July 7, 2015

UTU-SMART: ‘No knives on aircraft’

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Airline passengers will soon be able to carry small knives, souvenir baseball bats, golf clubs and other sports equipment onto aircraft, and transportation workers represented by UTU-SMART and others are not happy about it. The new Transportation Security Administration (TSA) policy permits folding knives with blades that are 2.36 inches or less in length and [...]

Avantair pilots land at SMART Transportation

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In their final approach for union representation, the pilots of Avantair, Inc., successfully touched down on the SMART Transportation Division runway. The Feb. 14 vote brought 224 Avantair pilots under the SMART umbrella. Among the pilots who participated in the representation election, 77 percent voted in favor of SMART. “Our ability to represent transportation employees [...]

New OSHA standards may affect flight attendants

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The Federal Aviation Administration has issued a proposed policy statement to establish the extent to which OSHA regulations may apply to flight attendants onboard an aircraft in operation. An FAA-OSHA memorandum of understanding (MOU) previously established a team to identify factors to be considered when determining when OSHA standards may apply to employees on aircraft [...]

UTU seeks arbitration with Great Lakes Airlines

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The airline industry is in a sorry state of affairs. From the bungled merger of U.S. Airways with America West in 2006 to the recent efforts of American Airlines to use the bankruptcy process to cancel its union contracts, the industry is attempting to return to profitability at the expense of its employees. The take-it-or-leave-it [...]

Congress retains Essential Air subsidies

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Of importance to UTU-represented Great Lakes Airlines pilots and flight attendants, Congress has scrapped an attempt by conservatives to eliminate the Essential Air Service program. Great Lakes Airlines is the largest recipient of Essential Air Service grants, which helps keep flights operating to 120 communities in 35 states. Such assistance is seen as crucial to [...]

Great Lakes Airlines pilots ask mediation release

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After 53 fruitless mediated bargaining sessions stretching over almost three years between United Transportation Union-represented pilots and Great Lakes Airlines, the union has asked the National Mediation Board to declare an impasse in the talks, release the parties from mediation and make a proffer of binding arbitration. Great Lakes Airlines pilots are members of United [...]

Lullaby and goodnight — if only …

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UTU members hearing about a National Sleep Foundation study just released might be tempted to roll their eyes and ask – depending on craft – “Does ballast contain rip-rap? Do buses have headlights? Do airplanes have wings?” Yet, sometimes, what is as obvious to transportation workers as closed eyelids on a fellow employee isn’t so [...]

FAA proposes raising pilot qualification standards

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WASHINGTON – Qualification requirements for first officers who fly for U.S. passenger and cargo airlines would be “substantially” raised under a proposed Federal Aviation Administration new rulemaking to be published in the Federal Register Feb. 29. The agency, in a notice of proposed rulemaking, is responding to a mandate in the Airline Safety and Federal [...]

Great Lakes Airlines pilots need our help

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By RICK JOHNSONColorado State Legislative Director Safety is job number one for UTU-represented pilots employed by Great Lakes Airlines. Yet their current contract with the carrier is substandard in terms of working conditions and wages that daily puts pressure on their ability to fly passengers safely. The image of airline pilots earning high wages and [...]

NMB vote-change rule survives in new FAA bill

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WASHINGTON – The House and Senate agreed Feb. 6 on legislation authorizing increased future funding for new air traffic control technology and the Essential Air Service subsidy program to rural airports as part of a reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration. Lawmakers voted to scrap an attempt by House Republicans to overturn a 2011 National Mediation [...]