WASHINGTON, May 5, 2022 –More than 200 mechanics and related who work in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, at Lufthansa Technik, Puerto Rico, LLC. voted to join the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), the largest airline and transportation union in North America.
“This election is the voice and feeling of all of our co-workers who desire to progress here on the island without the need to abandon our families.,” said Lufthansa Technik Senior Aircraft Mechanic Jonathan Diaz. “It is very important for those who in the beginning and after so much training to try and reach their dream to feel proud of working in the aviation industry. A dream of many but at the same time so few attain it in the country. We will demonstrate that in Puerto Rico we do good and be better not only as humans but as workers.”
“We congratulate the Lufthansa mechanics and related work for choosing to join the Machinists Union,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “This victory is a win not just for the Lufthansa workers, but for all workers in Puerto Rico who are trying to make their lives better. We urge Lufthansa to respect the decisions its workers have made and come to the negotiating table in good faith. I want to thank the amazing IAM team on the ground, including Javier Almazan, José “Lole” Rodríguez-Báez, and Juan Negron, for their dedication to getting the Lufthansa workers an opportunity for union representation.”
The National Mediation Board (NMB) election results come months after aggressive tactics and appeal to stop Lufthansa Technik workers’ right to join the IAM. Last year, Lufthansa mechanics and related sought IAM representation due to various workplace issues, including reduced work hours, irregular work rules, and inadequate wages and benefits.
“The highly skilled aircraft mechanics and related at Lufthansa Technik have overcome many challenges over the past two years,” said Juan Negron, IAM Special Assistant to the International President. “I am proud of their courage and strength. It is time to sit down at the table and get a first contract to benefit the workers and their families. We will utilize the IAM’s full resources to ensure the workers at Lufthansa get what they deserve with a voice in the workplace and respect and dignity on the shop floor.”
“The Lufthansa Technik workers have spoken loud and clear,” said IAM Southern Territory General Vice President Rickey Wallace. “They now have the legal right to negotiate a contract that will improve their quality of life and give them respect and dignity. The IAM is fully committed to achieving a first contract at Lufthansa Technik.”
Lufthansa Technik mechanics and related provided service for United Airlines, Allegiant, Spirit, Avianca, and JetBlue until recently.
“Today we are full of hope because finally after overcoming so many obstacles, the day is here that we the Lufthansa Technik employees in Puerto Rico are united in one voice,” said Lufthansa Technik Aircraft Mechanic Carlos Santiago. “With this victory, all the employees working at Lufthansa will gain better working conditions.”
The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) is among the largest industrial trade unions in North America and represents nearly 600,000 active and retired members in the manufacturing, aerospace, defense, airline, railroad, transportation, shipbuilding, woodworking, health care, and other industries.