Recently, some ExpressJet Flight Attendants have been approached by individuals asking them to sign cards for information about how to vote for their own representatives or how to change unions. This has raised many questions by ExpressJet Flight Attendants because they are being misled about the true impact signing a card will have. Let me explain how these individuals could affect us.
The motives of these individuals are self-serving and will place the entire Flight Attendant group at ExpressJet in a dangerous position. Signing these cards could delay negotiations and jeopardize the significant progress we’ve achieved at the bargaining table.
I have seen first-hand the impact a raid of this nature can have on a work group. It was two years ago when several individuals at US Airways tried to replace the IAM as the bargaining agent for the mechanic and related work group at the carrier. IAM-represented US Airways mechanic and related workers were in the middle of negotiations with the company, just as we are now at ExpressJet. When these individuals collected the cards and turned them into the National Mediation Board (NMB), all negotiations came to an abrupt halt. During the next several months, the campaigning by both sides took place until the NMB called for the election. In the end, the IAM prevailed. It took several months to restart negotiations and get back to where we left off. The membership suffered during this time while they waited for a deal to be made and the members could finally get an agreement they would ratify to get the raises and increased benefits they deserved.
Because of the progress being made at the bargaining table in our ExpressJet negotiations, the mediator has set an aggressive bargaining schedule, but If more cards are signed negotiations will grind to a halt and everyone will wait. The company will see a divided union, negotiations could collapse and Flight Attendants risk ending up in a position they could never recover from.
What do you have to lose? Everything! ExpressJet Flight Attendants have one of the best agreements in in the regional carrier sector. We have been making significant progress in the last few negotiation sessions and are optimistic we can reach terms on a joint contract that will unify all ExpressJet Flight Attendants.
If you have concerns, contact your union reps. They all have their phone numbers posted and schedules listed. Go to our website and submit your concerns – you will get a response. Sign up for our updates if you are not already signed up. Download the IAM ExpressJet app to stay up to date.
Don’t fall for their deceit! Don’t sign the cards!
President and Directing General Chair