Union leaders express concern about airline mergers
Leaders of 32 unions comprising the Transportation Trades Department (TTD) expressed concern about a wide variety of issues including airline mergers, port security, and Mexican truck drivers, following their annual winter meeting over the weekend.
“We will move forward together to defend aviation workers in this current feeding frenzy of airline merger talks,” said Edward Wytkind, president of TTD.
TTD member unions heard from aviation union leaders about the state of merger talks between various air carriers and the possible impact on jobs and collective bargaining rights.
The group charged that the Bush administration has ignored safety and security threats posed by allowing poorly regulated and virtually un-inspected Mexican trucks to traverse American highways.
“And this may soon be the case for bus service, since NAFTA includes a provision allowing unlimited bus and truck operations between the U.S. and Mexico. The Bush administration has refused to halt the truck pilot program by arguing over the interpretation of the law Congress passed to stop it, the TTD said in a statement.
“Unfettered access to our highways by potentially unsafe Mexico-based truck and bus operators poses severe safety and security threats to Americans,” Wytkind said.
The group also complained about port security identification programs.
“Despite the fact that the federal government is enrolling thousands of maritime and longshore workers in the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program, redundant state background check programs continue to exist. The TWIC was created to be the universal credential and eliminate the need for multiple cards, multiple checks and multiple fees.
“This duplication is bureaucracy at its worst,” Wytkind said. “Ports aren’t going to be any more safe because workers are forced to hold multiple security credentials.”