July 17, 2019
The Association had been demanding the Company meet with or without the NMB to resume and complete our negotiations. The National Mediation Board (NMB) after a long period of delay finally scheduled negotiations for American Airlines and the TWU/IAM Associations for July 16, 17 and 18 in Washington, DC. The session scheduled by the NMB was welcomed and the Association made all necessary plans for it. However, our hopes for meaningful negotiations were quickly dashed by the NMB at the apparent bidding of American.
Before we could even issue a bulletin announcing the resumption of negotiations, the NMB cancelled the session without rescheduling dates. The Board received notification from the Company that they initiated further activity with the Federal Court. The Association communicated to the Board that we are fully capable and ready to resume negotiations. The Association has repeatedly assured the NMB that we would meet with American anytime and anywhere, and we would always have people empowered to complete a deal at the table, unlike the carrier. The TRO issued by the Court did nothing to change that willingness to negotiate. We reminded the NMB of that as soon as we were informed of the cancellation, but our protests fell on deaf ears.
The Company has refused to meet for negotiations and has now co-opted the NMB into its strategy of unconscionable delay. The Company and the NMB have the responsibility to move the Railway Labor Act process forward; their dereliction of that duty is a national disgrace.
Alex Garcia, Director, TWU-IAM Association, International Executive Vice President, Transport Workers of America
Sito Pantoja, Vice Director, TWU-IAM Association, General Vice President, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers