IBEW Organizing Campaign questions & answers

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Sep 28, 2007

IBEW Organizing Campaign
Questions & Answers

The IAM is spreading deceit and manufacturing fear through misinformation since it can not stand on anything that it has actually done over the last 13 years for the east, and last 2 years for the west. Kindly read the following objective information so that you may make an informed choice regarding your representational status.

Election Process
How would we be voting?
The National Mediation Board [NMB] has changed its voting methods to reflect more user friendly methods of voting. New procedures went into effect on October 1, 2007 in which the option of telephone and internet voting will take place.
Once the IBEW files the cards to invoke the services of the NMB, how long will it take to get them certified?
Generally 2 months or less from a filed petition, according to recent NMB cases on the NMB database at nmb.gov.
Does a union need 50%+1 of the craft to be certified?
No. Oftentimes, unions under the Railway Labor Act [RLA] win with less than 50% of the vote. The law does not require a union to get 50%+1 of the craft to vote for it. Remember, the IAM received less than 22% of the vote from those eligible to vote, and still ended up being certified on the east. The IBT received less than 50% in 1989 and still won on the old USair property.
If the IBEW became certified, do I lose my contract?
No, your contract is between you and your company. You wouldn't have to start over since The IBEW would be duty bound to enforce the contract. It would also be duty bound to enforce the former TWU's section 6 negotiations for the west [the IAM has previously refused to do this], and to enforce all grievances on the property.
What is the chance we could lose our union altogether, and is this type of election unusual?
This type of election, in which all the workers are represented and under contract, and a competing union seeks to represent a set of wokers, is known as a union raid. 99% of the time, a union raid is successful under the RLA. Kindly check NMB.gov for the full list of election cases. Notice, over the last 10 years, only one time [about 100 skycaps] a union failed to achieve a certification. This type of election is common. Presently on
US AIRWAYS property, pilots are also trying to get rid of ALPA. Other industry raids are also taking place. For instance, the IBT is currently raiding the mechanics at United. Union raiding is nothing new or radical.

Why are union raids so successful when compared to normal elections where workers aren't unionized and under contract?
1. Workers who have contracts do not want to lose the benefits they have obtained in their contracts.
2. Companies are legally bound to cooperate if they are under contract with the employees [usually article 1 of a contract] and therefore their participation in union busting campaigns is restricted, unlike a coercive, intimidating company campaign for a non-contract shop.

But why does the IAM insist that fleet service will vote union out?
The IAM is always negative and talks down to fleet service and will say anything to stir fear and protect its dues. Your recent history strongly suggest otherwise. While non-union & non-contract, fleet service at America West voted in union by 54%. The east side voted in union by over 60% when they were non-contract. Now both are under contract and actually have fewer workers laid off.

Retirement and Pension Questions

If we vote in the IBEW, how will this affect our participation in the IAM Pension Plan?
The IAM pension plan doesn’t require you to be an IAM member. There is a lot of misinformation out there but District Officers, shop stewards, and breakroom warriors, don’t have the authority to terminate the plan. Further, please be aware, you can be a member of another union and still participate in the IAM Pension. The following are the 3 requirements for Plan Participation and can be found here: https://www.iamnpf.org/npf/forms/IAM_SPD_11.pdf
The Plan summary reads: You can participate in the National IAM Pension Plan if you meet all three of the following conditions:
– You are represented for the purpose of collective bargaining by a lodge chartered by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM). The collective bargaining agreement may be with another union if accepted by the Trustees.
– Your employer has agreed in writing to make contributions to the Plan on your behalf.
– Your employer is accepted, in writing, as a contributing employer by the Board of Trustees, and makes the required contributions.

Remember, your employer has already agreed to these items and it's in your contract.

Does the IBEW have a Pension Plan and is it healthier than the IAM Pension Plan?
Yes, the IBEW does have a multi-employer pension plan but it would have to be negotiated in the next contract should the members wish to change retirement options.
However, the IBEW multi-employer Pension Plan is among the top 22 Multi Employer Pension plans in the nation. According to http://www.knowyourpension.org/pensions/pe...er_pension.aspx
The IBEW Pension is extremely healthy. Contrary to what you have been told, the IAM Pension plan is already in the red. Know your pension and check the link..

If we vote in the IBEW, can we keep the IAM pension plan and also have the IBEW pension plan?
Yes. The East contract provides your company’s contributions to the IAM Pension Plan. Also, even if your company isn’t making contributions into the IBEW pension plan, the IBEW already makes contributions for its members into its own Pension [separate from the multi-employer plan], including early out, spouse, death and disability benefits [Article 11 of the IBEW constitution]

Why would the IBEW make additional contributions for me into a pension if my employer is contributing to another plan?
Unlike the IAM [which takes a portion of your dues and uses for officer salaries, political contributions, and conventions], the IBEW takes a portion [$11.30 a month] out of your monthly dues and invests the money into the IBEW pension for the member. Again, this is just another benefit of becoming an IBEW member. The IBEW is the only union that sets aside a portion of the dues for a member’s retirement welfare. [Art. 9 of IBEW Const]

If we vote in the IBEW, is there anything that could cause US AIRWAYS to stop making its retirement contributions? Nothing, it’s in the agreement and it’s non-negotiable. Doesn’t matter which union you have, the company is obligated to make the agreed upon retirement % contributions [Article 23 of your contract].

Why go with a union that doesn't have a clue about the airlines?
The IBEW has almost 1 million members and has many resources. It also has represented airline workers before. Further, the IBEW represents thousands of workers that already come under the Railway Labor Act. It represents many sectors, not just electrical workers.

How will Officer elections be handled if we get the IBEW?
If you vote in the IBEW, you won't have your officer elections hand picked and dominated by United airline employees. US AIRWAYS workers will vote on those who represent them. You also will not have a United Airline Board of Director negotiating your contract and seniority provisions. If there is a United merger, this would become even a bigger issue as IAM District lodge 141 is a United Lodge and would have the interest of United employees over US AIRWAYS employees, even though US AIRWAYS Fleet Service has more or about the same number of members as UA fleet service.

Is the IBEW committed to Fleet Service?
The IBEW is a member of the AFLCIO and may face fines from the AFLCIO once the IAM files charges. It may have to pay heavy fines to secure IBEW representation for US AIRWAYS Fleet service workers. There is NO GREATER committment than that. The IBEW committment is at the exact opposite of what you already know about the IAM committment.

Why change unions?
1. Because it is easier to change the union than it is to change the leadership of this United Airline dominated IAM lodge.
2. Because you do not want a United Airline Board of Director negotiating your contract.
3. Because you want to change the status quo of keeping a union that doesn't care one iota about you, continually disrespects you, and has continued to lie to you, [1113 letters, MDA, 'concession stand is closed', etc., etc.,].
5. Because the IAM has done nothing but lose benefits for members in over 13 years of its certification.
6. Because the IAM agreed with Parker to throw away grievances, profit sharing and other previously negotiated items in Parker's trash can. Because it continues to negotiate concessions and appease your company at a time when your company is close to record profits.
7. Because the IAM has refused over the past 18 months to do anything about the TWU's section 6 negotiations which commenced a year before the IAM became certified out west. Because it has done NOTHING for west siders.
8. Because you don't want to continue the status quo and you know a change is in order.
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Before you start a thread, PLEASE check to make sure the subject you are going to discuss is not already being covered.

This topic is already being discussed in another thread, which is quite lengthy on its own.

Therefore this one is closed.
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