On behalf of the Officers and the Staff at TWU Local 512, I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. As things remain very busy at the airport and the Union Hall as this year quickly comes to a close, I have some important information to share with you.
Lightning Update: There has been much progress recently on the enforcement of the Company’s Severe Weather Plan and on Suspended Operations. As many of you know, on October 14, 2017, one of our coworkers was injured while working outside on the ramp during a severe thunderstorm. The FSC was hospitalized for some days and required extensive medical treatment. The good news is this: it is expected that our coworker will be returning to work soon as his injuries were not life threatening. While any employee injury proves to be unsettling, this particular injury is extremely disturbing because it simply should have never happened in the first place. This injury brought to light the deficiencies in the Company’s procedures when determining when the ramp should be closed down or opened up during a lightning storm. These problems are currently being addressed, and that’s more good news. The issue is twofold: the welfare of the employee which includes the medical care received, and the attention to the core cause of the injury which essentially is the poorly enforced company policy. As far as the medical treatment for the employee, full access to medical providers and treatment was provided. Additionally, this employee had prompt access to legal counsel and Union representation, thus, his rights were immediately protected. As far as the enforcement of the Company’s Severe Weather Plan and the suspension of ramp operations, I can report that the Lightning Detection System is being changed from a manual system to an automated system soon. The equipment has been ordered and is expected to arrive early next month. The system will provide for timely and pertinent messages to be sent to the TWU leadership via cell phones and e-mails. TWU Safety Stewards are being released and sent to the Tower to monitor the lightning detection system when bad weather affects the area. Finally, expansion and updating of the strobe light ramp closure warning hardware is in process.
Qualified Pre-Retirement Survivor Annuity (QPSA) periodic informational review: For those participants in the Defined Benefit Pension Plan, confirmation of your QPSA election (or lack thereof) is highly recommended. The percentage of your pension that your spouse will collect if you die before commencing your pension is defaulted at 50%, but you can direct American Airlines to pay it as much as 100%, yet, action is required on your part. Once you make the selection, it remains intact, but, periodic review of the company records is recommended. We have prepared a listing of the steps required to verify this information and the form necessary to submit your choice. Over the next weeks we will be distributing this information in your work areas, or if you wish, we can send it to you via USPS or by e-mail.
TWU Vol Benefits is a deduction that you may have in the After Tax Deductions Section of your paycheck. These are the insurance products that are voluntarily purchased through the TWU and they include Life Insurance, Short Term Disability coverage, Accident coverage, or Critical Care coverage. Long Term Disability coverage is not included in TWU Vol Benefits deductions line on your check nor are some other isolated products. Please familiarize yourself with these deductions as changes may occur after the New Year. If you have any questions, please call me, contact Rick Friedman, or call the Union Hall.
Contact Information: In order that we have your current and updated contact information, please, we need to get this information directly from you. American Airlines does not give us this information after you provide it to them. This includes your address, phone numbers, e mail address, and more. Please call the Union Hall to verify your contact information. 847-956-6996.
Best Wishes to you and your families for a safe and healthy Holiday Season.