Our Union, the Transport Workers Union of America, AFL-CIO, is holding their 25th Constitutional Convention this week in Las Vegas. This event, which occurs once every four years, provides an opportunity for over 400 elected Delegates from each TWU Local to elect new International Officers, amend the International Constitution, and make resolutions in support of issues that are important to working people. We are thrilled that the Resolution below, which supports our efforts to achieve a fair contract for Allegiant Air Flight Attendants, passed unanimously. In addition, several Members from other TWU Locals and our newly elected International President, John Samuelsen, gave passionate speeches in support of our Members.
Please read the Resolution below. It is clear that our Union is standing beside us and behind us. We will be victorious!
Support Allegiant Air Flight Attendants Fight for a Fair First Contract
After years of abuse and broken promises from their company and a failed Union election with the Association of Flight Attendants, Allegiant Air Flight Attendants approached the Transport Workers of America (TWU), AFL-CIO based on the industry-leading contract, representation, and collaborative labor/management relationship between TWU Local 556 and Southwest Airlines. In spite of a strong anti-union campaign by Allegiant Air, TWU was overwhelmingly approved by Allegiant Flight Attendants in December 2010 and TWU Local 577 was born.
Through hard work, union building, membership involvement, and strategic planning, after a year and a half, Allegiant Flight Attendants were very close to a first contract when Maurice Gallagher, Allegiant’s notoriously anti-union CEO, notified the Union that he would never agree to the final items on the table, including pay for extended delays, annual pay raises, an extended pay scale for flight attendants with over 10 years seniority, and union security to collect dues and protect the work of flight attendants that is included in every other flight attendant contract in the country.
In September 2012, TWU Local 577 filed for mediation with the National Mediation Board as prescribed by the Railway Labor Act. Management’s response was to train other employees as scabs to intimidate their own flight attendants and try to bust the Union. Allegiant Flight Attendants, represented by TWU Local 577, have now been fighting to reach their first contract for over six years.
Throughout this time, the Allegiant Air Flight Attendants have continued to suffer without a contract, arbitrary changes to work rules, lengthy delays, frequent emergency landings, payroll shortages, and excessive heat on aircraft that has sent customers and crewmembers to the hospital. They also overcame a decertification that, by all appearances, was initiated and supported by Management.
In August 2016, the TWU Local 577 Negotiating Team reached a Tentative Agreement (TA), but even after five years of negotiations, it fell far short of the industry standard wages and work rules that our Members deserve, and it was rejected by seventy-six percent (76%) of the Membership. Since the rejection of the Tentative Agreement, the Negotiating Team has returned to the bargaining table with comprehensive proposals, but, in spite of the overwhelming rejection of the first TA, Management has refused to make significant movement. As a result, the TWU has requested the National Mediation Board to declare impasse and either proffer binding arbitration or release the parties for self-help.
Four years ago at this Convention, the TWU pledged our support to this small but mighty work group seeking a fair contract and has kept that pledge. Today as Allegiant Flight Attendants face the biggest fight of their life, we reaffirm our support.
IT IS RESOLVED, that the Transport Workers Union (TWU) of America, AFL-CIO is the duly elected exclusive bargaining representative for Allegiant Flight Attendants; and
IT IS FURTHER RESOLVED, the flight attendants of Allegiant Air deserve fair work rules, representation, protection, benefits, and compensation; and
IT IS FURTHER RESOLVED, that the TWU is fully committed to reaching a fair contract for Allegiant Flight Attendants; and
IT IS FURTHER RESOLVED, that the TWU will not allow or tolerate continued intimidation, threats, or union busting from Allegiant Air; and
IT IS FURTHER RESOLVED, that the TWU will support the efforts of Local 577 to encourage Allegiant Air to treat all employees fairly and to be a better corporate citizen to its communities and customers; and
IT IS FINALLY RESOLVED, that TWU is at Allegiant Air to stay, and will support Allegiant Flight Attendants in every way to achieve a fair contract and a strong Local for all of its Members.