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South Africa: Marikana: 4 years later, little has changed

Labourstart.org News - Sun, 08/14/2016 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: The Independent
Categories: Labor News

Two Big Labor Battles at UAL With AFA & IBT Reach an End at United

Current News - Fri, 08/12/2016 - 20:07

Two Big Labor Battles at UAL With AFA & IBT Reach an End at United
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/13/business/united-and-continental-flight...
By REUTERSAUG. 12, 2016

United flight attendants protested in June at Newark’s Liberty Airport. Fifty-three percent of those voting approved the new contract. CreditRichard Perry/The New York Times
United Continental Holdings said on Friday it had reached labor deals with its flight attendants and its mechanics, whose relations with the airline were strained in recent years as the parties struggled to conclude contract talks.

Flight attendants at the airline voted to approve a contract that will raise their wages between 18 and 31 percent in September, their union said on Friday. About 53 percent of those who voted backed the deal.

Separately, negotiators from the airline and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters reached a labor deal in the last round of United States mediated talks on schedule, the parties said in a joint statement on Friday. They said they must still complete contract language, after which it will become a so-called tentative agreement that the carrier’s 9,000 mechanics can vote to ratify or reject.

Both announcements

represent an important step toward integrating United and Continental and reducing flight cancellations.

Maintenance technicians from United have yet to mix their operations with those from Continental. The same holds true for flight attendants.

For instance, cumbersome rules meant that, for flight crews, United cannot bring in reserve employees from pre-merger Continental if the staff shortage is on a pre-merger United aircraft. This will ultimately change for mechanics and flight attendants under the new contract.

United ranked lowest among United States and Canadian rivals in 2016 in customer satisfaction, according to a J. D. Power study.

“What this means is hopefully a much more reliable United, a much more on-time United and hopefully also a more pleasant United for its customers to fly,” said Henry Harteveldt, founder of the travel consultancy Atmosphere Research Group.

With their new contract, the airline and the flight attendants union said they now expected to integrate flight crews within 12 to 18 months.

That agreement was reached by the airline and union in June under the guidance of the National Mediation Board after months of protests by flight attendants and years of talks. In addition to pay raises, the contract provides better health care and job protection, the union said.

The ratification represented a victory for United’s new chief executive officer, Oscar Munoz, who has sought harmony with workers at the airline, the third-largest United States carrier in passenger traffic. United shares were down less than 1 percent.

“The contract provides immediate economic gains, sets a new industry standard and ensures flight attendants can achieve the benefits of a fully integrated airline,” Sara Nelson, international president of the union, said in a statement.

More than 90 percent of eligible workers voted, the union said.

Furloughs by the airline after the merger had angered employees, but that dissipated beginning in 2014 when United offered voluntary buyouts that more than 2,500 employees accepted.

Mr. Munoz said in a statement he was helping “turn the page and write a new chapter in our approach to labor and management relations at United,” alluding to deals he helped secure for pilots, gate agents and baggage handlers.

Tags: UALCWA AFAIBT
Categories: Labor News

South Africa: Electrical utility workers win higher pay and right to go on strike

Labourstart.org News - Fri, 08/12/2016 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: The Morning Star
Categories: Labor News

ILWU Longshoremen Caucus vote to start labor-contract talks with West Coast ports

Current News - Fri, 08/12/2016 - 11:27

ILWU Longshoremen vote to start labor-contract talks with West Coast ports
http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/news/2016/08/12/west-coast-ports...

Aug 12, 2016, 7:33am PDT Updated Aug 12, 2016, 7:37am PDT

Riley McDermid
Digital Producer
San Francisco Business Times
Businesses press West Coast port unions to extend labor deal
West Coast ports, union reach contract agreement

More than 100 union dockworker delegates voted Thursday to discuss a contract extension with their West Coast port employer group, avoiding another crippling strike of the region's ports, including the Port of Oakland.

In a statement given to the Wall Street Journal, the president of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union said members were now interested in speaking to the Pacific Maritime Association about extending their contract.

Containers at the Port of Oakland were backlogged for months during labor talks in early… more

KEN JAMES / BLOOMBERG NEWS

“[There are] a wide range of concerns and opposing views on how to respond to PMA’s request,” President Robert McEllrath said in the statement. “[The vote is] a directive to go and have discussions with the PMA and report back to the membership."

