Members of Air Transport 1781 and 1782 joined together for a member appreciation event for both locals, who have worked through COVID-19 and other industry downturns.

“Our members have had to deal with COVID-19 and all the other trials and tribulations over all the airline industry the past couple of years,” said IAM Local 1781 President Tony Parker. “So, we wanted to organize an event to make them feel appreciated since the companies don’t want to.”

Held in San Francisco, the event hosted several food trucks, games, and prizes to create an excellent appreciation experience for the membership.

Additionally, the event raised money for one of the IAM’s most significant community partnerships, Guide Dogs of America, where Air Transport General Vice President Richard Johnsen endured his time in the dunk tank to raise funds. IAM Air Transport Chief of Staff Edison Fraser also attended the event.

“Another great day, another great event for Locals 1781 and 1782,” said Johnsen. “It is an absolute privilege to be here today to honor our members and retirees.”

Due to COVID-19, our ability to interact with each other changed instantly. As a result, many plans and events that could bring us all together were put on indefinite hold. This was equally true for members who elected to retire during this time.

“Last year, we had to recognize through COVID that all of our members that took the opportunity to retire and didn’t have the opportunity to come out and gather like this today,” said IAM District 141 Assistant General Chair Olu Ajetomobi. “So, I want to thank everybody for coming out and meeting with all your members.”

Local 1782 is currently in the middle of complex contract negotiations with United Airlines. Therefore, this event also, in part, wants to remind the members to stand firm in solidarity.

“United wants to be the leading airline, so they need to take care of us like we are leading industry workers,” said IAM Local 1782 President Wendy Goodell.

The member appreciation event, which has turned into a yearly event, celebrated its second anniversary at a time when unity is needed in San Francisco and across the nation.

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