Just moments before a transition agreement between the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) and Alaska Airlines was to be signed, Alaska Airlines insisted the IAM change the terms both parties already agreed to in that transition agreement to allow it to outsource work currently protected under the IAM contract, targeting reservations first. This attack on its own employees by Alaska Airlines to use contractors to perform work currently performed in-house has brought any potential transition agreement between Alaska management and the IAM, and all other merger related matters, to an abrupt halt.
“The IAM will not agree to a transition agreement with Alaska Airlines that does not protect the work and jobs of all employees,” said General Vice President Sito Pantoja.
“This last minute bad faith ploy by Alaska management is a slap in the face to all the hardworking Reservations Agents, Customer Service Agents and all IAM covered workers at both pre-merger carriers and is nothing more than a greedy attempt to recoup money spent on the merger,” said IAM District 142 President Dave Supplee. “Management and shareholders will not realize the efficiencies of this merger with this type of behavior. And, IAM members will not subsidize Alaska management’s merger through the loss of their work or their jobs.”
The IAM is seeking an equitable agreement with Alaska management that protects all work, including the work of approximately 700 pre-merger Virgin America employees. Without a transition agreement, employees cannot be cross-utilized on each other’s pre-merger metal, cannot perform each other’s work and there will be no co-mingling of pre-merger workforces.
IAM District 142 will defend the rights of all workers at Alaska and Virgin and will lead the fight to preserve the work these workers perform at both airlines. We must all tell the new Alaska Airlines “NO” to outsourcing and demand parity now.