The Teamsters Airline Division has been on a roll lately, with nationwide victories at Air General, Flexjet and Flight Options.
Whether it’s a pet or a package, workers with Air General at Detroit Metropolitan Airport handle it all. The 30 workers who provide cargo, mail handling and warehousing services are the newest members of Local 283 in Wyandotte, Mich., after a vote to join the union.
“We are pleased to welcome Air General workers to the Teamsters and look forward to representing these newest members,” said Mike Finnegan, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 283.
“Congratulations to these workers on uniting as Teamsters to make positive changes in their workplace,” said Greg Nowak, President of Joint Council 43. “This was a great effort, including assistance to the workers from Local 283 and Joint Council 43 organizer Marian Novak.”
According to Novak, this is the first Air General operation among the company’s more than 25 locations across the country that is union.
The workers united after experiencing significant cuts in pay. They were seeking more affordable health care, respect and fairness at work.
Kyle Oakley is an Air General cargo account agent who has worked for the company for over a year. He and his co-workers handle cargo, medical shipments, U.S. mail and more.
“Our pay was cut and the health care is unaffordable,” Oakley said. “The Teamsters sounded like the right union to call!”
A Good Fit
Donald Marchwinski, a 10-year Air General warehouse agent, who was a Teamster member in a previous job, joined the union seeking fairness in hiring and promotions.
“I’ve been for the union the whole time,” Marchwinski said. “Since I’ve been here the past year, I think things could be more consistent and there could be better communication,” said Andreel Longs, a mail agent. “I’ve heard the Teamsters look out for their members, and for safety.”
T.J. Dull has worked for Air General as a customer service agent for three years.
“I enjoy working here and the people I work with. When it comes to negotiating with the boss for pay or promotions, having the Teamsters makes it beneficial for me and everyone else,” said Dull, a father of four. “I feel the Teamsters will be a good fit for Air General and Air General will be a good fit for the Teamsters.”
Flexjet, Flight Options
Pilots at luxury on-demand air travel companies Flexjet and Flight Options voted recently to join the Teamsters Union. Following the vote tallied by the National Mediation Board (NMB), the 670 pilots will join Local 1108 in Richmond Heights, Ohio.
On Sept. 30, 2015, the NMB determined that Flexjet and Flight Options, wholly owned subsidiaries of OneSky Flight, LLC, are operating as a single transportation system for representation purposes under the Railway Labor Act. This ruling paved the way for a Teamster-represented Flight Options group of pilots to vote with a fellow group of Flexjet pilots to be represented as one class.
“It’s a great day for these pilots,” said Capt. Efrem Vojta, President of Local 1108. “They’ve faced significant pushback from management during this campaign and we are proud of them for sticking together despite these obstacles.”
Prompted by the merger of these two companies into a single subsidiary group, the vote was a referendum on the treatment of the pilots in the workplace. In August, an arbitrator found that Flexjet violated federal law when it terminated three pilots for helping to organize other pilots, a union activity protected by federal law. The pilots returned to their jobs after an arbitrator ruled that they were wrongfully terminated and awarded them damages.
“This election was all about fairness,” said Capt. Rick Dubinsky, an organizer for the campaign. “These pilots work incredibly hard and deserve fair rules in the workplace. We are happy they’ve voted to join us and will continue to fight to ensure they are given respect and have a strong Teamster contract.”
“I want to thank everyone at Local 1108 for all of their hard work that led to this successful election,” said Capt. David Bourne, Director of the Teamsters Airline Division. “I also want to extend a warm welcome to the Teamster family to this class of workers on behalf of everyone at the Teamsters and in the Airline Division.”