District 142 Pulls Out of Flawed Comair ASAP Program

IAM District 142 has withdrawn their involvement from the maintenance Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP) at Comair, a regional subsidiary of Delta Air Lines, because the company punishes workers for reporting maintenance problems.

“We have discussed the problems with this dysfunctional program with both Comair and the FAA for months,” said District 142 President and Directing General Chairman Tom Higginbotham. “We no longer have any faith that this program will ever be managed according to the regulations.”

Run by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), ASAP started out in 2008 as a joint initiative between the IAM, Comair and the FAA. Designed to identify potential aircraft maintenance-related safety issues, the program is dependant upon technicians being able to submit reports to the Event Review Committee (ERC) without reprisal. The ERC, comprised of FAA, Comair and IAM representatives, then identifies any problems or systemic issues and develops corrective solutions to prevent recurrence.

But Comair has taken actions against IAM members who have submitted voluntary reports, contrary to the letter and spirit of the program. Additionally, Comair has failed to provide a collaborative environment needed for an effective program to work.

“We should not have to wait for an accident to occur before addressing safety issues,” said Higginbotham. “We are disappointed that Comair failed to take this program, which is effective and runs well at over 35 other carriers, seriously.”

District 142 represents 530 Comair Mechanic and Related employees in Ohio, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina and Michigan. More information about the IAM at Comair is available at www.iamdl142.org.