May 1, 2008: Nearly 8,600 working and furloughed mechanics and related employees at United Airlines are now Teamsters, after voting to join our union in March.
Teamsters for a Democratic Union welcomes our new brothers and sisters to our union.
United mechanics have had it rough since 9/11. Since then, United declared bankruptcy, terminated their pension plan, and subcontracted many of their jobs.
Now the turbulence may get worse.
On Dec. 31, 2009, the contract with United Mechanics will become amendable. With rising fuel costs and the company posting profit losses, management is expected to merge with another carrier or spin off its assets.
One of the biggest issues will be outsourcing.
Audits of the company have shown that they are exceeding the amount of outsourcing allowed under the contract—United outsourced 45 percent of its maintenance operations in 2006.
The International Union promised support for United mechanics in their fight against outsourcing.
Reports from mechanics in San Francisco, the largest maintenance base for United, say that our new members there may be split into two locals.
Teamsters with last names starting with A-Led will go into San Bruno local 856. Teamsters with last names Lee-Z will go into Los Angeles Local 986—over 350 miles away!
Hopefully this situation will be corrected and our power won’t be divided. This would weaken our solidarity, our power, and dilute our ability to hold our local officers accountable.
TDU looks forward to working with the new Teamsters at United to win a strong contract and hold the line against more concessions.