Teamster Myth and Teamster Reality
Published 28 Sep, 2012
Over the past few days representatives of the Teamsters have been in the press saying that they can protect Tulsa workers against the threat of foreign maintenance and outsourcing of heavy overhaul. With all of these promises you would think that the IBT could point to an agreement in which it actually protected more work than the TWU or an agreement in which it successfully prohibited outsourcing of heavy checks overseas. But, there was no mention made of such accomplishments. There is a reason for that, the IBT has simply not accomplished any of the objectives they now claim they can secure for Tulsa TWU members at any carrier where they represent mechanic and related workers.
Please consider the following points:
1. Our contract, even after agreeing to concessions extracted as part of the bankruptcy process, requires that 65% of aircraft maintenance work be performed in house, including work already outsourced. The IBT does not have a single agreement with a carrier which requires that even a majority of aircraft maintenance work be performed in house.
2. No IBT represented mechanic work group at a major carrier performs the majority of the carrier’s heavy checks.
3. At UAL the carrier continues to perform heavy checks overseas. The IBT agreement does not prohibit overseas maintenance.
4. UAL retains the right for unrestricted outsourcing of heavy maintenance. Most heavy checks are outsourced and few are ever performed in house at the Company’s facility in San Francisco. At AA, even after the concessions, the majority of heavy checks of our fleet will be performed in Tulsa.
To be fair, the IBT’s predecessor at UAL, AMFA, opened the door to foreign maintenance of UAL’s fleet as part of the concessions it gave UAL in 2005. However, the carrier has continued its overseas outsourcing and continues to have the right to outsource the vast bulk of its heavy maintenance.
Two organizations are seeking to displace the TWU as your representative arguing that they can better protect your job and future. However, neither of these unions has negotiated an agreement which protects heavy overhaul or requires that a majority of mechanic work be performed in house. Neither has negotiated an agreement which comes close to protecting the level of work protected by the TWU and both have allowed the bulk of the heavy overhaul work at carriers where they represent mechanics to be outsourced. This is so even though we are dealing with a bankrupt carrier and these organizations are
dealing with healthy carriers. Any organization can promise anything. Before lending your support, please look carefully at whether they have ever made good on any of these promises.