The IAM is the first North American transportation union to enter into an alliance agreement with the Japan Federation of Aviation Workers’ Unions (KOHKUREN), the largest federation of air transport workers in Japan. Both the IAM and KOHKUREN represent workers at the same airlines, including Northwest/Delta, United, Continental and others.
“With the potential of a merger between United and Continental, Delta’s attempt to consolidate in Asia and the impact foreign carrier alliances have on domestic airlines, the IAM-KOHKUREN alliance provides the unprecedented opportunity to jointly protect wages and benefits of our combined membership,” said International President Tom Buffenbarger.
“Our two great organizations represent the best hope that air transport workers have for a better life in the face of severe challenges posed by the globalization of the aviation industry,” said IAM Transportation General Vice-President Robert Roach, Jr., who addressed KOHKUREN’s National Convention in Tokyo. “The Alliance agreement we have signed sends a wake-up call to any international airline that still believes an ocean can separate our members. It serves as further testament to our continuing efforts to strengthen our coordination of organizing and collective bargaining activities with our brothers and sisters in Japan.”