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The current ILWU-PMA contract is valid only until July 1, 2019. It encompasses 29 ports, including Oakland, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Portland and Seattle, and includes 20,000 longshoremen on the West Coast.

"Businesses that rely on the West Coast ports, which include the nation’s two largest in Los Angeles and Long Beach, have been pushing for a contract extension after protracted negotiations spanning nine months from mid-2014 to early-2015 led to epic delays," the paper reports.

"Even once the deal was reached in February, it took the ports several weeks to work through a backlog of cargo, much of which was waiting on anchored ships in the San Pedro Bay outside Los Angeles and Long Beach — the first stop for much of the containership traffic coming to the U.S. from Asia."

Crane Watch: Check out all major San Francisco construction projects

Riley covers breaking news and oversees all digital content.

Tags: ILWU Longshore CaucusContract Extension
Categories: Labor News

The Greek Panhellenic Federation of Rail Workers (POS)Railway Union to Hold 24-Hour Strike Against Privatization Plans

Current News - Fri, 08/12/2016 - 09:34

The Greek Panhellenic Federation of Rail Workers (POS)Railway Union to Hold 24-Hour Strike Against Privatization Plans
http://sputniknews.com/europe/20160706/1042497807/greece-railway-strike....
© AP Photo/ SAKIS MITROLIDIS
EUROPE
02:00 06.07.2016(updated 05:51 06.07.2016) Get short URL
015000
The Panhellenic Federation of Rail Workers (POS) said it will hold a 24-hour strike on Wednesday in protest against the government's plans to privatize national rail transport.

ATHENS (Sputnik) — The Greek TrainOSE railway company, which operates nearly all of the country's railway lines, as well as the ROSCO rail rolling stock servicing and maintenance company, are set to be privatized as part of the Tsipras government deal with international creditors to unlock further funds under the indebted country's third bailout package. The companies will put up for a tender sale on Wednesday.

"The catastrophic infrastructural sell-off is continuing. After the Port of Piraeus, the Ellinikon airport and regional airports, they are targeting public transport starting with the privatization of TrainOSE and the ROSCO rolling stock servicing company. Urban transport is next," POS said in a statement.

© AP PHOTO/ SAKIS MITROLIDIS
Civil Servants to Rally Against Bailout Deal in Athens Despite Public Disapproval
The privatization will hurt ordinary Greeks, the union said, stressing that rail fares will rise and safety will decline.
The strike was previously planned for June 22, with the date later changed alongside the date of the tender for the two companies. The Athens metro will also come to a stop, making travel to and from the Athens International Airport difficult.

The walkout follows a series of short daily strikes that has taken place each morning and evening since June 28.

© FLICKR/ DES BYRNE
Despair, Anxiety as Greece Suffers Another Year of Austerity Imposed by EU
Athens signed a deal with its creditors, which include the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Central Bank (ECB) and Eurozone nations, in 2015 for a third bailout package worth about 86 billion euros ($96 billion) in exchange for highly unpopular austerity reforms such as pension cuts, tax hikes and public assets privatization.

On April 8, Greece signed an agreement to sell a 67-percent share in Port of Piraeus, one of the largest ports in the world, to the Chinese shipping company COSCO Group (Hong Kong) Limited

Tags: Greek Railway Workers Unionprivatization
Categories: Labor News

South Africa: Eskom strike: Workers tell of battle for decent wages

Labourstart.org News - Thu, 08/11/2016 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: The Independent
Categories: Labor News

Korea (North): Construction workers fed crystal meth to speed up building projects

Labourstart.org News - Thu, 08/11/2016 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: Huffington Post
Categories: Labor News

Longshore Elected Delegates Vote to Meet with West Coast Employers To Discuss Their Request for a Contract Extension

ILWU - Thu, 08/11/2016 - 12:05

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (August 11, 2016) – More than 100 delegates from 30 West Coast ports from San Diego, CA to Bellingham, WA, who were elected by rank and file members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), convened this week to consider an employer request to discuss the possibility of an extension to the 2014-2019 collective bargaining agreement between the ILWU and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA).

