“This critical legislation was almost derailed by opportunists, including some in the labor movement, trying to add self-serving conditions to the aid our members and our industry so desperately need,” said General Vice President Sito Pantoja. “The IAM’s legislative team has been working around the clock, seven days a week since this crisis began with specific instructions that their priority was to advocate for our members jobs, not anyone’s unrelated wish list. Thankfully, with the help of tens of thousands of IAM members who contacted their Senators and Representatives, we succeeded and unnecessary conditions were eliminated.”
It is important to emphasize that the IAM fought for airline workers who are not yet in unions just as they will be treated the same under this legislation as unionized airline workers are. Highlights of the federal stimulus for airlines:
- $25 billion in grants and $25 billion in loans or loan guarantees to the airline industry
- The grant funds are EXCLUSIVELY for the continuation of payment of employee wages, salaries and benefits
- No condition to open CBAs and enter concessionary negotiations to receive grant funds, loans or loan guarantees
- As a condition to receive federal grant funds the carrier must refrain from conducting involuntary furloughs until September 30, 2020
- Prohibition on stock buybacks until September 30, 2021
- Prohibition of dividend payments until September 30, 2021
- Limits on executive compensation
- Limits on “golden parachutes”
One of the top achievements in these negotiations was the preservation of the best health insurance plans in the industry: the PPO 80 (premium share 93/7) and PPO 90 (premium share 86/14) plans. Legacy US Airways IAM members are the only group of pre-merger US Airways workers who maintained the industry’s best health insurance plans. Legacy US Airways flight attendants and legacy US Airways customer service agents conceded those plans during their post-merger contract negotiations with American Airlines.
The IAM was also successful in maintaining and improving defined-benefit pension plans for IAM-represented workers at American Airlines. The tentative deals increase defined-benefit pension plan benefits by a whopping 38%. The IAM members are the only workers to have a defined-benefit pension the carrier. The IAM was also able to negotiate a 4% 401K match on top the defined-benefit pension plan. Combined, IAM-represented workers at American Airlines have the richest retirement security in the airline industry for all classifications, excluding pilots.
Coupled with the industry’s top wages and benefits, is the airline industry’s top profit sharing formula. The IAM-TWU Association is the only union at American Airlines to negotiate such a rich profit sharing plan.
It is time that all Delta Flight Attendants sign an IAM a-card, so a representation election can be held and Delta Flight Attendants can have the backing of the most powerful airline union in the world.
For more info on the IAM’s tentative contracts at American, click here.
While other people would like to take credit for causing Delta to permit flight attendants to wear alternative uniforms and change its policy, it was IAM Delta’s demand that NIOSH conduct a health hazard evaluation in April, 2019 that forced Delta to (1) continue to offer alternative uniforms as an option (in May, 2019 approximately only 80 Delta Flight Attendants were wearing “off the rack black and white,” and; (2) permit Delta Flight Attendants to wear the alternative uniforms for the long term (more than 60 days). NIOSH’s report states on page 13:
3. Continue to offer alternatives to the new uniform to employees who have developed symptoms and/or health effects related to wearing the new uniforms. Allow employees to use alternative uniforms on a long term basis, if symptoms resolve with this alternative.
4. Allow employees to wear alternatives when their uniforms are being lined (or other uniform alternatives are being considered) so work schedules are not negatively impacted due to potential uniform-related health effects.
READ THE ENTIRE REPORT HERE: https://files.constantcontact.com/…/ccf94356-df56-4708-b7b5…
Unrelenting pressure from the IAM, media outlets, and related class action legal proceedings have resulted in management announcing a streamlined approval procedure for alternative uniforms. While a recall is the preferred long-term solution, we do believe all workers should consider immediately removing suspected toxins from their environment.
Below is a one-sentence letter you can copy and paste to begin the journey back to health at work:
Please send approval email for black and white uniform.
A simple request: please no symptom disclosure, no emotional plea, no embellishments. Document health changes for your physicians, and resist the urge to tell random FSMs how you feel—unrepresented flight attendants suffering the effects of uniform toxicity do not need additional management scrutiny. (To detail your individual symptoms and concerns, use the IAM Delta RASH Report. http://www.iamdelta.net/rash-report/)
Company numbers crunchers are poised to potentially pay out upwards of $10 MILLION to cover almost 25,000 flight attendants purchasing black and white—an unthinkable amount that could have been spent producing higher quality, union-made garments with a U.S.A. supply chain for “the best employees in the world.”
Until we vote to become IAM members and have tangible rights at work, act quickly, wear your black and white and your IAM pin proudly, and fly safely.
“Be a bush if you can't be a tree. If you can't be a highway, just be a trail. If you can't be a sun, be a star. For it isn't by size that you win or fail. Be the best of whatever you are.”
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., October 26, 1967
"Sisters and brothers, today our nation commemorates the life and legacy of a transformational leader. In a life cut too short, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. relentlessly pursued racial equality and justice and made unforgettable gains for civil rights in this country.
Dr. King’s call for labor rights, economic fairness, and racial justice rings as true today as it ever did. We, as a labor movement, continue that fight every day."
Sito Pantoja, General Vice President
Wishing workplace organizers everywhere an active and peaceful MLK Day. Thank you for serving others!
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