Airline Division Week in Review — March 30, 2018

Omni Pilots Ratify New Contract By Large Margin, High Turnout
Today over 95% of Omni International’s pilots voted by an overwhelming margin to ratify their new contract. With 190 of the 198 eligible members voting, 177 members voted in favor of the new agreement.
“I am very happy for the Omni pilots,” said Airline Division Director Captain David Bourne. “This new agreement represents a substantial improvement for the Omni pilots in wages, working conditions and quality of life. I commend their leadership and the leadership of Local 1224 for bringing this outstanding agreement to the membership and for its ratification.”

Approximately 150 Aircraft Workers at SeaTac Airport Vote to Join Teamsters Local 174
Nearly 150 aircraft fuelers, dispatchers and mechanics employed by Swissport have finally received word that they were successful in their effort to join Teamsters Local 174. The mostly-immigrant workgroup is based at SeaTac airport, and is responsible for fueling all commercial aircraft departing from that airport.
“These individuals perform technically difficult work that has a direct impact on public safety, yet Swissport pays them minimum wage without benefits. Turnover is sky-high as a result,” said Local 174 Secretary-Treasurer Rick Hicks. “For the work they do, these people deserve far better treatment. The customers of Alaska Airlines and all the flying public deserves better. We are proud to see them standing together to tell their employer that they will not be taken advantage of anymore.” 
The fuelers will join their 13 fellow Swissport employees working at the SeaTac fuel farm as members of Teamsters Local 174.
The election victory comes after a difficult organizing campaign spearheaded by Local 174 Director of Organizing Meaza Ogbe.
“We faced numerous challenges, especially language and cultural barriers, but those were ultimately overcome by speaking a language we can all understand: the language of respect,” said Ogbe. “I am so proud of the courage these workers demonstrated in standing up to their employer and not falling prey to their manipulations. They are now in a great position to improve their wages, hours and working conditions, which will improve their entire standard of living.” 
The election results will be certified next week and the union will begin the process of negotiating a first contract by conducting a demands meeting and listening to the employees on what they wish to accomplish. 
“Welcome to our new sisters and brothers to the Teamsters Union, and welcome to a better way of life,” Hicks said. “We are happy to have you in our family.”

Crewmembers Cautioned On The Dangers Of Drinking Some Teas In South America
APA Teamsters Local 1224 Human Factors Coordinator Roy Liggett recently issued a warning to crewmembers operating into South America, regarding the consumption of some commercially available hot teas. In his email, he specifically referenced a tea made from Coca leaves.  He said:
“While this tea is legal and readily available in many of our South American destinations, its consumption (even accidental or unknowing) could have a catastrophic effect on your career.  
While on an overnight in these countries, please be extremely alert to this risk when consuming tea. 
In addition, this exact tea has been seen on our freighters as part of the regular catering.  If you do happen to see this tea, DO NOT consume it, discard it in the trash and immediately file an FCR with included pictures.” 
If you missed the original message, titled “Be Careful What You Eat and Drink”, you can view it by clicking here or copy/paste the following URL into your web browser (

Butler Watch Company Salutes Russ Leighton As It’s “2017 Pillar of Aviation”
Russ Leighton, Aviation Safety Coordinator for the Teamsters Airline Division is the latest recipient of Butler Watch Company's Pillar of Aviation distinction.  Russ has devoted much of his career to the pursuit of higher safety standards in aviation.  He is focused, committed, and often times selflessly sacrifices personal time in order to complete tasks and responsibilities related to his safety work.
In a press release announcing the award; Corey Butler, President of Butler Watch Company remarked, "We are proud to honor Mr. Leighton with our Pillar of Aviation salute. Russ is driven to develop and expand aviation safety.  He deserves recognition for his commitment to improving procedures and conduct that impact all of us."
A Boeing 767 pilot for ABX and member of Local 1224, Mr. Leighton's influence is felt at numerous airline flight departments through his leadership on several industry Boards. He currently serves as the Director of Safety for the Coalition of Airline Pilots Associations (CAPA) and also serves as the Aviation Safety Coordinator for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Airline Division. Russ is responsible for training and maintaining Aircraft Accident Go-Teams, which help the NTSB as parties to investigations.  Previously, he worked as an Air Safety Investigator for the NTSB, serving as Investigator-In-Charge on over 50 aircraft accidents.  He serves on FAA Aviation Rulemaking Committees (ARC) on behalf of CAPA, the FAA's Commercial Aviation Safety Team (CAST), and Aviation Safety and Information Sharing Executive Board (ASIAS).  Previously, he served on the Flight/Duty time ARC which defined new regulations for pilot flight time and duty time limits.  The new regulations use fatigue science as a basis for the first time ever and were last updated 50 years ago.
As a memento and gift for Mr. Leighton, Corey Butler presented a Professional Series GMT watch with an inscription that includes Mr. Leighton's name and the words "Pillar of Aviation."

Airline Industry News

Governmental and Regulatory
The Federal Aviation Administration says the number of commercial drones and operators in the US will quadruple over the next four years. FAA data suggest that 300,000 new commercial drone pilots will be needed.
The newly released spending bill for the Federal Aviation Administration includes an authorization extension, giving lawmakers until Oct. 1 to craft a long-term FAA bill.
Airports get a new $1 billion federal grant program, but not a long-sought hike in ticket fees to pay for construction projects, under a broad spending bill released last Wednesday.

Airlines, Industry and Labor
Atlas Air Worldwide has built up its cargo fleet with six secondhand 747-400F aircraft. "We think that was a prudent thing to do, as we think about growing demand over the next couple of years and our ability to service that," Atlas Air CEO William Flynn said.
Brisk hiring by major US airlines has sparked interest among young people  in piloting careers. A pilot shortage has small airlines struggling to find pilots and Boeing predicts that 117,000 new pilots will be needed in the US by 2036.
Cargo shippers are looking to grow their air freight capacity as demand for cargo space, including blocked space agreements, continues to grow. Analysis shows that Atlas Air and ATSG are both benefitting from the boom in air cargo.