IBT Fresh Start Committee

Bob Owens

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Sep 9, 2002
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Yesterday I got a mailer from the "Fresh Start Committee" the IBT group over at USAIR.

The letter talks about how they are hoping that we all join the IBT and fight outsourcing. In fact they mention outsourcing at least three times, not once do they mention how our pay, and with it our standard of living, has been decimated.

They mention how we need to save the Tulsa base. OK, then send this to Tulsa, the Tulsa base is where they got the YES votes that destroyed our livelyhoods in exchange for the promise that more concessions would "save jobs"(only to see jobs go away anyway), its not an arguement thats going to sell anyone on the line, except Overspeed ,Soldivere and the 200 (out of 4000) people who voted for TeAAm Videtich.. I saw nothing in that letter that leads me to believe that their strategy is any different than what the TWU already has in place, other than the fact that I will have to pay $300 more a year in dues for them to give more concessions for jobs in OH. Not once do they say they plan on at least bringing us up to UAL or let alone UPS Wages, nope, they want to stop outsourcing of Overhaul but only at carriers that pay their workers bottom of the industry compensation. They say they will lead the fight against outsourcing even though UPS leads the industry in outsourcing and UAL/CAL outsources more than we do. UPS rejected $45 and hour in exchange for language that would limit outsourcing and went for $54 instead. The IBT allowed plenty of outsourcing when they were at SWA as well, and for much of the time they were there their mechanics made less than us in addition to outsourcing more work. So what exactly is the IBT saying other than "We are the biggest". How are they going to stop Outsourcing at AA when they have not stopped it anywhere else? Sure UAL may be bringing work back in house, but so is Non-union Delta, economics, not "IBT power" is driving that trend.

Here's the thing, the primary loss of jobs in Tulsa will not be outsourcing. Why? Because our labor rates are so low its not cost effective to outsource the MD-80s. As the MD-80s go away so will the jobs. The primary drivers of job loss in Tulsa will be new aircraft and the loss of Station and System protection, and there isnt a damn thing that the IBT or any union can do about that. The only way that the IBT could stop job losses in Tulsa is by allowing AA to get such low labor rates that they can compete for 3P work, and thats only if AA even feels like getting into a business where the profits are even smaller than the Airlines.

Tulsa will be getting smaller no matter what union we have. As the MD-80s go away so will the heads needed to overhaul them. If the MD-80s (and 757s) go away faster than the guys do they can lay them off, even if they have 30 years.

The IBT did not stop outsourcing at UPS, did not stop it when they were at SWA, did not stop it at CO, and did not stop it at UAL and all of them make a lot more money than we do, so why does anyone believe that they would be able to stop what AA decides to outsource? And one thing is certain, the IBT will not be able to stop job losses in OH driven by the retirement of older aircraft. So what are they really offering for the extra $300 a year? Like I said not once did they say anything about the need to address our compensation. Are they taking this position on compensation so later they can turn to us and say, as they did to the UAL guys, that we cant expect to earn what their members at other carriers earn because their situation is different (UPS)?

So from reading this IBT letter what I see is yet another big union that doesn't see correcting our industry lagging career destroying compensation as a priority. In fact they dont even mention it, not once!! What planet are these guys on!!! Is bringing back work and bringing new people(new dues payers) more of a priority at USAIR than bringing the people that are here now, back industry standard compensation??

After reading this letter it leads me to believe that should the IBT actually get in, and open the contract, that their number one priority will be Outsourcing and not compensation. Well then why bother?

These guys are clueless as to what our priorities are. Like I said, not once do they mention cuts to compensation. From reading this letter you would assume that job losses were the only things that we had to deal with over the last 15 years, not pay cuts, not benefits slashed, pensions and workrules obliterated, Holidays , vacations and sick time taken away. You would get the impression that those of us who surived are only concerned about bringing work back in so they can hire more mechanics that arent even out there. All I can say is that is probably the case for the person who actually wrote this because who ever wrote this did not experience what airline workers have experienced since 2002.