By majority vote on Thursday, delegates voted to enter into discussions with representatives of PMA regarding the concept of a contract extension and report back to the membership.

“The caucus made a tough decision under current circumstances amid a wide range of concerns and opposing views on how to respond to PMA’s request,” said ILWU International President Robert McEllrath. “This is a directive to go and have discussions with the PMA and report back to the membership, and we’ll do just that, with the wellbeing of the rank and file, our communities, and the nation in mind.”

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union’s Coast Longshore Division represents approximately 20,000 longshore workers on the West Coast of the United States.
# # #

Categories: Unions

Time For A General Strike-The Tories should crush the rail unions once and for all – voters would thank them for it

Current News - Wed, 08/10/2016 - 19:45

Time For A General Strike-The Tories should crush the rail unions once and for all – voters would thank them for it
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/08/10/the-tories-should-crush-the-r...
• JOHN MCTERNAN

10 AUGUST 2016 • 11:59AM

We are in the middle of a five-day rail strike on Southern Rail. Commuters are being massively disrupted. And this is just the latest stage in a dispute in which the Luddite RMT union has made it clear that it is fully committed to fighting against the future.

What about the Government? Where are they in this dispute. It is a crystallisation of all their key themes: investment, modernisation, innovation and productivity. But they are silent.

Well not quite. What we have actually seen is the resignation of the then rail minister Claire Perry, who said: "I am often ashamed to be the Rail Minister." And so she should have been - just for her pathetic capitulation to the RMT. This, of course, is just what you would have expected from a Miliband government; but this is a Tory government, with a majority.

There is a famous scene in The West Wing episode about President Bartlet appointing a member of the Supreme Court. He meets Justice Joseph Crouch, whose retirement creates the vacancy, and is angrily addressed by Crouch: "I wanted to retire five years ago. Five years. But I waited for a Democrat. Instead I got you." The Southern Rail dispute is just like that. Commuters in the Home Counties could be forgiven for thinking: "I waited 23 years for a majority Tory government. Instead I got you." Where are the core Tory values? Where is the support for management's right to manage?

This is not even a complicated dispute. It is a simple case of right and wrong. The rail company are right and the union is wrong. At the heart of this is Southern's desire to improve services for passengers. New rolling stock can - and should - be be operated with drivers responsible for opening and closing doors. This frees up staff time. And saves on running costs as Southern rolling stock would be interchangeable with Thameslink trains - a franchise that the Train Operating Company Govia Thameslink Railway also operate.

The fact that this is merely a harmonisation of working conditions with those already existing on Thameslink highlights its absurdity. For nearly thirty years Thameslink - a service established by the old nationalised BR - has had drivers operating train doors. It is not a new technology - it is a tried and tested one. So established that four out of ten trains in Britain already operate this way.

Five-day strike begins on Southern railPlay!01:37
This is a blatant attempt by the RMT to veto progress, to frustrate and prevent change. That can be seen in its tactics.

Its first line of attack was to try to disrupt crew rosters by getting staff to go off sick. That way they could force train cancellations.

It is a tried and tested technique. When I was a Southwark Councillor there were workers who clearly took sickies in an organised pattern. Why? It created a need for staff to cover. Bingo! Overtime for all. How did we deal with it? Firm management. When the unions are having a laugh you have to beat them - and, if necessary, break their stranglehold. It's not pleasant - confrontation never is. But it is necessary.

To be fair to them, the Southern Rail management are taking the fight to the unions. Govia Thameslink have no intention of backing off. Why should they? They are in the right. But they are being betrayed by this pathetic Tory government. This should be a no-brainer for ministers. Who do they support in a struggle between the mindless militants of the RMT and the voters of commuter land? Hmm, let me think for a minute...

It's not as if the pathetic inaction of the Government has no cost. Rail strikes are the new black. A week of action is threatened on Eurostar. And there may be action on Virgin Trains on the East Coast Main Line.

The Government cannot be neutral in this struggle. They urgently need to back the rail companies in any ways that they can. Having a Labour Leader whose politics are throwback to the seventies is bad enough, having trade union battles that are an homage to the era of the Heath Government is taking it too far.

