Airline shop stewards strengthen organizing and leadership skills

July was busy but rewarding for Local 856 shop stewards in the airline industry. Worksite leaders from American Airlines, Air Canada, and United Airlines gathered at the Teamsters 856 union hall in San Bruno to receive trainings on a range of topics, such as the laws surrounding their union contracts and how to resolve conflicts that arise at their workplace. Over 65 Local 856 shop stewards attended the trainings that took place on the Wednesdays of July 24th and July 31st.

“Airline stewards flying high at IBT856 headquarters!” exclaimed Eileen Attridge, Local 856 American Airlines steward, as stewards gathered for a photo. At the July 24th training, 14 stewards from American Airlines and Air Canada came together to discuss grievances and labor laws with trainings led by Attorney David Rosenfeld from Weinberg, Roger, and Rosenfeld and Local 856 Staff Attorney Susanna Farber. Stewards exchanged their different experiences to learn from one another and become stronger leaders within their respective worksites.

At the second training for United Airlines, stewards fine-tuned organizing skills, learned about conflict resolution, and the Family Medical Leave Act via trainings led by Local 856 Director of Organizing Chris Rosell and Attorneys Andrew Baker and Susan Garea from the Beeson Tayer & Bodine law firm. United Airlines SFO stewards were also able to connect and build solidarity with one another through critical discussions on what worker solidarity means amidst the growing local and national threats to workers’ rights and union power.

“Conflict resolution, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and the California Family Rights Act were excellent training topics, being that they are right at the forefront of the members’ needs,” said Maurice McDonald, Teamsters SFO United Airlines steward. He continued, “The training helped to educate stewards, giving them the ability to better serve and protect members’ rights.”

“To all Local 856 airline shop stewards, we thank you for your participation, engagement, and continued dedication to union power,” said Peter Finn, Teamsters 856 Principal Officer.