March 1, 2011 - A
five-month campaign to organize flight instructors at the
Florida Institute of Technology came to a close this week after
the instructors voted 34-7 to join the International Association
of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM).
The newest members of
District Lodge 166 say their vote was based on concerns about
pay and benefits. Despite the hours they spend at the Florida
Tech flight school, instructors are only paid when the airplane
engine is on or when working with a student. They are also
unable to receive health care benefits, sick days and vacation
until they?ve clocked in 3,000 hours of instruction, which can
reportedly take up to five years.
?Thanks to their hard
work, the Florida Tech flight instructors have an opportunity
they didn?t have before,? said District Lodge 166 Organizer
Javier Almazan, ?and that?s the opportunity and federal right to
bargain for fair wages and benefits.?
?These instructors deserve
to be fairly compensated for their commitment to their students
and aviation education,? said IAM Southern Territory General
Vice President Bob Martinez. ?On behalf of District Lodge 166
and our entire union, I would like to congratulate our new
members on their victory and welcome them to the Machinists