Tags: RMTUK Railway Workersunion bustingprivatization
Categories: Labor News

Uzbekistan: Samarkand Street Sweepers Strike Back

Labourstart.org News - Wed, 08/10/2016 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: RFE
Categories: Labor News

ILWU caucus to determine future of West Coast "labor peace" PMA And ILWU Leadership Pushing for big extension

Current News - Wed, 08/10/2016 - 10:31

ILWU caucus to determine future of West Coast labor peace
https://www.joc.com/port-news/longshoreman-labor/international-longshore...
Bill Mongelluzzo, Senior Editor | Aug 09, 2016 4:56PM EDT

Dockworkers of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, pictured at the Port of Long Beach, will meet this week in San Francisco to consider early contract talks, the acceptance of which would be a marked departure from historical precedent.
A historic International Longshore and Warehouse Union caucus that could solidify the role of the West Coast as the preferred and natural gateway for U.S. trade with Asia will convene Wednesday in San Francisco.

About 100 ILWU delegates will decide in the coming three days if the union will join the Pacific Maritime Association in early negotiations for an extension of the existing contract that is set to expire on July 1, 2019.

Highlighting the importance of the caucus, 128 organizations representing beneficial cargo owners and logistics providers urged the ILWU and PMA to consider a new bargaining model based on “early and continuous dialogue.” The coalition of manufacturers, farmers, agribusinesses, wholesalers, retailers, importers, exporters, distributors, transportation and logistics providers said early contract negotiations would avoid the disastrous labor problems and port congestion that accompanied the 2014 and 2015 coastwide negotiations on the West Coast.

“You have both recognized the negative economic impact of disruptions and slowdowns that occurred during the last negotiations. We believe starting negotiations early will help avoid a repeat of that experience,” the BCOs and other transportation groups stated in the letter.

The ILWU caucus is scheduled to run from Wednesday through Friday. ILWU spokesperson Craig Merrilees said delegates will discuss whether the union should join the PMA in launching contract extension talks, and will address “other issues” on the ILWU’s agenda. Jim McKenna, PMA president, said employers will “wait for their decision” and will not be involved in the internal ILWU caucus.

This week’s caucus is historic because the ILWU and PMA normally begin contract negotiations about two monthsbefore the existing contract expires. If they would begin contract extension talks more than two and one-half years before the 2015 agreement is set to expire, the ILWU and PMA would send a clear message to the BCO community that they intend to put past negotiating procedures behind them in order to make the West Coast the preferred gateway for U.S. trade with Asia.

Similarly, the International Longshoremen’s Association and United States Maritime Alliance on the East and Gulf coasts have had sporadic meetings the past two years with the goal of extending their contract long before the Sept. 30, 2018, expiration date. East Coast longshoremen benefited greatly from additional work opportunities through much of 2015 as BCOs diverted some shipments away from the West Coast.

In fact, the cargo diversions began even before the scheduled July 1, 2015, expiration date of the previous ILWU-PMA contract. As is normally the case in longshore contract negotiation years on both coasts, BCOs begin early in the year to test new routing options and to form business relationships with truckers, warehouses and other logistics providers on the opposite coast where they may not have established contacts. If the ILA and ILWU and their respective employer organizations succeed in extending the contracts, those predictable cargo diversions will be pushed further into the future

Nevertheless, labor and management must be careful to focus only on basic issues if early contract extension talks are to be successful. McKenna said West Coast employers suggest that the talks focus on wages and benefits. In other words, controversial issues involving automation or jurisdiction over chassis maintenance and repair could result in endless, contentious talks with no resolution.

Dave Adam, president of USMX, said East Coast employers “are looking at a simple extension of three years” that would focus on wages. In the last meeting several months ago, USMX presented its ideas to the ILA, and employers are waiting for the ILA response. With summer vacations still in progress, employers do not expect a response until fall, he said. Adam said Wednesday that the presentation was only the employers “conceptual thinking” about a new contract and that he misspoke when he originally described it as a proposal.

However, jurisdiction over chassis M&R continues to be a hot-button issue on the East Coast, and especially in New York-New Jersey. With terminal automation projects either underway or completed in New York-New Jersey and Virginia, that is also an important issue because longshoremen view M&R control as a way to preserve jobs lost to dockside automation.

