Screeners Lodge 2921 IAMAW Administrative Office
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
With 2020 behind us, we hope 2021 is a better and more prosperous year, despite a difficult start to the year. The pandemic has changed every aspect of our lives, as uncertainty is now part of our everyday lives, placing pressure on us to find new ways to solve challenging situations. Your working lives at the airport have been changed in so many ways, mostly due to the pandemic, and its effect on the industry. Making things additionally difficult, and unnecessarily frustrating, is an employer that has shown little regard for the union and the collective agreement to which they agreed to abide by. During the most harrowing of times for members of local 2921, employer actions are causing additional stress and adding to the frustration of our members.
We have demanded that bargaining continue so that we may secure a contract, and one that improves working conditions of screening officers. Members spoke loudly through the bargaining survey giving us a mandate that we have taken seriously and are defending at the bargaining table. High among member proposals are union demands for improved pension benefits for all members.
Through the work of member committees, we have accomplished major successes that members indicated as priorities. Most outstanding health and safety issues have been resolved, but we know more work remains. Recently, extra lunchroom spaces will be available as of January 11, due to the hard work and advocacy of your health and safety committee. Through this committee, we identified major gaps in pandemic protocols that, we believe, led to rising infections. We are close to having a resolution on this issue, as well.
Members told us that workplace bullying and harassment was severe and making the work environment toxic, and for some members, unbearable. As a result of the survey conducted by the Women and Human Rights Committee in September, and continuous advocacy, the IAM is now involved in policy development, and training in the New Year to ensure that policies protect workers and fit situations screening officers commonly face. The company finally has been forced to recognize that we are a stakeholder that must be consulted and involved in these critical matters.
To address representation issues, the IAM appointed additional stewards and provided training. We also provided training for all committee members to ensure IAM activists are prepared to represent our members and advocate on issues that affect the local.
We are aware there are some members in the workplace who are looking to change.
Making major changes now threatens everything that has been gained, seniority, health benefits, pensions and other entitlements made possible by your collective agreement, one we are working to improve and build on.
The IAM – through your committees and advocates – is demanding change at the bargaining table. The change we are demanding is the change that was put to us by the membership, through our discussions and our surveys.
Solidarity will help us right the wrongs, but not without the benefit of time. Staying the course will lead us to build a stronger local. We have the people, the resources and the resolve to get through this. We will continue to fight to get the justice our members rightfully deserve. A union is only as strong as its members, those seeking to divide us seek to weaken us. Only the employer can win in this scenario.
When the going gets the tough, the IAM gets going; let us show what the Fighting IAM can do!
Trustee IAMAW Local Lodge 2921