September 7, 2020
To the Local 591 Membership:
According to the Department of Labor, Labor Day…is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contribution’s workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country. Airlines, and their workers, especially those in our Local, exemplify those contributions of strength, prosperity and well-being to our country.
Yet despite those continual contributions, on this Labor Day, we find ourselves in a struggle like none other, and one nobody could have predicted a year ago. This year more than ever, labor, which includes Airline Labor, has kept a nation moving that was otherwise paralyzed by Covid-19, and here we are now in a situation where our company is preparing to lay-off hundreds of our Local’s members. A number greatly reduced by the hundreds of members who have chosen to leave the company with the VEOP. I know I speak for those whose jobs are now safer, along with the entire Executive Board of Local 591 when I say thank you for preventing a potentially larger lay-off, and also thank you for your decades of dedication, service and the knowledge you have all shared over the years.
As far as those members who have received, or are going to receive, a furlough notice; we all can help them. Each of us needs to do our part to demand Congress do the right thing and pass a clean extension of the Payroll Support Program. The Payroll Support Program is part of the CARES Act passed by Congress in March that directly helped avert what likely would have been an earlier attempt at a lay-off. This is not about seeking help from one political party or the other, rather, any payroll extension should be bipartisan because everyone, despite their individual political affiliation, flies on airplanes and it is clear that inaction will lead to furloughs. All we need you to do is contact your Congressman or Senators and simply ask them to pass a clean extension of the Payroll Support Program, and for those that received a WARN notice or a furlough letter; you must be proactive. In any prior reduction in force the ability to call on Congress to help wasn’t even an option, so take advantage of this unique opportunity that those who have been in a lay-off prior were not afforded.
So how can you help yourself and/or brother or sister of our union?
- Call your Congressman: The House of Representatives switchboard to contact any Congressman is: 202-224-3121
- For a direct line, website, and address to a local Congressman’s office, click here: Find my Representative
- Call your Senators: The Senate switchboard to contact any Senator is: (202) 224-3121
- For a list of Senator’s and links to their website, direct line, and addresses to a Senator’s local office, click here: Senator's Contact Info
- Local 591 Twitter: retweet our messages to Congress here: @TWULocal591
As your elected leaders, myself and the Local 591 Executive Board has been in continual contact with all of Congress both since we assisted with the first CARES Act, and now with the need for the extension. In addition to the phone calls, zoom video calls, emails, and visits to their offices, well over 2,000 tweets have been sent by @TWULocal591, and tens of thousands of retweets so far.
Some may ask, why Twitter? Twitter is far and away the easiest, and most effective, way to get a message to Congress, and that message is there for all of the public to see. That is why we strongly encourage the retweeting of the messages being sent by your Local to Congress. Being in a Union gives us the unique ability to use our size to influence management when needed, and Congress in this instance, if we act as one and use that power. If Congress heard from the nearly 5,000 Local 591 members continually via any of the means mentioned, they would act and those facing lay-off would be able to breathe again, for at least the next six-months.
On this Labor Day, and in the days that follow, I ask that each of you take a moment to contact Congress in at least one of the many ways we can. Union action is not only about those you elect taking action, Labor is always most effective when the Membership takes united action. Helping our fellow brothers and sisters maintain their jobs goes to the heart of the labor movement, and another big reason why we are in a Union.
I wish each of you a safe and Happy Labor Day!
TWU Local 591
Labor Day 2020 Letter .pdf