February is Heart Month, and the IAH Women’s Committee is calling together a community meeting to discuss strategies for dealing with heart disease and its impact on ramp workers. The meeting is set for February 19, and will begin at 6:00 PM. It will take place at the Union Hall offices at 15355 West Vantage Parkway, Atrium 2, Suite 175, 77032.
The panel for the round table discussion will include Local 811 Financial Secretary Sarah Monderoy, Women’s Committee Member Angela Jones, and others.
The meeting, which is open to all Local 811 Members at IAH, will focus on developing strategies to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease among airport workers and their families. It will represent the first real attempt to find community oriented responses to heart disease that will empower workers to improve heart safety.
IAM Members of IAH are encouraged to attend. For more information, contact Sarah Monderoy at 973.978.8779 or Angela Jones at (832) 609-9197
The unexpected death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on Saturday has rocked the legal and political landscape throughout the United States. With one of the most historic dockets in modern history, his passing will impact the balance of power within the Supreme Court, and will have a huge effect on the wages and job security of millions of union members.
Antonin Scalia and the four other conservative justices were poised to deal a heavy blow to worker's rights in America. After oral arguments had been made in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, many observers felt that a 5-4 decision to defund public sector unions was all but inevitable. The conservative majority had long made their support for Right to Work laws known, and with the Friedrichs case, a decision against the unions would have allowed public workers to avoid paying dues and other fees in support of collective bargaining efforts on their behalf. In a nutshell, the plaintiffs in the case argued that their First Amendment rights were violated by being required to pay union dues and other fees that would then be used to support public policies that they disagreed with.
In an earlier case, Harris v. Quinn, Scalia had voted with the conservative majority on the court in forcing home health care workers to become Right to Work employees, driving down their wages and removing important job protections. In another case, Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, a close decision found that teachers who did not pay dues in support of union activities could still be required to help pay their ‘fair share’ of costs associated with collective bargaining.
In the Friedrichs case, the court was on the brink of overturning the Abood decision, and 30 years of precedent, in removing the fair share rules. This would have allowed individual teachers to collect the higher wages, job security and other benefits that unions fought for, but without financially supporting the unions personally. Scalia’s earlier statements in support of the Harris decision led most observers to conclude that his opposition to unions would be decisive in the Friedrichs case.
This could have decimated the unions’ already meager ability to compete against billion dollar international corporations in shaping public policy and protecting wages and workers rights. Following Scalia's death, it seems unlikely that the effort will find the five votes that it needs.
Importantly, the case rose to the Supreme Court after the plaintiffs had appealed an earlier loss in the lower courts. This effectively means that all the important court decisions will now line up in favor of American workers, since the earlier decisions in favor of the unions will now stand.
Until this past weekend, public unions had good reason to expect the worst. But, now, with the court’s four liberal members still supporting the fair share rules under Abood, it seems that public sector workers will get a reprieve.
Local 811 elected officers met with union members from IAH at the February Business meeting. The meeting was called to order by President Leroy Taylor, who officiated the proceedings. Representing the Executive board was President Taylor, Vice President Ricardo Palacios, Trustees Ivan Caban and Clay Farrell, Financial Secretary Sarah Monderoy, and Recording Secretary Roderick Lightfoot. Members and activists received reports from the Grievance Committee, Stores, and the Women’s Committee. AGC Jorge Bonilla also spoke on a variety of topics.
Local 811 Business Meetings are where all IAH members gather to discuss important topics, fund and propose projects, and share ideas. Business meetings are held on the first Wednesday of each month at the Union Hall offices. They begin at 3:30.
February is Heart Month, and this year is especially important to United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz. Munoz is spending February resting at home following a heart attack and subsequent heart transplant. Heart health is an important subject within the commercial aviation industry, which has many unique health care challenges. Not least of which is the fact that aircraft are often hundreds of miles from any hospital. Even within airports, security requirements can often mean that valuable seconds tick by before emergency responders can reach a patient. Even within ramp areas, it can take up to half an hour for an ambulance or emergency first responders to reach a patient.
In response, the IAH Safety Advocates have begun exploring the possibility of offering CPR classes to ramp agents. These classes would allow participants to obtain the kind of CPR training that could make a huge difference in an emergency.
The Safety team may be able to arrange for OSHA compliant CPR training that will help ramp agents keep their families, coworkers and everyone around them safe. These classes would be completely voluntary, and participants could potentially be awarded valid CPR certification upon completion. The classes would not be part of any United Airlines training program, and attendees could use their certifications for other jobs, such as education, life guard or fire department work.
So, what do you think? Is CPR training something that you would be interested in? If there is adequate demand for CPR training, Safety Advocates may be able to arrange annual training classes for ramp agents. If you think that you or a member of your family might benefit from CPR training, please fill out the quick survey below, or send us an email.
We look forward to hearing what you think.