Summer 2016 at American: Steward Training a Major Priority

September 28th, 2016

During the summer of 2016, new steward training was a primary focus for many of our American Airlines Locals. The Locals set out to train as many stewards as possible to uphold and enforce our contract, which was ratified last December.

By mid-September more than 250 stewards have been trained and deployed in five Locals.

“Stewards are needed for many reasons on the LAA side of our house,” says CWA North Carolina Staff Representative Vonda Hardy. “A strong steward structure helps us build solidarity and also shows the company we stand strong together.”

Stewards help all agents connect with our union and understand what their rights are under the contract.

Reservations Agent and member of Local 3640 in Raleigh-Durham, Kim Capps, explains, “It’s important for us (LAA agents) to have well-trained stewards because this is all new to us. The best way for us to gain exposure to our union and experience is to get involved. I needed the training so I could learn what to do when going into a meeting with management.”

CWA held more than a dozen steward-training classes this summer, which included two-day trainings led by staff representatives and local presidents. The training provided agents with details about the working relationship between the union and the company and introduced stewards to essential resources they need to identify and address any contract violations.

Mahlon Robinson, Director of Area Representatives for Local 1171, says that the union just won’t work without good stewards, “The bottom line is that they’re our front line of defense representing our members. All our agents depend on dedicated stewards.”

Many locals plan to hold additional training classes through the end of the year. Annette Rocco, BDL Customer Service Agent and member of Local 1171 encourages everyone who thinks they might be interested to contact a local officer as soon as possible. “It’s an honor to be a steward. It’s an honor to support our brothers and sisters. It’s important work that definitely has its own reward!”