Clueless, absolutely clueless.
 
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WNMECH

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Feb 5, 2012
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Yesterday I got a mailer from the "Fresh Start Committee" the IBT group over at USAIR.


Clueless, absolutely clueless.
The IBT is just telling Tulsa what they want to hear.
They are good at that, but not at living up to those promises after they get in.
 
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1AA

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Aug 20, 2002
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www.usaviation.com
Bob can you post the mailer? I want to print it and your comment about it so I can distribute it to all the Teamsters supporters.
Thanks...
 

TWU informer

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Nov 4, 2003
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Tulsa is not your enemy, IBT is not your enemy, TWU is not your enemy, IAM is not your enemy, AMFA is not your enemy. And none of those Unions will change or fix anything until we make them. We continue to blame, bash, and drive wedges between ourselves instead of all of us getting into one union and taking on the real enemy which is the Laws (Bankruptcy Laws, Oversight of Foreign Overhaul, ect, And those corporate wealthy thugs that will stop at nothing to take more and force you to take less. Go ahead, take your oath of allegiance to the TWU and then continue to blame those of us in overhaul. Even those in Tulsa that are afraid are nothing more than victims of the divisions we allow and create within our own profession. Who can blame someone for being afraid when their job is threatened and instead of a plan to revise our path, we just keep doing the same thing over and over. Drive that wedge and blame me and coworkers, we will surely all run to help you soon as a result.
 
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CIO

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Aug 1, 2010
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This is a scary thought, I agree in general with Bob and Dave both on the comments they have made.

In Solidarity,
CIO
 
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TWU informer

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This is a scary thought, I agree in general with Bob and Dave both on the comments they have made.

In Solidarity,
CIO
I am glad we can find some common ground. You and I are not enemies, we just have different views on how to approach the problem. If you agree that we should all unite into one union, then I would submit that in a majority rule organization such as union representation, then our issues will never be top priority at all times as long as we are the minority in the organization. And a system of appointees, and pulling out all of the stops like the TWU actions during the 2003 AMFA filing to prevent a membership ballot, and the current recruitment of the Teamsters to use politics to stop a membership vote is nothing more than a coffin nail in union strength and unity. Is the agenda to protect the dues base, or represent a profession? Because the TWU knows the membership will vote them out, they use all manipulative methods to keep the members from dissention. This amounts to nothing more than the weakest union in the industry, because surviving only by avoiding a democratic membership vote leaves the union on the property by illegitimate means, not a position of strength. A Craft/Mechanics Union provides that every representative will be from the craft or class, from top to the bottom. In addition, the money and the focus would be on our profession. Every thought of every second of everyday and every dollar spent will be about this craft. Sure you can bash AMFA for mistakes and failures, but truth is NO UNION representing AMT's in this industry is successful because we are divided into different unions and AMT's are only the majority in ONE. The AFL-CIO has been playing the political arena game since 1955 and we currently have more laws against us than for us. This can only mean one thing....that this idea has failed and it is time for change. We are not winning playing a game of money for campaign finance and lobbying and we never will win or even break even in that game against the rich. Sure the TWU has kept more in-house maintenance, but at the expense of pay and benefits, such as the SRP program, JR Mech. Program, the huge concessions of 2003 and now the BK concessions. Hardly something to brag about, the TWU just takes a different path to defeat than other unions. But not SUCCESS by any measurement. So yes AMFA has higher pay than others but a lot of outsourcing too. That is not success either, just a different path to defeat. These failures are not by choice in any of the organizations, we are victims of our divisions and ignorance, and thus failure is the symptom of the problem, not THE problem. The time has come to unite into one craft union, get rid of the AFL-CIO political failures and begin to prepare to take this battle in a different direction. We could peacefully unite and shut the transportation system down if we had ALL AMT's together. Some say this is radical. I say that would be peaceful and civil compared to chaos that will happen if do not stop the destruction of the middle class. Once the middle becomes beat down and desperate the battle will become bloody, with death and destruction, along with probable military resistance to change. I would rather unite into a craft union and keep the fight peaceful.
 
