Local 514 member and former TWU Air Division Director Gary Yingst passed away on July 6.
“On behalf of the entire International Administrative Council, we extend our deepest condolences to Gary’s family during this difficult time,” said TWU Air Division Director Mike Mayes. “As Air Division director, Gary was selflessly dedicated to the union around the clock. He oversaw the negotiations of countless contracts for the Air Division, including American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, dispatch and service groups – improving the lives of thousands of members and their families. He will be dearly missed.”
Yingst served the union in many positions: as a TWU International Air Division Director, International Vice President, TWU Local 514 Vice President and Election Chair for the 2013 TWU International Convention.
Yingst, a Tulsa native, was hired at American Airlines in 1985 when he was 27 and quickly became an officer at TWU Local 514. In 2000, he became TWU International Representative for the Air Division. Yingst was elected at the 2001 convention to International Vice President and named the AA System Coordinator.
In 2005, he was re-elected to International Vice President, and was also a member of the Appeals Committee. In 2006, President Mike O’Brien resigned due to personal health issues and as result Yingst was asked to take over as Air Division Director.
Unfortunately, in early 2008 he was diagnosed with a bone disease requiring a double hip replacement. Yingst determined it would be in the TWU’s best interest if he resigned as Air Division Director. After a year of undergoing surgery and rehabilitation, he returned to work at the Air Division office and immediately went to work negotiating Dispatch contracts.
In late 2008 he was asked to move to Miami to oversee the dozens of service contracts. Yingst was a frequent speaker at the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) conventions and board meetings and participated in numerous arbitration seminars as a panel member and guest speaker.
Yingst also served as Election Chair at the 2013 TWU International Convention.