When I first became active in this local there was a passion that spilled down from the international to fight for our members rights. At the time I was getting my private pilot license and had decided that my next job move would be to the cockpit or dispatch. Being a newly elected shop steward and engaging in daily battles with management, I decided to put my pilot license on hold and start taking classes at the National Labor college and Cornell University. After two internships with the International I was hired as a Researcher and felt this union was strong and thought that everyone was working together to do what was best for the membership. We rallied against union busting firms, organized mistreated workers and did contract comparisons for negotiations. We also had ground breaking support for our youth committee.
However, I saw a change in 2013. I saw a President take over that was more corporate-minded than union-minded. I saw him yell at people in the office for not picking him up at the train station, belittle the office staff, and deny FMLA for maternity leave in violation of Washington, DC law. A dark cloud started to grow over my faith and love for TWU when others from the top 5 and the chief of staff started acting in the same way as the president. I saw important departments such as Organizing, Safety and Health, and Research be put on the back burner or diminished in favor of other self-serving acts. The lack of support for women including pregnant women appall me. I became so disgusted with the way our union was being run that I could not take it anymore. I brought my concerns to Alex Garcia and he told me I would not see any progression because the current officers will never support a youth or mentorship program as they fear the youth would become their replacements. My complaints fell on deaf ears.
After years of putting my heart and soul into the union, including six years total at the intentional level, I decided to fight for my union in another way. One of the many great things about being union is that you can run for a leadership position if you do not like the way the union is being run. I ran for a board position at my local in 2016 and won against the incumbent and six other candidates. I will continue to fight for the members and the union I love, and extend my fight to support all unions and members that TWU represents. I will bring organizing back, mobilize our youth through mentorships, and promote actions and committees. I will treat all members with respect and honor local autonomy. I will fight alongside my brothers and sisters to ensure fair treatment; this is what the union was formed on through legislation, work action and unity. Silence is Compliance and I refuse to stay silent! That is why I am running for Executive Vice President of the International. I want to bring the union back to the members. We are the ones that run this union.
TWU Local 555