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TWU informer

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You don't expect him to agree with you 100%, publicly do you? I think the silence is speaking loud and clear.....
I really don't mind if he never agrees with me, but it would be nice if him and others like him, would actually keep an open discussion going and explain their plan, their logic, about where they think we should go. But all I hear is fear of change and bashing of other AMT's in this industry because of the choices THEY have made. That is hardly leadership, and not worthy of me following. Every AMT in this industry is scrambling for some solution to the problems we have. except for the TWU supporters. All I hear from them is "stick with the TWU" and remain with this plan, while we have been failing just as much or worse than any other AMT group. The time has come to change directions, not remain stagnant and status quo and afraid. Apparently open, honest, and heartfelt communication scares the living hell out of each of them.
 
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TRAVIS

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Apr 14, 2008
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Bob can you post the mailer? I want to print it and your comment about it so I can distribute it to all the Teamsters supporters.
Thanks...
all the fliers pdf's are on the web.
http://www.teamster.org/sites/teamster.org/files/3713USAirOutsourcingFlier.pdf
 

CIO

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Aug 1, 2010
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So we are clear, I agree with you on two points. There is a need for greater coordinated action among working people and unions to fight our continuing loss of rights. I also agree that the IBT with its long history of corruption, raiding, and miserable relations with other unions is a poor vehicle for solidarity. This shows up in their representation because they are probably the most decertified union in the history of the industry. And we would probably also agree that it is just ludicrous for the IBT to claim that its “strength” prevents outsourcing when there isn’t a single carrier where it represents mechanics where a majority of the work or the majority of heavy overhaul is required to be done in house or is actually done in house. However, I just disagree with you that there is any reason to believe Amfa is a better vehicle for the mass movement you are seeking.

I don’t have the time or space to go into the list of Amfa bargaining failures. However, it’s quite obvious that in dealing with the unfair restrictions of bankruptcy they have not done any better or made any different decisions than the TWU or anyone else. But, take a look at this board. On the one hand you make a reasonable point about the need for solidarity among transportation workers, yet roughly one out of every three posts is about how mechanics are being dragged down by lesser skilled workers (even though the mechanic and related craft has workers of just about all skill levels). Do you think that this mentality – or the mentality of your various co-hoards’ who compare President Obama to Hitler and Stalin—is a basis for building solidarity among the very workers who you will need support from?

I’ll give you another example of something that bothered me from a friend on the railroad. Back in 2005 or so Amfa picketed a rail hub in the Midwest asking the workers to shut it down in solidarity with the NWA strike. There was no coordination with the union that represented the workers, or even advance warning. It was unlawful for the rail workers to honor the picket line, but they did and a number were disciplined and lost pay as a result. It was a result that could have been avoided if AMFA had displayed the normal respect that is due to another union and its workers.

Look, the labor movement is in a bad way and we face massive political and economic opposition, but Amfa is not a new solution to any of this. It is an old solution which has been tried numerous times over the last fifty years with very mixed results in general and horrible results for heavy overhaul. If you are saying that we need more solidarity between workers at all skill levels and in all facets of transportation I would agree. I disagree that Amfa is capable of producing this result or even helping reach it.

In Solidarity
CIO
 

TRAVIS

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Funny, when you read that close, there is NO SUCCESS at all, it is just more "fought hard", "testified", "produced reports", "held a summit"....... you can tell this is the same BS plan the TWU has and nothing more. Where are the RESULTS? What we are looking for is the RESULTS, not the pandering BS.
Can you name one Union that has not allowed outsourced????? They have all allowed outsourced maintenance and it's time for a change...And if we can't stop it at least keep it in the UNITED STATES with union or non-union American workers.