Massive Mobilization Of Aviation Labor Organizations Announced


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Massive Mobilization Of Aviation Labor Organizations

By Eddy Metcalf

July 30, 2010 – Three transportation organizations announced the creation of a large aviation labor alliance to combine and coordinate lobbying efforts on airline safety and security. 

Unions agree to coordinate aggressive lobbying program on legislative priorities including tightening aircraft maintenance standards, increased pilot training, and protecting workers during airline bankruptcies. 

The American Aviation Labor Alliance (AALA) is a formal partnership of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT), the Transport Workers Union (TWU) and the Coalition of Airline Pilots Association (CAPA), which represent more than 140,000 aviation workers.


“We are leading the fight that workers care about in the airline industry,” said Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa. “As the American Aviation Labor Alliance, we will speak on the most pressing aviation issues facing our membership and the public with one strong voice.” 

“The airline industry is under intense financial and competitive pressure and as a result, we believe that security and safety standards are being weakened, said TWU President James C. Little. “Combining our lobbying efforts will allow us to push for legislation that will insure both diligence and vigilance.” 

“The 28,000 pilots of CAPA want to work with all labor organizations to enhance safety and improve the working conditions of airline employees across our industry,” said CAPA President Paul Onorato. “CAPA wants to help provide a flight plan for a successful commercial aviation industry in this country.” 

The first task for the AALA will be passage of the FAA Reauthorization bill that Congress is expected to finish during the current session. This comprehensive aviation bill deals with a range of issues related to the FAA, including security and safety requirements for overseas repair bases, and rules related to pilot training. In addition to the FAA Reauthorization Bill, bankruptcy reform will be a major focus.


The new alliance is significant because the unions are affiliated with different labor federations or are independent, and they are joining forces to influence labor issues that affect their members and the airline industry as a whole. The AALA will continue to build alliances with other labor organizations in the future. 

The Coalition of Airline Pilots Association is a trade association representing over 28,000 professional pilots. CAPA's purpose is to address safety, security, legislative and regulatory issues affecting the professional flight deck crew member on matters of common interest to the individual member unions. CAPA-affiliated unions represent pilots at American Airlines, US Airways, Southwest Airlines UPS, ABX Air, Atlas Air, Polar Air Cargo, Kalitta Air, Southern Air, and Horizon Air.  

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents more than 1.4 million hardworking men and women in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, including more than 64,000 workers in the airline industry, including Atlas Air pilots, Continental ramp workers, United Airlines mechanics, and more. The Teamsters Union is affiliated with the Change to Win coalition.  

Transport Workers Union of America represents 200,000 workers and retirees, primarily in commercial aviation, public transportation and passenger railroads, including the majority of ground workers at American Airlines, American Eagle and Southwest Airlines and dispatchers at most major carriers. The union is an affiliate of the AFL-CIO.


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