Piedmont Airlines passenger service agents ratified a new five-year contract last week. The agreement covers 6,000 agents in 28 states at the American Airlines subsidiary, and provides significant improvements in the collective bargaining agreement, including wage increases across the board and new defined pay scales.
The contract also includes improvements in shift trade, mandatory overtime, training policies, vacation time, and strengthened health benefits.
"I'm proud of our bargaining team and our members who were determined to fight for improvements at American Airlines," said Richard Honeycutt, Vice President of CWA District 3 and Chair of CWA's Passenger Service Airline Council. "We must build on our progress and strengthen our union so that the company treats passenger service agents with the respect they deserve."
Last week, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) wrote a letter to Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri and Nokia Executive Vice President Ricky Corker urging them to preserve good CWA jobs and protect the security of our national telecommunications infrastructure.
"I understand Nokia has made it clear to CWA that all U.S. work that supports the installation of telecommunications lines including that in Ohio, will be contracted out by Nokia and U.S. Nokia employees in those jobs will be laid off," Brown wrote, laying out concerns that Nokia's use of foreign-based contractors could affect national security.
"I am also troubled that the company has reportedly demanded CWA agree jobs will be cut before collective bargaining on other issues can advance. This is simply not how collective bargaining works, and it is not reasonable to expect the union to agree to job losses before other issues can be discussed. I object to these anti-worker tactics, particularly given that these highly-skilled workers in Ohio and across the country have been so critical to Nokia's operations."
Brown requested a response to his letter by November 15 providing details on Nokia's outsourcing, and outlining Nokia's efforts to continue to employ good-paying, high-skilled CWA workers.
The bargaining committee is asking members and retirees to continue to spread the word encouraging as many people as possible to send an online letter to Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri and Nokia Bargaining Chair Steve Muscat urging Nokia not to eliminate American jobs and benefits, and to bargain in good faith with the union for a fair deal.
The CWA bargaining team reached a Tentative Agreement with Windstream covering workers in Pennsylvania, successfully pushing back against the company's demand for givebacks.
The agreement includes wage increases as well as improvements to vacation, meal allowance, scheduling, and much more.