President’s Corner

Sisters and Brothers,

 As Local 502 ushers in a new year, we prepare ourselves for the changes and challenges that follow. Locally we have a new Executive Board and will soon have elections for Shop Stewards to be installed. We as a Union will focus on the things that affect us first directly, and then indirectly. The notion is that we prepare ourselves for the days to come, notably the Seniority Integration Lists which was circulated by the neutral Joshua Javits and his team. It is important that we recognize that this is a preliminary list and it does have discrepancies. The Seniority Integration Committee and the Contract Negotiation Committee will meet the second week of January in Phoenix AZ to outline the preliminary list of its discrepancies and make the needed modification requests to present back to the neutral. Once the list has captured all the necessary corrections and the committee has reviewed the list for approval, the membership system wide will have a prescribed time period to submit challenges and protests. After all open items have been satisfied and the list finalized, then the FINALIZED version will be the Association Master Seniority List for all our work groups.

 Another subject to speak on is the Cross Utilization Agreement. Although it has been just over a month since it was implemented in several of our stations, there continues to be pockets of issues that flare up. This agreement is temporary and will cease to exist after ratification of the new contract, however in the meantime we must tackle the day to day issues. The agreement that was reached came with the understanding that there will be a conscience effort to avoid co-mingling of the workforce. An example is TWU and IAM represented employees will not work on the same crews or same job assignments at the same time. The job assignment can be broken into task orientation and from there the task can be performed by either represented employees. An example of the discussion we had at the table was: 1. An arriving aircraft can be met by TWU crew, parked, chocked, ground electrical connected, then leave. 2. An IAM crew dumps the inbound cargo, then leaves. 3. The TWU crew loads the outbound cargo, then leaves. 4. An IAM crew secures the aircraft for departure and dispatches the flight. This displays how the job assignment could be accomplished in four task phases. Again, we are to avoid the two represented groups working side by side and or on the same task together.

On a different note, we as a Local in the Transport Workers Union have great opportunities ahead and a real passion to make things better for all of our members. As we approach the time of full integration and ultimately truly one airline, with one contract, and being the largest represented group at the New American, we will be able to move in directions that haven’t presented themselves in recent past. There will be changes to the way we’ve done business with the company in yesteryear, and with the enhancements of new contractual language the doors will open wider. I hope this New Year brings an abundance of great possibilities and expectations to accompany our overwhelming strive to succeed in this industry. TWU Local 502 will continue to remain on course and continue to deliver the best representation for our members. The Executive Board would like to extend the very best wishes to all the members of TWU Local 502 and Happy New Year.



Andre Sutton