Published 23 Oct, 2014
On Wednesday, TWU won a National Mediation Board representation authorization election for the 135 flight dispatchers at ExpressJet Airlines, the Atlanta-based regional subsidiary of Delta Airlines. This win marks a definitive end to a bid by PAFCA, the Professional Airline Flight Control Association, for representation of these workers—who have, for three years, been members of TWU Local 542.
Three years ago, Atlantic Southeast Airlines merged with ExpressJet, unifying the collective bargaining groups at these carriers into a single group represented by TWU, under ExpressJet. Since that point, management and the union have been unable in federal mediation to negotiate a satisfactory joint contract agreement. Therefore, the members at ExpressJet remain split under two different contracts.
Taking advantage of the divide created by the dual contract setup, PAFCA has twice sought to force a decertification by TWU members at ExpressJet in unsuccessful attempted raids. Wednesday’s vote delivered a resounding no to PAFCA and demonstrated the support that TWU has among its membership at ExpressJet and the workers’ confidence in TWU representation.
Last week, before voting closed, International Representative Gary Shults and International Representative Jose Galarza held a series of shop gates at ExpressJet, answering questions about the contract mediation and next steps.
“Those meetings solidified our new relationship with that group,” said Galarza. “Unfortunately, these members were previously not afforded all the information they should have been given by their local leadership.”
“Now that the local is under new leadership, members are clear on the fact that TWU is behind them. But more than that, they know that only TWU has the resources and credibility to get them what they need in a contract—and we will.”
“TWU’s next move will be to re-engage the National Mediation Board, getting talks with company management back on track,” said Shults. “We want to achieve a speedy and successful resolution to the stalled mediations.
“We appreciate the support that we receive from our members. We work for them, and we will continue to fight to get them what they deserve in a contract. Not once but twice, TWU members have stood with our union when we went up against an association. And that’s because of the resources and the reputation that TWU brings to bear.”