West Coast ports, employers and longshoremen are still smarting from the loss of business and work opportunities in 2014 and 2015, so the ILWU and PMA appear to be motivated to regain lost market share. Competition with East and Gulf Coast ports further intensified on June 26 when the third set of locks on the Panama Canal opened to commercial traffic. Vessels with capacities of more than 13,000 twenty-foot-equivalent units can now transit the canal on all-water services from Asia. This takes away the significant advantage of scale that West Coast ports enjoyed when the canal was limited to vessels of up to 5,000-TEU capacity.

BCOs emphasized that their primary interest is an assurance of labor stability so they can plan their supply chains for the next five or six years. The letter to the PMA and ILWU therefore stressed that early contract extension talks should include a pledge by both parties to ensure there are no disruptions to cargo movement during the negotiations. The letter stated that a new model for contract negotiations would ensure that the arbitration mechanism remains in effect throughout the negotiations in order to prevent work slowdowns, strikes and employer lockouts.

“We fully believe that agreeing early to a contract extension or a new long-term contract will provide the stability and predictability that is needed for global competitiveness that will benefit all stakeholders (labor, terminal operators, cargo owners, etc.) who rely on West Coast ports,” the BCO letter stated.

Tags: IWLUCaucuslongterm contract
Categories: Labor News

A Message to the Membership of ILWU Local 10

Current News - Tue, 08/09/2016 - 21:44

A Message to the Membership of ILWU Local 10
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emUL7HFrpWw
08/07/2016 - 13:52
By Derrick H Muhammad - ILWU Local 10, August 4

Brothers and Sisters: Ignorance is not bliss. Ignorance is death. Ignorance can never carry the union to where it needs to go. Ignorance will cause the union to stumble.

Speaking with intelligence and exemplifying knowledge of the issues on behalf of working class and marginalized people is a noble thing. It is a union thing. It is what our predecessors did. Study the history of Harry Bridges, Bill Chester, Leroy King and Cleophas Williams just to name a few. In addition to being longshoremen and warehousemen these men were profound thinkers. Everything these men did had political ramifications. It is unwise to think otherwise.

Make no mistake about it. Local 10’s voice carries weight in the community and in City Hall. It is our responsibility to all of those who came before us and to the generations of laborers’ yet to come to preserve what we have inherited and to make progress. Please don’t let anyone tell you anything different.

The question of the building of a marine terminal at the old Oakland Army Base and the question of coal exports from the same terminal are two distinct issues. In 2012, Local 10 and many others from labor, spoke in favor of the building of this marine terminal. Subsequently, the approval of the building of the marine terminal was given the green light by the City of Oakland. So even though coal exports are banned, the marine terminal project is supported and should still go forward.

Lastly, much respect and gratitude to all the B Men who responded to their union's call.

In Solidarity,

Derrick H. Muhammad
ILWU Local 10, Secretary-Treasurer

On June 27th, 2016 the Oakland City Council took a historical vote to ban coal from the Port of Oakland. This is a victory for Local 10 and the West Oakland community. Local 10’s position on the issue was the right position, as the evidence of the health impacts of coal was so overwhelming.

The union and its' many allies defeated all of the arguments of the pro-coal contingent by challenging them on their false claim of mitigation, by exposing their falsities of covered coal cars and debunking their claim of jobs for the community.

The truth of the jobs that were being promised to community members were jobs that they either weren’t eligible for, or jobs whose numbers were overly inflated.

Tags: ILWU Local 10Port Of Oakland Coal Terminal
Categories: Labor News

Costa Rica Taxi drivers clash with police in Costa Rica protest against Uber

Current News - Tue, 08/09/2016 - 19:13

Costa Rica Taxi drivers clash with police in Costa Rica protest against Uber
https://www.yahoo.com/news/taxis-clog-costa-ricas-capital-anti-uber-prot...
AFP•August 9, 2016

Taxi drivers block a road in San Jose, on August 9, 2016 (AFP Photo/Ezequiel Becerra)
More
San José (AFP) - Thousands of taxi drivers upset at Uber's threat to their livelihoods blocked key roads in and near Costa Rica's capital on Tuesday, with dozens arrested amid clashes with police, officials said.

