TWU Mechanics in Court.

Imagine that!

The Dicatator at the TWU could be told about the members rights.

How many times does the TWU have to be found guilty of violating workers rights before the dictatorship comes to an end?
On 4/29/2003 7:54:43 PM Bob Owens wrote:

Full steam ahead.

If this agreement stays in place we will rename friday "Freeday". Since we will be working 5 days for four days pay.

Anybody see the performance and MEL numbers lately? They may have to take all them planes out of the desert for spares.

How much will they actually be saving? I have never seen morale so low, and the paycuts have not even been put in yet. In JFK, two relatively young guys quit this week to go to Jet Blue, at least 10 guys retired this month. Many others have been starting to seek other careers, especially the younger ones. Once the economy rebounds they wont be able to get anything fixed as guys abandon ship. With each employee that leaves you have to figure that the company loses about $50K in invested training. Along with that goes the valuable experience that makes all the difference in dependability. How much do they save when airplanes sit broken on the ground instead of flying? They should read Bethunes book.


But hey Bob,

The TWU saved 3000 unskilled jobs and "prevented bankruptcy"...

Or did they just delay the BK and cost AA time and money?

Maybe we should also file a complaint seeking monetary damages from the TWU for violating the Constitution and Bankrupt their accounts as punishment.

Good Luck Bob, you guys are the best!

We must eliminate the "save jobs, destroy the profession" mentality.
Full steam ahead.

If this agreement stays in place we will rename friday "Freeday". Since we will be working 5 days for four days pay.

Anybody see the performance and MEL numbers lately? They may have to take all them planes out of the desert for spares.

How much will they actually be saving? I have never seen morale so low, and the paycuts have not even been put in yet. In JFK, two relatively young guys quit this week to go to Jet Blue, at least 10 guys retired this month. Many others have been starting to seek other careers, especially the younger ones. Once the economy rebounds they wont be able to get anything fixed as guys abandon ship. With each employee that leaves you have to figure that the company loses about $50K in invested training. Along with that goes the valuable experience that makes all the difference in dependability. How much do they save when airplanes sit broken on the ground instead of flying? They should read Bethunes book.
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Two items:

I.) Story about layoffs in Tulsa, of note is the last paragraph:

"....No one is happy about the way this worked itself out," said Art Luby, a lawyer in Washington for the TWU. "But no one was particularly clear about what better alternatives there would be. The one thing throughout this process we have been able to protect is pensions -- and the Tulsa facility is not being closed. Keeping Tulsa up and running was a major priority."

II.) An update by the same reporter on the same story regarding Local 562 and the requested "re-vote" in Federal Court:
[color=" red"]"...A spokesman for American, a unit of AMR Corp. of Fort Worth, Texas, said the mechanics' legal action won't stop it from starting a restructuring plan that lets the airline shed 7,200 employees, cut salaries and change work rules.
"Last week, we finalized contracts with all three of our unions, and all three (contracts) are going into effect this week," said Bruce Hicks, a spokesman for American. "I don't believe that the legal issue by these mechanics has merit and in any way will impact the new contracts' implementation."...
"...[color=" red"]However, a lawyer for the International TWU said the union doesn't believe it's obligated to let members vote on the revisions.[/color]
[color=" red"]"We don't think anyone could rationally come to the conclusion that it's worth putting an employer in bankruptcy in order to approve what were strictly improvements," said David Rosen, general counsel for the TWU International. "We believe the original complaint has no merit and we don't see any legal basis for them to go to court for a new vote. "[/color] ...

In the second article, the Reporter writing for the Saint Louis Post Dispatch, has included a nearly identical response from both American and the TWU International while the first article, bottom paragraph, contains a statement that the preservation of TUL jobs was a major priority.

It is interesting to note that the TWU and the Company both have the same talking points. It is of even more interest that two of the TWUs' hired guns, attorneys, have entered the fray.

Historically, the TWU retains David Rosen to exclusively represent the TWU International, while Art Luby is retained to represent the TWU-ATD, TWU/AA Presidents' Council and selected arbitration cases.

Fronting both attorneys is unusual because recent litigation involving matters of the TWU International and the TWU-ATD (or the subsidiary locals) has been "sub-contracted" to local law firms with the respective attorneys working behind the scenes on strategy and briefs.

Could it be that there is something of merit to Local 562s case such that the Union and the Company recognize their vested interests in maintaining the cozy relationship?
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Below is a statement issued on 29Apr03 delivering the details of the process used by the TWU International and the TWU-ATD, Air Transport Division, which forced this contract on the Employees without their Knowledge or Informed Consent.

The statement below supports the contention of Local 562 that the due process guaranteed to the membership under the TWU Constitution and the LMRDA was violated through the acceptance of an agreement by the TWU International and the TWU ATD, Air Transport Division.

