Machinists Union Mobilizes Congressional Support to Thwart United Airlines’ Job Cuts

IAM representatives met with Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH) to discuss the effects of United’s plan to downsize its operations at Cleveland’s Hopkins Airport and the possible outsourcing of Fleet and Passenger Service work to low-paid sub-contractors in other cities.

United’s announced cut in flight operations in Cleveland may result in job reductions. The reductions could also affect IAM-represented Flight Attendants at Express Jet Airlines, the regional carrier that performs a portion of United’s “express” or “feeder” operation in Cleveland.

“There is a lot of uncertainty about how United’s Cleveland cuts will affect IAM-represented flight attendants at Express Jet,” said Express Jet Flight Attendant and Local Lodge 2339C President Nicole Washington-Fears. “I thank Senator Brown and Congresswoman Fudge for taking the time to truly understand how United’s decision will affect real people and the community as a whole, and in supporting our efforts to mitigate these harmful cuts.”

“Both Senator Brown and Congresswoman Fudge’s commitment to work with us is greatly appreciated,” said United Fleet Service employee and IAM District 141 Trustee Bill Pizzuli. “It is important that Congress know the true impact of United’s decision in Cleveland.”

“I’d like to thank Nicole and Bill for visiting Capitol Hill and advocating for IAM members,” said IAM Transportation General Vice President Sito Pantoja. “I’d also like to thank Airline Coordinator Ira Levy and IAM Legislative Department Co-Director Hasan Solomon for their leadership and hard work in this important effort.”

Also discussed was United’s proposed plan to outsource Fleet Service and Passenger Service work currently performed by IAM-represented United employees in 15 other U.S. cities. Senator Brown and Congresswoman Fudge pledged to work with lawmakers from other potentially affected states to pressure United to maintain IAM-represented workers in those locations.

In a separate meeting, Sen. Brian Schatz’ (D-HI) Chief of Staff, Andrew Winer, attended Local Lodge 1979’s monthly meeting in Honolulu and spoke with IAM members regarding United’s proposed outsourcing plans in Kona, Lihue and Maui.

Further efforts are currently being coordinated by the IAM Transportation and Legislative Departments to schedule meetings with lawmakers from other states to participate in the effort to maintain IAM-represented workers in their locations.