This month I had the privilege of attending the 2017 IAMAW Transportation Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was the first time I have attended an IAMAW conference and several things stuck with me as I left to come home.
First the good news. I was able to hear from a lot of very dedicated IAMAW members working and fighting on your behalf. AFL-CIO President Rich Trumka, IAMAW I.P. Bob Martinez, TWU President Harry Lombardo, GVP of Transportation Sito Pantoja, and Attorney Joe Guerrieri were among the many speakers at this conference. They along with their staff and others are fighting for your interests in contract negotiations, in arbitrations, in the halls of congress, and in the courts every single day.
Secondly, the airline sector financial picture is forecast to be very positive in the coming years. North American airlines alone are expected to show net post-tax profits of 18.1 billion dollars in 2017. This marks the eighth year in a row of aggregate airline profitability. Now more than ever we must demand that airlines share this wealth with the people that make it possible day in and day out, us!
Now the bad news and it comes on the legislative front. A consistent message throughout this convention was that the political landscape across this nation is toxic to unions and labor in general. There is already a steady assault taking place on worker safety regulations, wage rule regulations, fair workplace practices and unions themselves. In addition, the courts which have at best been just neutral will now become more and more anti-labor and anti-union. If allowed to go unchecked and uncontested, this current political climate will set labor and unions back many decades in a very short period of time. We cannot allow this to happen. We must be vigilant. We must be informed. We must be engaged and we must be active!
Victory Lodge 1725 is committed to providing you with as much information as possible about these battles and letting you know what you can do to help. We will be vigilant and we will keep you informed but it is up to each of you to be engaged and to be active in this fight. Do not stand by and let them destroy so many of the hard-won rights and benefits that we enjoy today. Fight like your future depends on it because it does!