-work areas.
We CAN wear an IAM pin in the same places a service pin is approved.
We CAN distribute materials, such as cards, flyers, and pins.
We CAN discuss representation, our IAM card drive, working conditions, profit sharing cuts, even real-life examples of management's prejudice against pro-union employees, as long as those conversations don't disrupt the operation.
The following are not work areas:
- Hallway leading to the lounge.
- The elevator and concourse.
- The bus and parking lot.
- The dining tables in lounges, the couches, chairs, coffee maker area, etc.
- The hotel lobby, bar, restaurant, and any mode of transportation to and from those places.
All are non-work areas!!
FSMs have trouble enforcing the intentionally confusing policy. We feel for them! Most are not lawyers or third-party persuaders. They're just coworkers trying to defend the indefensible.
Comply with all management requests regarding advocacy — even if you believe that request is unjustified — noting the date, time, exact location, and manager's full name. Then file an online interference report during your next non-work downtime!
Talking about IAM is not soliciting. Wearing a pin is not an advocacy activity. Deliberating about working conditions, suppression, and our history is called educating, and it is permitted EVERYWHERE it doesn't disrupt the operation.
Don't default to silence.
Know your audience, know your rights, and know you are right. Sign an IAM card today and establish REAL advocacy for our group!
The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) today submitted comments regarding the DOT’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) concerning the “protection of passengers from being unwillingly exposed to inflight voice calls.” The DOT seeks comment on whether to prohibit airlines from allowing passengers to make voice calls from wireless mobile devices on domestic and/or international flights and its proposal to require the sellers of air transportation to provide adequate advance notice to passengers if the carrier operating the flight allows voice calls on wireless mobile devices.
“Flight attendants already have the great responsibility of securing the safety of the flying public,” said General Vice President Sito Pantoja. “They are the last line of security onboard an aircraft, making their jobs harder is dangerous and wrongheaded.”
The IAM asked the DOT to consider the stress and distractions flight attendants would undoubtedly encounter by permitting inflight voice calls. It’s inevitable that flight attendants will have to neutralize cabin situations caused by hostility between passengers stemming from inflight voice calls. The use of inflight cell phones may also pose additional security risks. Potentially, terrorists aboard a single or multiple aircrafts could use this new capability to communicate with each other about the movement and vulnerability of crew members or to even initiate a coordinated attack.
Unionized Delta Pilots voted for a contract that preserved last year’s Profit Sharing formula, awarded $380 million in retroactive pay, and added another $95 million in contract improvements in 2016.
As a result of the Pilots' deal, Delta's pre-tax income is $475 million lower, which directly decreases the profit sharing for Delta FAs.
The Pilots' increased compensation changed Delta’s balance sheet. That collective power is at the heart of what unions do: negotiate sweet deals in good times, and safeguard members in tough times.
Without a contract, our Profit Sharing formula was changed overnight — funding our own so-called “raise" — and our payouts were slashed 53% in Delta’s most successful year ever.
That isn't funny, Valentine.
Delta Flight Attendants have the passion and potential to negotiate our own industry leading contract in a mature relationship with our company.
Sign an IAM card today!
If you haven't received your individualized A-card in the mail yet, then it's likely that IAM Delta does not have your correct mailing address.
The IAM will then mail your individualized card to you. All you have to do then is sign, date and drop in the mail. And, don't forget to "self-verify." For more info on self-verification, click here.