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Delta’s ‘Non-Union Dues’ Just Went Up Significantly

Southwest Airlines has reached a tentative agreement with 17,000 union ramp and cargo workers. The workers will now earn $36.72 per hour and reach $42.56 by the end of their contract. The workers are members of Transport Workers Union Local 555. Nearly all workers at Southwest are union.

The contract also meets the union’s other demands, such as improvement in retirement medical coverage, increasing the company’s 401(k) match, additional holidays at premium pay rates and seven weeks of vacation at 18 years of service. In the past two years, unions across the aerospace, construction, airline and rail industries have put up fights for higher wages and more benefits in a tight labor market. Recently, pilots at Delta Air Lines and American Airlines also reached new labor agreements with their respective carriers, while Southwest is yet to strike a new deal with its pilots.

Watch Out In DTW…Everywhere

According to readers who work the ramp in DTW, the company is on a termination/suspension spree in that station. Watch your back. Work safe. Follow the GOM. And remember, at union carriers, you can fight unjust and capricious discipline because you have trained union representatives fighting for you, organized co-workers who can push back against the company, and a set of legal rights that you don’t have as an “at will,” or non-union, employee. Ask any former employee at Delta who has been suspended. Once you are suspended, you fall into a “black hole” and will never be back on the property. It’s quite different if you are in a union.


Letter From The Ramp

I did something yesterday that I don’t usually do. I attended a group “listening” session with MSP leadership. I typically choose not to attend because I feel that one individual raising a concern isn’t enough to get our concerns addressed.

Many issues were raised, with the main one being bump caps. About 30 minutes into the meeting, without even thinking about it, a co-worker took a sweat rag out of his pocket, raised his bump cap and started to wipe the beads of sweat from the top of his head. Another co-worker took notice and pointed out the fact that we’re sitting in an air-conditioned meeting room and the guy wearing the bump cap is sweating profusely in the area covered by the cap. It should also be noted that about 10 minutes into the meeting, an employee arrived late and was greeted by management. The manager apologized for the chilly hand to that employee. She did however say she was cold from the air-conditioning upstairs even though it was plenty air-conditioned in the room in which we were meeting.

As we described the discomfort of covering our heads with a bump cap, she told us that head injuries were a top 10 injury item and the introduction of bump caps has reduced it significantly. I personally agree that there’s probably a reduction of cuts and scrapes to the head, however even ONE heat related death will NOT be worth it. She told me that I speak for myself, not the thousands of employees wearing bump caps.

Am I totally out of touch with my co-workers? Are you actually in favor of keeping bump caps “required” instead of optional like knee pads or gloves? I want to know your thoughts because it was clear to me as to why I typically do not attend these meetings. Delta has ultimate veto power and they single us out as one person to squash anything they don’t want to go along with.

PLEASE sign a card and even better yet, collect cards. Let’s walk through that door unionized and have ALL our voices heard.


UPS Workers Make Big Gains. Why? Because They Are Union!

By the end of their new tentative agreement, full-time UPS delivery drivers will make an average of $49 per hour, which works out to nearly $102,000 per year, assuming a 40-hour workweek, 52 weeks a year. Those employees are guaranteed an eight-hour workday, a UPS spokesperson told CBS MoneyWatch. Part-time workers will go to at least $25.75 per hour with a full pension and good but very inexpensive health insurance.

Drivers also receive $50,000 in benefits “that include health, welfare and pension contributions,” the spokesperson said. 

That places UPS drivers near the same pay grade as software developers, finance directors and physician assistants, who all earn average salaries in the $108,000 to $115,000 range, according to Indeed.

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