Thoughts from Richard Shaughnessy, American Airlines Airport Agent, MIA
American Airlines gives an annual customer cup award to stations that provide outstanding service. At Miami, we’ve won an unprecedented eight times, which would seem to indicate we’re meeting and exceeding the company’s standards. But at the local level, managers nit-pick everything we do to the point where a substantial number of agents are on advisories.
With a fair and transparent grievance process, like what they have at US Airways, we would have a real recourse and could work to get those agents off of advisories. That’s one of my top priorities to bargain for once we win our election.
I started working on this campaign back in 1992 with a core group of activists, and I’ve got to say that for every election we’ve lost we’ve gotten stronger and closer every time. And now that we’re working with our new partners at US Airways, I am positive we can win!
We’ve been holding big meetings for agents in Miami, making sure everyone is assigned to someone who will check that they’ve received voting instructions and voted. And I swear, every time a US Airways worker talks about what working with a real contract is like and why they won’t give it up, we convince another American worker to vote yes.
We had a big turnout last election, and we’re doing everything we can to make sure all of our supporters get out and vote. Everyone needs to understand what a huge win this would be for all of us.
Because for me, winning this election isn’t just about what benefits and improvements we can secure in the short-term, it’s about creating a shared vision for our future in the company and how we can get there.
I know there’s a lot of hard-feelings out there towards the ‘redcoats’ or contractors, but my vision of the future isn’t about getting rid of them, it’s about bringing them into the fold. Most of them are a great group of young people who deserve real benefits and fair pay just like the rest of us, and with representation we can make sure everyone in the new American Airline family gets that.
Everyone needs to come together and vote for a voice this election. Talk to your coworkers and make sure everyone votes CWA-IBT yes!