Maintenance workers for American Airlines are demonstrating outside Terminal D at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport today. Hundreds of Transport Workers Union members are picketing to ask for a new contract and the end of outsourcing jobs overseas.
WBAP reports that the union’s current contract dates from the time of American Airlines’ bankruptcy and subsequent merger with United Airways. Steve Halter, ?S.W. Region Vice President for the TWU, tells the station that the airline is planning to build a maintenance hub in Brazil, where many repairs are already taking place between flights. Halter says that this is despite the fact that the company is now profitable.
“In my opinion, we should be bringing that work back,” Halter says.
He adds, “They don’t always have licensed technicians working on the aircraft. Obviously, as aircraft technicians here in the United States is safety and security.”
American Airlines’ Response
The airline released a statement saying:
We have a shared goal with the TWU-IAM Association to make sure our team members are well-compensated and work for a company that values them immensely. That was the motivation for last summer’s unprecedented pay raises outside of negotiations.
CBS DFW reports that pay raises were around 20 percent — but workers say the protest is not about wages.
“It’s not about the pay. It’s about everything that goes around the pay,” Local 513 vice president Greg Cosey in an interview with CBS. Cosey says that includes work rules, benefits, holidays, vacation time and sick time. “It’s about those types of things. It’s about benefits. It’s about the future of our members really.”
Contract negotiations are complicated by the fact that different workers are employed under different agreements.
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