Today, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg met via Zoom with representatives from the TWU Air Division and other aviation unions. During the event, Secretary Buttigieg spoke about the importance of essential workers, our industry’s recovery from the coronavirus, and his priorities with the Department of Transportation.
Secretary Buttigieg took the time to hear from TWU International Vice President & Air Division Director Gary Peterson about TWU Air Division members’ priorities and concerns. Having officially taken office just about 56 hours ago, the Secretary showed that he is firmly committed to immediately getting to work with the TWU to ensure that your voice is heard in Washington and that all essential workers have a safe, stable job.
TWU Air Division
Summary of Transportation Secretary Buttigieg’s Meeting
with TWU Air Division Representatives
Mask Mandate Enforcement
- The TWU was the first union to call for a mask mandate across the transportation sector and we are encouraged that this was one of the first actions taken by the FAA under the Biden Administration.
- Going forward, the TWU would like to see the FAA and airlines flag non-compliant passengers, who would then face hefty fines for breaking the law. The TWU would also like to see mask wearing guidance from the FAA for all workers, not just in-flight workers.
Foreign Aircraft Repair Stations
- President Biden has already committed to taking action on foreign repair stations that are subject to their own safety rules. This includes drug and alcohol testing for safety sensitive workers, background checks, and facility security evaluations at all foreign repair stations.
Flight Attendant Rest
- Congress has directed the FAA to update flight attendant rest requirements to allow for at least 10 hours of rest between shifts. This is a simple change of a couple of words in the DOT’s regulations. The Trump administration needlessly started an ANPRM process to make this change, but it would be far easier and quicker if the Department of Transportation changed those regulations.
Cabin Air Quality Issues
- Airlines need to address cabin air quality issues before more of our members are exposed to harmful cabin air.
Renewing the Airline Payroll Support Program (PSP)
- As airlines continue to send our warn notices, it is critical that we continue this program beyond March 31 to ensure that airline aid goes straight to workers, not CEOs.
- Secretary Buttigieg encouraged a data-focused approach to getting all essential transportation workers vaccinated as soon as possible