Tag Archives: TWU

TWU statement on JetBlue Airways acquiring Spirit Airlines

The following statement can be attributed to TWU International President John Samuelsen regarding JetBlue Airways plans to acquire Spirit Airlines.

“The Transport Workers Union continues to believe that workers and the flying public would be better served if JetBlue and Spirit remain separate carriers. Airline workers must have a seat at the table to ensure that major transactions like this do not undermine their rights and livelihoods. While JetBlue management attempts to move forward with its acquisition of Spirit, the TWU will be working with government regulators, the carriers themselves, and other stakeholders to ensure that this deal protects jobs and actually benefits the public interest. Until we see firm commitments, we oppose the deal entirely. Since JetBlue and Spirit already share a number of flight routes, a combined airline would likely be required to divest some of those routes. We have seen this many times before: another mega airline could lead to significant job cuts, reduced choices for consumers and higher prices. The TWU represents workers at both JetBlue and Spirit, and will be working hard to engage DOJ regulators to advocate for the interests of workers and consumers alike. We know that corporate management teams often put profit ahead of working people — it is up to the Transport Workers Union, other unions, and consumer advocate groups to hold both corporations and regulators accountable.”

American Airlines alleges a slowdown by two mechanics unions

American Airlines Group has filed a lawsuit against two of its unions (IAM and TWU) representing its mechanics. The Group is alleging a slowdown by both groups.

According to Reuters, the union activity has caused 650 flight cancellations and more than 1,500 maintenance delays since February.

American recently cut its profit forecast for 2019 blaming the Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 grounding.

Read the full report.

Southwest Airlines and TWU 555 reach a tentative agreement

Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-3H4 HL N654SW (msn 28399) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 930591.

Southwest Airlines (Dallas) has announced a new tentative agreement with Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 555, the union that represents more than 12,000 Southwest Ground Operations, Provisioning, and Cargo Agents. The Union’s Executive Board reviewed an Agreement in Principle that negotiators reached on December 23 and decided to conduct a ratification vote that could end more than four years of negotiations.

The Company said that the new contract not only improves wages and benefits, but it also enhances Southwest’s competitive standing within the industry.

Over the next few weeks, the Union will share the terms of the agreement with its members and conduct a ratification vote. If approved, the contract will become amendable in 2021.

Southwest operates a network of 97 destinations across the United States and seven additional countries with more than 3,900 departures a day during peak travel season.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-3H4 N654SW (msn 28399) arrives at Los Angeles International Airport.

Southwest Airlines aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

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Virgin America’s flight attendants vote to be represented by the TWU

Virgin America (San Francisco) flight attendants have voted to represented by the TWU. The TWU issued this statement:

A majority of flight attendants at Virgin America has voted in favor of union representation by the Transport Workers Union of America (TWU), the federal National Mediation Board reported today. This is the first work group at the airline to vote for a union. TWU received 430 votes, 58 percent of those voting, compared with 307 who voted against forming a union. The election was conducted between July 16 and August 13 by telephone and Internet and 828 Inflight Team Members (ITMs) were eligible to vote.

“We’re excited about what this election means for Inflight Team Members,” said Adam Croteau, a Los Angeles-based ITM, a term the airline uses to describe its flight attendants. “We ran a very positive campaign and we believe that we can make positive changes at the airline by giving flight attendants a voice.”

Many ITMs at Virgin America were drawn to the Transport Workers Union because of TWU’s success in bargaining contracts for 11,000 flight attendants at Southwest Airlines.

“Part of Southwest Airline’s success is due to the airline’s flight attendants, all of whom are TWU members. Having a union behind them gives Southwest flight attendants the comfort and freedom to do their jobs well,” said Armando Fierros, a Los Angeles-based ITM. “TWU also fosters autonomy for its local unions, unlike some labor organizations. We want to run our own union and create a union culture that is uniquely suited to meet the needs of ITMs employed at this award-winning airline.”

“Virgin America bills itself as an ‘upscale’ airline and prides itself on that service that ‘team members’ offer,” said TWU’s International Executive Vice President John Samuelsen, who attended the vote count at the National Mediation Board in Washington, DC with a group of Virgin flight attendants, “With this vote, flight attendants will have a say on how to further improve Virgin along with their own work lives. This is a chance to make the airline better for both customers and workers.”

In July, the privately held company filed for an initial public offering with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Only yesterday, Virgin America Inc. reported that its second-quarter profit and revenue increased, largely due to the airline filling more seats.

“We want to see Virgin America prosper,” said TWU International President Harry Lombardo. “As the airline grows and becomes an increasingly profitable and larger public company, we also want our members to be recognized for their contribution to the airline’s success. We will now focus on gaining a contract that’s fair for our new members.”

Negotiations for a first contract will begin in the fall.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-112 N525VA (msn 3324) approaches the runway at Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD).

Virgin America:

TWU Local 555 at Chicago Midway: Southwest wants to outsource some of our ramp work

Southwest Airlines‘ (Dallas) ramp workers at its Chicago (Midway) hub, represented by the Transport Workers Union (TWU), handed out leaflets yesterday (June 19) to passengers at MDW to explain their side in the continuing contract negotiations with the company that began in July 2011 but so far have resulted in little progress according to this article by CBS News.

TWU says Southwest wants the contract authority to replace up to 20 percent of the TWU workers with contract workers provided by (lower cost) independent contractors.

Is the beginning of the end of friendly labor relations at Southwest?

Read the full article: CLICK HERE

In other news, Southwest has begun retiring its 25 Boeing 737-500s (the first two – 513 and 519 have been retired).

Copyright Photo: Roy Lock.

Southwest Airlines: 

American Airlines and the TWU reach a tentative agreement

American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) and the Transport Workers Union (TWU) have reached a tentative agreement in principle for the Fleet Service and Ground Service employees. This tentative agreement provides American’s Fleet Service and Ground Service employees with increased compensation and other enhancements such as additional holidays, sick time and vacation.

The tentative agreement also gives American additional productivity and better aligns American’s work rules with all other airlines through outsourcing the dayline cabin cleaning and fueling work. The employees currently performing these jobs will be reassigned to other duties. The productivity improvements and savings provided through the outsourcing helps fund the structural increases and other economic enhancements, while ensuring that American remains competitive.

According to both parties, “both parties put a significant amount of time and effort into the negotiating process to reach an agreement that recognizes the interests of American’s TWU-represented employees and the company. This agreement is a significant step in our efforts to achieve the competitive costs that are critical to our future success.”

American Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing.

American and TWU reach a tentative agreement

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American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) and the Transport Workers Union (TWU) have reached a tentative agreement in principle for the Mechanic and Related work group.

Read the full press release: