North America's Strongest Union

Airline Division News, Week Ending April 21, 2013

Global Aviation Sued, Teamsters Demand Contract be Honored and Experienced Management Named to Save Airline and Employees

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which represents approximately 340 pilots and flight attendants for Global Aviation’s two airlines World Airways and North American Airlines, are calling on the company’s board of directors to take swift and decisive action in selecting a chief executive officer with a proven track record of turning an airline around.

Global Aviation emerged from bankruptcy Feb. 13, 2013 after pilots and flight attendants made significant sacrifices to save what had been the biggest charter-flight company for the U.S. military.

Since then, Global’s CEO Robert Binns – who pocketed a seven-figure “retention payment” shortly after Global emerged from bankruptcy – abruptly quit. The current interim CEO, Charles McDonald, President of Global Aero Logistics, is part of the past management team that brought this company from financial solvency in 2007 to bankruptcy in 2012.

Previously, McDonald was teamed up with Robert Binns at the now defunct Transmeridian Airlines and with the current chief financial officer, Bill Garrett, who served Gemini Air Cargo and Vanguard Airlines – both companies that have since ceased operations. The company also brought aboard a new chief operating officer and director of operations for World Airways; both come from ASTAR Air Cargo which shuttered operations in June 2012.

Not surprisingly, amid this chaos, the company has lost yet another important customer and has failed to attract any new long term customers since emerging from bankruptcy. Management has also failed to honor and abide by the terms of its labor agreements, further undermining the interests of pilots and flight attendants – key stakeholders in the company. The Teamsters Union filed suit today in federal court to enjoin the company from further abuses.

"Global's employees accepted significant concessions to help the company emerge from bankruptcy including a nearly 27 percent reduction in wages and far more flexible work rules in exchange for an equity stake," said Captain David Bourne, Director of the Teamsters Airline Division. "Global’s management team has no excuses to not follow the contract that they agreed to. Instead the pilot group finds itself with a record number of grievances and an apathetic Flight Operations team and flight attendants face a very uncertain future.”

Through their ownership equity stake, employees appointed an airline executive with a successful record of navigating airlines through and out of bankruptcy to serve on our board of directors.

“There is no time for a prolonged, costly executive search," Bourne said. "What this company needs is a new CEO that has a proven track record of successfully turning around airlines; bringing companies out of bankruptcy and working cooperatively with front line employees to bring stability and profitability to the company, its investors and stakeholders.

"Global's mismanagement is alienating the largest single stakeholder of the company – labor. Our members are devastated to see their company squander opportunities created by our new competitive and flexible working agreement. We want to see the company thrive. Management must honor its obligations to employees and aggressively pursue new business."

Teamster Aviation Professional Newsletter highlights fight to protect profession

The Teamster Aviation Professional is the official newsletter of the Teamsters Aviation Mechanics Coalition (TAMC). The newsletter includes useful information and insights from Teamster airline mechanics and TAMC members fighting every day for airline safety and the advancement of our craft.

Teamster Aviation Professional features some of the best news and analysis in the industry on aviation maintenance issues. The articles in this newsletter are essential reading not only for Teamster aviation mechanics but for all airline mechanics and related professionals in our industry. The latest issue includes articles on:

A recent action by ASA/ExpressJet mechanics demanding a fair contract;

  • Another UPS Airline mechanics victory against subcontracting;

  • TAMC Chair Chris Moore’s recent visit to Capitol Hill to lobby against outsourcing;

  • The huge movement among 11,000 AA mechanics and over 4,000 US Airways mechanics

  • Organizing to become Teamsters

  • The Aviation Safety Action Program InfoShare event held in March

  • Negotiations at United Airlines

The TAMC is unified voice for professional mechanics in the aviation industry. And the Teamster Aviation Professional is their publication. The newsletter is distributed electronically and is designed to reach mechanics around the world and keeps us up to date on the issues that are important not just to mechanics, but also the men and women of our the aviation industry who look to them to maintain the aircraft they fly. In addition to updates from the Airline Division on what the TAMC is doing on Capitol Hill and throughout the industry, the newsletter features articles from members that deal with topics from ASAP to outsourcing.