April 29, 2003

The Transport Workers Union of America – AFL-CIO, Aircraft Maintenance, Support and Supply Personnel President’s for American Airlines in Dallas, Fort Worth, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Miami, and San Francisco, today are outlining their concerns with the recent events that lead to the Transport Workers Union of America International agreeing to a newly restructured concessionary agreement for all TWU members at American Airlines. The purpose of this agreement is to keep American Airlines from entering bankruptcy and is being done without a membership revote.
Late last week, Local Presidents were notified via a conference call of the TWU International’s acceptance of their renegotiated “Restructured Consensual Agreement†(with enhancements); the first agreement was previously ratified by slight majority of the membership the week prior.
The day after the membership narrowly approved the deal on April 15, 2003, the Union was notified that American executives quietly kept retention bonuses for themselves and had established a pension trust for 45 senior officers; the discovery of which had union members and non-union employees enraged and placed the negotiated agreements in jeopardy. At that time Jim Little, TWU Air Transport Director stated, “The Company''s conduct has called this basic understanding into question and, in my view, tainted the ratification process that led to these agreementsâ€. He also stated “Nevertheless, in order for these agreements to accomplish their purpose they must be credible. The only way to assure credibility is to allow a full re-vote with the full memberships knowledge of all relevant company actionsâ€.
On Thursday, April 24, 2003, during a conference call with all TWU Local Presidents throughout the American Airlines system, Jim Little and other TWU International personnel along with their legal advisors told the Local Presidents that all three-labor groups on the property were able to negotiate “enhanced modifications to the agreements†during marathon meetings with the company. Included in these discussions were both Senate and House representatives who were there to help assist the two parties to come to an agreement. The enhancements achieved were made due to former CEO Don Carty’s actions and were finalized by the approval of the AMR Board of Directors.
While the TWU International had notified the membership that a re-vote on the contractual concessions would take place, their position changed in these last minute negotiations and stated, “no re-vote will take placeâ€. It was explained to the Presidents; that American Airlines was going to file for Bankruptcy and the agreements needed to be completed to better the union’s chances in bankruptcy. One legal representative stated,†it is better to have something to argue from in bankruptcyâ€. He likened going into bankruptcy without the agreements in place as to “going to a gun fight without a gun.†The rest of the discussion was based on the assumption that the APFA Flight Attendants were not going to concede their position in regard to sending the agreement out for a re-vote. The flight attendant leadership had also taken the same position as the TWU, demanding a re-vote take place. It had also been stated to the leadership of all three unions that the AMR Board of Directors would not allow for a re-vote and that if any of the unions still insisted they would go ahead with the bankruptcy filing, which would in affect nullify the time necessary for any voting process.
Based on the information provided by the TWU International Attorneys; the TWU International leadership agreed that the consensual package, prior to a Chapter 1113C filing would be best for all the members, if AMR does in fact file for such protection. There was no vote taken by the TWU’s Presidents; the acceptance was based on the TWU International’s authority to ratify the “concessionary package with enhancements†in accordance with the TWU Constitution.
Questions surrounding problems with the initial ratification vote for the TWU membership remain an issue being pursued in the Federal Court of New York. This action is being supported by union locals in New York, Dallas, Fort Worth, Miami, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Chicago. “We feel that the membership did not have all the information contained in the agreement to make an informed decision prior to voting, this is in addition to the problems with the ratification process itself†said Chuck Schalk President Local 562 in New York.
The Presidents and the Union Leadership have endorsed Gerard Arpey as an individual with the ability to make the right choices and much needed changes at American Airlines. Many remain skeptical, due to the fact that he has been involved in major decisions and the “unprofitable†running of the company in recent years. Given his responsibilities at the time, he was clearly in on the decision to purchase TWA. Aside from the cost of the acquisition, TWA continues to drain cash from AMR. Arpey was also part of the special trust and executive bonus scandal. As COO and President of American, he was and is a beneficiary of the special trust. His first test will be to dissolve the trust and put the funds back in the AMR Corporation; however if he keeps the special trust and does not return the money to the company, this would only solidify the fact that there is no "shared sacrifice" between labor and executives.
On the subject of salary cuts, Mr. Arpey must lead the way by example. This can be accomplished by significantly reducing all levels of managements base pay and staffing, (the minimum cut being proportionate; to wage percentage cuts and reduced staffing the unions are making), of course with the same commitment for a minimum of five years. Additionally, cancel all unexercised and unsold stock options (held by all management personnel) and halt any further issuance of stock option awards to senior management. Lastly, place a moratorium on all long term incentive payouts and stop any additional actions by the compensation committee (such as back door bonuses). “Not only are we convinced this move would begin to turn the finances around at American, the side affect would inspire and motivate employees†said Don Videtich President Local 565 in Dallas/Ft. Worth.
Moreover, the Presidents concur that there needs to be a fundamental change in how American Airlines management operates. Starting with making correct business decisions, they must adopt a new way of doing business with their unions by fostering the strategy of “high performance relationships†that consist of honesty, shared goals, shared knowledge, and most of all mutual respect; among all employees union, non-union, and management. They need to treat their employees like the valuable assets they are; and if they did, there is no doubt this company would not only survive, but would lead the industry in all facets. The only possible way to achieve this new found trust is for the new leadership at American to make this their number one priority. The current environment that American fosters is intimidation, threats of moving work, employee layoffs, etc. This 1950’s style managing needs to stop immediately or the probability of American being the leader in the airline industry is very unlikely.
“Southwest Airlines is commonly used by American Airlines management as a financial (cost for available seat mile) model for their operation, and I believe this company’s management team needs to adopt a style of managing similar to Southwest’s, in reference to how they handle their employees. At this point we can only hope that this new leadership will make all the necessary changes to compete in this highly competitive marketplace, first and foremost with a complete restructuring of the bloated management ranksâ€. Videtich stated.
Contact Numbers:

