When the American Airlines (AA) Passenger Service group voted in the IBT856 last year, I never imagined that a year later I would not only be a Steward of my work group but an attendee of the 2016 Summer Institute of Union Women. The opportunity to meet with other Union members was incredible and with other women was astounding. To meet like-minded women who were united in both union issues and women issues was a life changing experience.
IBT856 was represented by five awesome women who are now my friends, hopefully for life. We still message each other every few days. We each signed up for difference seminars and classes. AA’s contract will be up in four years and I want to be involved so I signed up for two Collective Bargaining Classes as well as a Social Media class and learned so much! I am looking forward to more seminars that the IBT will be offering in the near future!
Another enlightening experience was picketing El Super a few days into the conference. To see what over 100 women can do to help others who were being treated poorly by management was eye opening and important to be a part of. How incredible was it that two weeks later that same El Super was closed due to Health Violations!
I understand that I can’t go every year – but I would love to!!! What an incredible learning and empowering experience! I came back knowing my place in the IBT, my position within AA and the importance of unity within my work group. I am hoping that I can encourage my coworkers to not only wear their Union Pins with our new uniforms, but to understand what it means to be a part of the IBT.
Thank you for letting me attend the 2016 SIUW. I can certainly say it was an important step to take as a Steward and as a responsible coworker.
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