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PORTSIDE  March 2012, Week 2

PORTSIDE March 2012, Week 2

Subject:

Major Win for Unions - 17,000 Workers at United Airlines Join IAM

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Date:

Fri, 9 Mar 2012 00:55:40 -0500

Content-Type:

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text/plain (131 lines)

Major Win for Unions - 17,000 Workers at United Airlines
Join IAM

by Mike Hall

AFL-CIO Now
March 8, 2012

http://www.aflcio.org/Blog/Organizing-Bargaining/17-000-Workers-at-United-Airlines-Join-IAM

Passenger service and reservation workers at the new United
Airlines voted to join the Machinists (IAM). The 17,000 new
members represent the passenger service and reservation
workers at United who previously were IAM members before the
merger with Continental and the Continental workers who had
no union prior to the merger.

IAM Transportation Vice President Sito Pantoja says the
election:

provides all IAM members at United with the advantages of
size and strength that airlines themselves are seeking
through consolidation.

IAM also represents 14,800 ramp service and stock and store
employees at the new United. With the addition of the
passenger service and reservations workers, the IAM now
represents more than 31,500 employees at the merged airline.

United had objected to including some 1,000 fleet service
workers in the election, but the National Mediation Board
ruled those workers should have the right to vote on joining
the union. Says IAM District 141 President Rich Delaney:

	"Voters had to overcome an aggressive anti-union
	campaign that included an attempt to have the votes
	of nearly 1,000 IAM supporters invalidated. Despite
	United's divisive tactics, we will focus our efforts
	on building a better airline and unite employees
	into a single force to face the challenges ahead."

==========

Orchestrating the Historic Organizing Win at United

Machinists News Network - International Association of
Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM)

March 8, 2012

http://www.goiam.org/index.php/imail/latest/9895-orchestrating-the-historic-organizing-win-at-united-

It was a combination of grassroots organizing, legal prowess
and sophisticated communication tactics that produced this
week's organizing victory for nearly 17,000 Passenger
Service and Reservation Employees at the new United
Airlines.

The election increases IAM membership in all classifications
at United to 31,500 and marks the third consecutive airline
organizing victory for the IAM Transportation Department. In
addition to this week's victory, previous wins among United
Ramp & Stores (14,785) and ExpressJet Flight Attendants
(2,200) brings the number of IAM members organized during
the past eight months to nearly 34,000.

"We are extremely fortunate to have working in the IAM today
some of the most dedicated and innovative organizers in the
entire labor movement," said Transportation GVP Sito
Pantoja. "That includes staff and volunteers at the local,
district and headquarters level. My sincere thanks go out to
everyone who made these wins possible."

The most recent IAM campaign at United took place in the
shadow of an aggressive effort by right-wing politicians to
restrict workers' voting rights under the National Mediation
Board (NMB), which governs representation elections for
airline and railroad workers.

The Machinists campaign at United also had to overcome a
legal effort by United to remove more than 1,000 union
supporters from the voter eligibility list. Within days of
the initial ruling to remove the employees, the IAM Legal
Department filed a comprehensive appeal that successfully
reversed the ruling and restored full voting rights to all
eligible employees.

In addition to the campaign's legal and legislative
components, was the sustained and sophisticated effort at
the District and Local level to measure support for the IAM
among eligible voters. With thousands of potential voters in
hundreds of airport and reservations locations across the
country, the job of accurately measuring support was as
important as it was challenging.

The task of reaching every eligible voter extended far
beyond the workplace, with more than 2,000 eligible voters
on furlough status at the start of the campaign. Tailored
mailings and person-to-person outreach reminded furloughed
United employees that not only were they eligible to vote,
but that their contractually guaranteed lifetime recall
rights depended on it.

"This win would not have been possible without the
unequivocal support from International President
Buffenbarger and the entire IAM Executive Council," said
Pantoja. "Their willingness to commit significant resources
was a testament not only to the importance of this
particular election but to the value we all place on growing
this great union."

==========

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