Originally Posted by T Dawg
WASHINGTON, July 27 -- Three transportation organizations announced today the creation of a large aviation labor alliance to combine and coordinate lobbying efforts on airline safety and security. The American Aviation Labor Alliance (AALA) is a formal partnership of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT), the Transport Workers Union (TWU) and the Coalition of Airline Pilots Association (CAPA), which represent more than 140,000 aviation workers.
"We are leading the fight that workers care about in the airline industry," said Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa. "As the American Aviation Labor Alliance, we will speak on the most pressing aviation issues facing our membership and the public with one strong voice."
"The airline industry is under intense financial and competitive pressure and as a result, we believe that security and safety standards are being weakened, said TWU President James C. Little. "Combining our lobbying efforts will allow us to push for legislation that will insure both diligence and vigilance."
"The 28,000 pilots of CAPA want to work with all labor organizations to enhance safety and improve the working conditions of airline employees across our industry," said CAPA President Paul Onorato. "CAPA wants to help provide a flight plan for a successful commercial aviation industry in this country."
The first task for the AALA will be passage of the FAA Reauthorization bill that Congress is expected to finish during the current session. This comprehensive aviation bill deals with a range of issues related to the FAA, including security and safety requirements for overseas repair bases, and rules related to pilot training. In addition to the FAA Reauthorization Bill, bankruptcy reform will be a major focus.
The new alliance is significant because the unions are affiliated with different labor federations or are independent, and they are joining forces to influence labor issues that affect their members and the airline industry as a whole. The AALA will continue to build alliances with other labor organizations in the future.
Here’s what I want to know.
Was ALPA invited to join this? If they were, why did we not? It seems to me that this would have been a great opportunity to join forces and show some labor unity in the airline industry?
Or is there some sort of personal political agenda that our President has that is more important than we are?
T Dawg...this may be the answer you were looking for. Maybe not the one you wanted, but the answer...
Airline Unions Unite To Push Legislative, Safety Priorities
Aviation Daily Jul 28 , 2010 , p. 05
Three major unions representing aviation groups have joined forces to gain leverage on Capitol Hill, and have set FAA reauthorization passage and bankruptcy law reform as two top agenda items.
Calling themselves the American Aviation Labor Alliance (AALA), the group, which is open to more members, comprises the Coalition of Airline Pilots Association (CAPA), the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) and the Transport Workers Union (TWU). It is employing Albertine Enterprises of Washington, D.C., as its chief lobbying group.
CAPA President Paul Onorato told The DAILY the credit for forming the group goes to the IBT, saying it was Teamsters' Airline Division Director Capt. David Bourne who pushed for unions to speak with one voice, and the idea was given the go-ahead by Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa.
CAPA represents the independent pilots unions at American Airlines, US Airways, Southwest Airlines and UPS, as well as the Teamsters locals that represent ABX Air, Atlas Air, Polar Air Cargo, Kalitta Air and Southern Air. Onorato says the alliance had a meeting with Air Line Pilots Association President John Prater, but he was not interested in joining.
ALPA has been working for some time on behalf of its members on many of the same issues, such as passage of the FAA reauthorization bill, which contains language on security and safety requirements for overseas repair bases, and pilot training. "The 28,000 pilots of CAPA want to work with all labor organizations to enhance safety and improve the working conditions of airline employees across our industry," Onorato says.
TWU President James Little said, "The airline industry is under intense financial and competitive pressure and as a result, we believe that security and safety standards are being weakened."
Onorato says the unions "don't agree on everything, but we agree we want to talk and find common ground." One of those issues is Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) coverage of cabin crew regarding what Onorato says seems to be a rising occurrence of skin cancer and hearing loss. "There are no statistics being gathered. We have radiation and vibration and contamination issues to be addressed." While he says some groups have tried to have the language changed from cabin crew to flight crew, they have been met with resistance. "We are all in the same metal tubes with the same hazards," he says. When asked if the AALA has approached the Association of Flight Attendants or any other flight attendant group to join, he says it has not specifically approached the AFA, but "we'll expand to any and all groups. We want at least to have a dialogue. We want to get all labor at the table, and even if we can only agree upon one or two issues, we can then take them to senators and congressmen."