Anti-riot officers intervened to prevent protesters from cutting off access to the country's main airport northwest of San Jose.

In the east of the city, a violent confrontation with police resulted in the arrest of four taxi drivers. TV news images showed a police officer with his face bloodied.

At least 70 other taxi drivers were arrested in other parts of the city for blocking roads, the government said. Police seized some 20 taxis.

The head of Costa Rica's police force, Juan Jose Andrade, said on Twitter that police found nails strewn across one road.

The taxi drivers called the protest to demand the government block Uber's smartphone app.

The US-based internet ride-hailing company operates in Costa Rica without government authorization.

It responded to the taxi protest against it by offering fare discounts to passengers in San Jose.

Uber has grabbed around 35 percent of passengers from taxis in Costa Rica since entering the country mid last year, according to a recent survey by the Cid Gallup company.

Tags: Costa Rica Taxi driversrepression
Categories: Labor News

Zimbabwe: Railways sack workers for attending strike meetings

Labourstart.org News - Tue, 08/09/2016 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: News 24
Categories: Labor News

Global: Labor Must Take on Capital - Be Ready To Break Laws

Labourstart.org News - Tue, 08/09/2016 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: Jacobin
Categories: Labor News

Korea (North): Kim Jong-un's slave state demands robust action by Europe

Labourstart.org News - Tue, 08/09/2016 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: Left Foot Forward
Categories: Labor News

PSR Fleet Memo for August 6 2016

IBU - Tue, 08/09/2016 - 13:05
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Categories: Unions

Southwest Airlines Transport Workers Union Local 556 flight attendants keep up pressure with picket outside Love Field

Current News - Mon, 08/08/2016 - 22:02

Southwest Airlines Transport Workers Union Local 556 flight attendants keep up pressure with picket outside Love Field
http://www.dallasnews.com/business/airline-industry/20160808-southwest-a...

David Woo/Staff Photographer
Robert Merino of Plano walked past Southwest Airlines flight attendants picketing for contract negotiations at the entrance to Dallas Love Field on Monday.
By Conor Shine Follow @Conor_Shine cshine@dallasnews.com
The Dallas Morning News
Published: 08 August 2016 01:21 PM
Updated: 08 August 2016 01:32 PM
A week after calling for the removal of CEO Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines’ unions kept up the pressure on Monday with a flight attendant-led picket outside of Dallas Love Field and nine other airports around the country.

The picket is the latest attempt to put pressure on Southwest’s management by its largest unions, several of which have been negotiating for a new contract with the Dallas-based carrier for nearly four years.

It comes a week after leaders of Southwest’s pilots, mechanics, flight attendants and ramp workers unions called for the replacement of the company’s CEO Kelly and chief operating officer Mike Van de Ven following a system wide technical outage in July that disrupted thousands of flights, stranding crews and customers around the country.

“The recent technical outage was kind of the last straw for us,” said Audrey Stone, president of Transport Workers Union Local 556, which organized the picket and represents about 14,500 flight attendants.

Stone called the outage a “debacle” and said there were cases of flight attendants around the country being stranded overnight at airports because hotel rooms weren’t arranged.

“It’s completely unacceptable,” Stone said. “These are people that love our company and they felt like they were let down.”

Labor tension at Southwest has been building over the last several years with the technical outage providing a clear example of what Stone and other union leaders have criticized as management’s failure to adequately invest in the company’s operations.

Related: Putting LUV to the test: Labor tensions heat up ahead of Southwest Airlines' shareholders meeting

The unions have criticized Southwest for putting the needs of shareholders ahead of its employees during a time of record profitability.

Southwest executives have rebuffed much of the union criticism and insist they’re eager to strike a deal that rewards employees for their role in the company’s success. Last week, Kelly described calls for his ouster as a union ploy to pressure the company, and he was backed up by Southwest’s board of directors, who issued a letter Friday supporting current management.

While financial issues are a key part of the ongoing negotiations between pilots, mechanics, flight attendants and Southwest, just as important are rules that shape working conditions.

For flight attendants, these quality of life issues include scheduling, length of work days and vacation.

