Texas AFL-CIO Condemns Attempt to Raid American Airlines Union Membership

‘A Power Grab in the Shadow of a Pandemic’

The Texas AFL-CIO today condemned an attempt by the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA), under the cover of a pandemic, to raid membership of unions at American Airlines.

“These are perilous times for the airline industry,” Texas AFL-CIO President Rick Levy said, “and that is why it is more important than ever for workers to stay together and fight together. Unfortunately, AMFA is trying to split off workers from the existing unions at American — the Transport Workers Union (TWU) and International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) — for AMFA’s selfish gain. AMFA has not organized a single unorganized unit in over 25 years.”

 “With skilled representation based on policies set by workers, TWU and IAM have benefited working families at American, their communities and the flying public. The unions also play major roles in a broader movement that advocates for all working families in Texas. AMFA, a lone-wolf organization in Colorado, seeks no role in the larger labor movement.” 

“This raid attempt smacks of selfishness, greed and opportunism,” Levy said. “We join the unions at American, as well as the Tarrant County Central Labor Council and Dallas AFL-CIO, in condemning this power grab in the shadow of a pandemic.”

“If AMFA were to succeed in becoming the representative of aircraft mechanics, we believe it would decimate solid middle-class jobs and raise safety concerns. TWU and IAM have negotiated the best contracts in the airline industry  after long, difficult bargaining. Those contracts go well beyond wages and benefits to include strong staffing requirements for aircraft maintenance and, as a result, job security. AMFA’s raid attempt would give management an opening to take the low road on maintenance, including off-shoring, to the potential detriment of travelers,” Levy said.

Levy noted that as part of a program to build worker power, AFL-CIO unions agree to forego any attempts to raid other unions.

“Raids accomplish nothing in advancing a fair shot for working families to get ahead,” Levy said. “In a state where only one in 20 working people belongs to a labor union, trying to lure away existing union members rather than signing up new ones looks more like a management ploy to weaken the union, not worker solidarity.”