Florida Tech Flight Instructors vote IAM

Flight instructors at the Florida Institute of Technology voted to join the IAM after concerns about unpaid hours and benefits.

A five-month campaign to organize flight instructors at the Florida Institute of Technology came to a close this week after the instructors voted 34-7 to join the IAM.

The newest members of District Lodge 166 say their vote was based on concerns about pay and benefits. Despite the hours they spend at the Florida Tech flight school, instructors are only paid when the airplane engine is on or when working with a student. They are also unable to receive health care benefits, sick days and vacation until they’ve clocked in 3,000 hours of instruction, which can reportedly take up to five years.

“Thanks to their hard work, the Florida Tech flight instructors have an opportunity they didn’t have before,” said District Lodge 166 Organizer Javier Almazan, “and that’s the opportunity and federal right to bargain for fair wages and benefits.”

“These instructors deserve to be fairly compensated for their commitment to their students and aviation education,” said IAM Southern Territory General Vice President Bob Martinez. “On behalf of District Lodge 166 and our entire union, I would like to congratulate our new members on their victory and welcome them to the Machinists Union.”

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