Southwest has sought to modify some of these work rules to provide flexibility as the airline continues to expand, including a recent foray into international destinations, while also controlling its costs for a time when low-fuel prices aren’t providing the same boost to profits they are now.

Monday’s picket was the third by Southwest unions at Love Field this year, following a picket organized by pilots in February and another by mechanics in July.

Dozens of flight attendants were joined at Love Field by pilots, mechanics and ramp workers Monday morning. Other pickets were held at airports where Southwest has crew bases, including Houston’s Hobby Airport, Chicago’s Midway Airport, and airports in Denver, Atlanta, Baltimore, Las Vegas, Oakland and Orlando.

Tags: Southwest Airlines Transport Workers Union Local 556 flight attendants
Categories: Labor News

Southwest Airlines Transport Workers Union Local 556 flight attendants keep up pressure with picket outside Love Field

Current News - Mon, 08/08/2016 - 22:02

Southwest Airlines Transport Workers Union Local 556 flight attendants keep up pressure with picket outside Love Field
http://www.dallasnews.com/business/airline-industry/20160808-southwest-a...

David Woo/Staff Photographer
Robert Merino of Plano walked past Southwest Airlines flight attendants picketing for contract negotiations at the entrance to Dallas Love Field on Monday.
By Conor Shine Follow @Conor_Shine cshine@dallasnews.com
The Dallas Morning News
Published: 08 August 2016 01:21 PM
Updated: 08 August 2016 01:32 PM
A week after calling for the removal of CEO Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines’ unions kept up the pressure on Monday with a flight attendant-led picket outside of Dallas Love Field and nine other airports around the country.

The picket is the latest attempt to put pressure on Southwest’s management by its largest unions, several of which have been negotiating for a new contract with the Dallas-based carrier for nearly four years.

It comes a week after leaders of Southwest’s pilots, mechanics, flight attendants and ramp workers unions called for the replacement of the company’s CEO Kelly and chief operating officer Mike Van de Ven following a system wide technical outage in July that disrupted thousands of flights, stranding crews and customers around the country.

“The recent technical outage was kind of the last straw for us,” said Audrey Stone, president of Transport Workers Union Local 556, which organized the picket and represents about 14,500 flight attendants.

Stone called the outage a “debacle” and said there were cases of flight attendants around the country being stranded overnight at airports because hotel rooms weren’t arranged.

“It’s completely unacceptable,” Stone said. “These are people that love our company and they felt like they were let down.”

Labor tension at Southwest has been building over the last several years with the technical outage providing a clear example of what Stone and other union leaders have criticized as management’s failure to adequately invest in the company’s operations.

Related: Putting LUV to the test: Labor tensions heat up ahead of Southwest Airlines' shareholders meeting

The unions have criticized Southwest for putting the needs of shareholders ahead of its employees during a time of record profitability.

Southwest executives have rebuffed much of the union criticism and insist they’re eager to strike a deal that rewards employees for their role in the company’s success. Last week, Kelly described calls for his ouster as a union ploy to pressure the company, and he was backed up by Southwest’s board of directors, who issued a letter Friday supporting current management.

While financial issues are a key part of the ongoing negotiations between pilots, mechanics, flight attendants and Southwest, just as important are rules that shape working conditions.

For flight attendants, these quality of life issues include scheduling, length of work days and vacation.

Southwest has sought to modify some of these work rules to provide flexibility as the airline continues to expand, including a recent foray into international destinations, while also controlling its costs for a time when low-fuel prices aren’t providing the same boost to profits they are now.

Monday’s picket was the third by Southwest unions at Love Field this year, following a picket organized by pilots in February and another by mechanics in July.

Dozens of flight attendants were joined at Love Field by pilots, mechanics and ramp workers Monday morning. Other pickets were held at airports where Southwest has crew bases, including Houston’s Hobby Airport, Chicago’s Midway Airport, and airports in Denver, Atlanta, Baltimore, Las Vegas, Oakland and Orlando.

Tags: Southwest Airlines Transport Workers Union Local 556 flight attendants
Categories: Labor News

Russia: Construction Workers On Russia's Bridge To Crimea Slam 'Slave' Treatment

Labourstart.org News - Mon, 08/08/2016 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: RFE/Radio Liberty
Categories: Labor News

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