TAM Board Breaks Silence with More Union-Busting

Over a month ago, during a rally outside a TAM Board of Trustees meeting, we were celebrating. The Board had just sent TAM’s Interim Executive Director outside to read a statement: There would be an emergency Board meeting where a decision on our union would finally be made. “They have heard you, and there will be action,” she said.

That was not the case. Following that emergency meeting on March 31, the Board walked right by us and our community supporters without telling us the outcome of their meeting. Had they really heard us? Had they finally acknowledged the serious equity issues at TAM? Did they realize that voluntarily recognizing our union would be one big step in fixing them?

Finally, several weeks ago, we got our answer: no.

The TAM Board’s List is their Most Blatant Act of Union Busting Yet

Several weeks ago, with guidance from their union-avoidance lawyer, the Board broke their silence and sent us a list of employees they consider to be union-eligible.

This list continues to divide workers by race, class, and gender. It does not grant union rights to workers with the greatest safety concerns–the workers who would benefit most from having a voice in their workplace. It seeks to negate everything for which we are fighting: a union for ALL eligible TAM employees.

The list is the Board’s most blatant act of union busting yet.

“Lowlights” from TAM’s List

1)    Refuses to commit to including security guards which disregards the entire reason we must ask them for an independent election, rather than hold a NLRB election.

2)    Excludes two of the three members of our Organizing Committee (union members chosen by their coworkers to represent and lead the unit) from being union eligible.

3)    Excludes the entire Development Department from being union eligible for unstated reasons.

4)    Continues to use the unnecessary and problematic “professional” and “non-professional” distinctions that divide workers by race, class and gender.

The Board says it will not oppose union recognition via an independent election. But they have refused to negotiate an independent election agreement.

The Board says it honors our “freedom to engage in collective bargaining not only as a legal obligation but as their basic human right." But their proposed union list breaks up our union and denies union rights to those who need them most.

The Board MUST Negotiate an Election Agreement

TAM’s list is bad, but the larger issue is one of process: We cannot agree to negotiate union eligibility without first beginning negotiations oning an independent election agreement. This agreement would  put a neutral third-party arbitrator in place to resolve disputes over eligibility and bind them to respecting the results of an independent election. It would make sure the process is fair.

Without good-faith negotiations on an election agreement and a mutually agreed arbitrator, we risk retaliation against workers, backtracking from our employer, and stalemate scenarios with no hope for resolution.

It’s crucial that the Board initiates negotiations on an independent election as soon as possible to protect workers and ensure a speedy process.

Press Conference Monday, May 15 @ 10am

It has been one full year since we began organizing, and we are ready to push forward. Your tireless and uplifting support has helped propel us to this point, and we are deeply grateful.

After a week of workplace actions, TAMWU will hold a national press conference Monday, May 15th at 10am (PST) to discuss these issues and more with the press. We will continue to hold our employer accountable and fight for the well-being of all TAM staff.

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