For more information and to read the latest issue, go to:

This Week in Air Safety

Recently, Local 1224 Aviation Safety Coordinator, Russ Leighton, attended the “NTSB Forum on Lithium Ion Batteries in Transportation”. The forum was a two-day event held at NTSB headquarters in Washington, DC. and consisted of discussion panels made-up from different sectors of the battery industry, as well as governmental agencies, and trade organizations. The three panels were: Design, Development, and Use of Lithium Ion Battery Technology, Regulations & Standards for Lithium Ion Batteries, and Lithium Ion Battery Applications & Safety in Transportation.

The highlights from what was a very technical series of panels are these: Lithium batteries have been in use for approximately thirty years. They are in most of the devices commonly used today – phones, cameras, laptops, tablets, power tools, cars, etc. Billions are shipped yearly on aircraft. There are few, and inconsistent regulations regarding the shipping of these batteries and devices, especially on cargo aircraft. The batteries are inherently unstable. When they catch fire, the fire is extremely difficult to extinguish. The failure rate of small scale batteries (cell phone) is one in ten million. Last year 4.46 billion batteries were produced. An FAA study predicts that two aircraft per year will be destroyed by lithium battery associated fires.

What is the IBT doing to assure our members’ airlines are as safe as possible with regard to lithium batteries? Through our own lobbying efforts, meetings with the DOT, FAA, PHMSA, and the NTSB, and in conjunction with CAPA, the IBT is demanding the following: 1) Common sense regulations regarding how, where, and in what quantities lithium batteries are carried. 2) Require fire suppression in all cargo holds of freight and passenger aircraft, and 3) Require that EVAS (Emergency Vision Assurance Systems) be installed in all transport category aircraft.

The fact is that lithium batteries are an integral part of modern living. Being able to safely ship them by air is essential. Current shipping regulations are not sufficient in accomplishing this goal. IBT is committed to working with regulators until our goals are achieved.

Airline Division / Local 1224 to offer Go Team Training

APA Teamsters Local 1224 has announced that they will be holding GoTeam training May 7-8 at the International Brotherhood of Teamsters headquarters in Washington, DC.

The invitation to participate in the training course is open to any member within the Teamsters Airline Division and the Coalition of Airline Pilots Association (CAPA).

As an “accepted party” to an NTSB investigation, GoTeam members assist the Investigator in Charge (IIC) by placing members on any working groups that develop, and where a particular member can offer expertise. The working groups formed depend upon the circumstances of the accident as determined by the IIC. Examples of common working groups in a major investigation are: on scene, fire, survivability, CVR, FDR, maintenance records, engineering, weather and ATC. As members of these working groups, the union is able to give input into all phases of the investigation. It is extremely important for the union to have members to be trained to participate in what could be one of the most serious events that will ever occur at an airline.

Enjoli Degrasse, an industrial hygienist for Teamsters International, will conduct the blood borne pathogen segment at this year’s event. The GoTeam training segment will be conducted by Greg Feith, safety consultant to Local 1224 who spent many years as an NTSB investigator.

This training is sponsored by Teamsters Local 1224 and the Teamsters Airline Division.

To Register:

1) Click on the following link.

2) Click on the blue “Click Here to Register now” banner below the GoTeam Training listing to expand the registration form.

3) Class size is limited to 40 seats. Registration will be closed when the class is full.

4) View complete details here.

Airline Industry News

Governmental and Regulatory

The FAA plans to proceed with furloughs beginning today, possibly affecting air travel across the U.S.

With changes to the battery system now approved by the FAA, a path to return the 787 Dreamliner to the skies is taking shape. 

Airlines and Industry

A4A has filed a lawsuit in federal court to block the furlough of FAA air traffic controllers.


Teamster Privilege Auto and Home

As a member of IBT you now have access to valuable features and benefits, including special group discounts on auto and home insurance offered through MetLife Auto & Home – a leading provider of quality auto insurance coverage.

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