Thoughts from Brandy Ledbetter, US Airways Airport Agent, SLC
The difference between when I started at America West over 20 years ago and what it’s like today at US Airways is night and day, and the reason for that is our CWA-IBT Association representation.
I first started at the Reno reservations office shortly before we lost an election for Teamster representation, and at the time I couldn’t understand why.
My dad worked for a Teamster represented company all his life, and growing up I saw the benefits of having a real contract with guarantees and set work rules. So when I heard about the organizing campaign I jumped on board.
But not everyone was on the same page, a lot of my co-workers seemed to believe that they knew how to work the system and didn’t want to rock the boat. Unfortunately, their loyalty didn’t count for much when America West started closing call centers and laying people off after the election.
After seeing the truth of how uncertain our futures were, and how much power managers had to arbitrarily fire people, we made sure to win our next election before the US Airways merger.
And now? I wouldn’t give up representation for anything and neither would my coworkers.
The Communications Workers of America and the Teamsters may have different local structures, but as a steward and member of our joint contract negotiating committee, I can tell you that we truly are stronger together.
I’ve made great friends on the committee and it’s really helpful to come together and discuss any local issues we’ve all been dealing with to find best practices and solutions.
And I know the American Airlines agents at Salt Lake City are ready for that. We’ve been having lots of great conversations at the gate, and they are so excited about the prospect of bargaining the benefits we have at US Airways like flexible holidays, a wage progression and a contract to guarantee fairness.
The American agents used to ask us “how are you guys so happy all the time?” Now they know it’s because we have a voice at work, and they want one too.
I’m so excited we can all come together under one contract as brothers and sisters to make this not just the biggest airline but the best. Vote CWA-IBT YES!