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ARSA Responds to Hostile TWU Report

The Transport Workers Union (TWU) capitalized on the attention surrounding the recent incident involving a tear in a 737 fuselage to release a report entitled “Aircraft Maintenance in America: Who Is Fixing My Plane?” Although the report was simply a rehash of negative contract maintenance stories from the past decade, several media outlets (including some in markets with large repair station communities) covered the TWU report. They uniformly failed to mention that there’s another side to the story.

ARSA monitored the report’s coverage and with the cooperation of local industry leaders responded with letters to the editor and emails to reporters. ARSA’s aggressive push back against the barrage of negative coverage was made possible by resources provided to the Association’s Positive Publicity Campaign (PPC).

However, the media’s haste in republishing the TWU story without checking the facts shows we have a lot more work to do in enhancing the industry’s image, highlighting the need for the PPC.

Unions Join Forces Against Contract Maintenance

In another sign of the sustained union challenge to contract maintenance, the TWU is continuing its push for the One World Labor Council in conjunction with the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF). The council is composed of 14 unions from eight countries representing workers at eight Oneworld Alliance airlines.

At a press conference in Washington, D.C. on April 20, the Council said it would “forge new strategies and build stronger relationships for defending workers and ensuring decent jobs in a globalized industry.” As the TWU’s recent report shows, those strategies seem to involve attacking the safety record of contract MRO services.

While the OneWorld Union Coalition has been around since 1999, the international solidarity effort is a recent development. As recent news reports from Australia indicate, the threat to contract maintenance is global and isn’t going away anytime soon, reinforcing the need for sustained industry investment in ARSA’s Positive Publicity Campaign. For more information on the PPC and how you can become involved in efforts to improve your industry’s image contact ARSA Communications Manager Jason Langford.

~~~ posted 4/26/11 ~~~

UPDATE:

May 2, 2011 – Washington Examiner publishes ARSA’s letter taking issue with biased coverage of the TWU survey. View ARSA Executive Vice President Christian Klein’s letter here.



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