Local 565 - President, Don Videtich - DFW-AUS-IAH-DEN

Local 567 - President, Gary Peterson - AFW
Local 563 - President, Paul McCormick - ORD-MSP

Local 562 - President, Chuck Schalk - JFK-LGA-EWR-BOS-BDL-PHL-SJU

Local 564 - President, Mark Rasco - SFO-LAX-SJC-SNA-PHX-LAS-RNO-TUS-SAN-SEA
Local 561 - President, Todd Woodward - MIA-TPA
I notice they only mention a "re-vote".

It is likely that once an agent of the union acting on behalf of members signs an agreement, then that contract would be valid an unreversable.

However, when that agent of the union acted in violation of the Constitution while performing such an act, the union, the officer, and the ATD, would then would be guilty of breaching the contract between member and leader.

The liablity and proper party defendent would be the TWU, The ATD, And James C. Little.

File a class action lawsuit against the above parties and seek monetary and punitive damage. Easy victory, difficult to collect from a then Bankrupt "non-profit" Organization.

Need funds for attorneys? Let me know, I'm in!
13 days to go

Will Democracy in unionism be upheld or will it be sacrificed upon the altar of Capitalism? Will Justice prevail or the Gods of Greed?
The time has come for all AMTs to step forward and form a United front. We are the Union not the International, we need to take control of our own destinies. We have been nothing more than pawns to the International, we have been ignored and fed the same bland line of BS for years.
This is our chance to step forward and carry the fight forward, this can and very may well be the defining moment in our careers. We need to assert our authority over our own destinies. We can wallow in our own despair or rise up to fight. I say fight and bring the battle to their doorsteps.

" this is not the end, this in not the beginning, but perhaps its the end of the beginning"
The letter from the local TWU presidents was to say the least interesting but something else that must stop at AA is the outright mistreatment and attitude of the employees from other airlines that AA and their unions dish out.
"TWA continues to be a drain in cash while the AA employees are valuable assets". It even comes from the mouthes of the unions. AA will never be a great company to work for as long as one mechanic stabs another in the back and this attitude is encouraged by the unions.
When AA finally folds if this is the attitude that the AA employees have, the remaining TWA will be gone and the AA people that are left will get what they have coming.
Interesting note:

While the AA bean counter may believe that $315 Million was extracted and saved from the Mechanic and Related Group by Jim Little's company missive and shafting of his own members right to a legitimate voice, it AApears the bean counter cannot calculate the truth.

Were the cost associated with the "churn" retraining, the moving allowance for relocated workers, and disgruntled 17.5% reduction in productivity, calculated into the so-called savings?

In Tulsa, AA is moving trained A&P Mecahnics into OSM positions and replacing them with a welder and/or machinist. The welder/machinist are also using their seniority to displace another welder/machinist to hold the $3.45 in skill pay this requires re-training. Thus equating to a minimum of two retrainings for each person severanced out the door and in many cases 3 (three) retrainings of personel. This is also creating further division between skilled ranks. The Welder/Machinst wants to salvage the $3.45 or $1 per hour in skill premium by exercising seniority and either bumping another Welder/Machiinist to save pay or next, bumping to the hangar instead of the OSM shop, and this in turn, causes an unsuspecting A&P to lose an additional $5 per hour in licencse pay. Local managmenet is struggling to understand the savings logic. Had the welder/machinist not lost his skill premium on reduction, he/she would have went to the OSM shop and the trained A&P would stay where he/she is trained. What is the cost of retraining so many workers?

I believe that over the next few months, the savings promised is actually going to equate to a cost endured. It is already obvious that massive cost in the loss of traning and experience is going lead to performance failures and cost over-runs.

Arpey is s financial analyst. Will he see this blunder and hold the bean accountable? NO

Look at this site and use your mouse to demonstrate how the savings will be viewed.


Notice the reaction when your mouse hits the bottom of the chart.

The bean counter is wrong! There wont be millions saved by this strategy. In fact, I think the bean counter and James C. Little have actually moved AA closer to liquidation and could have jeopardized ALL members jobs instead of saving a few.

AA you have bit off more than a airline in financial trouble can chew!