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Airline Workers Protest for New Union Contract at MIA

The Transport Workers Union is making a lot of noise at Miami International Airport Thursday, trying to get attention over what they claim are bad contract negotiations by American Airlines.

Union members argue the airline is outsourcing jobs of ramp workers and maintenance employees, and turning to foreign labor to fill those positions.

Employees say the safety and security of travelers is at the heart of their protest, claiming the airline must keep highly-trained, highly skilled workers to prevent problems in the skies.

The union says it has been trying to negotiate a contract with American Airlines for the last two years, they say the airline keeps coming back to the table with a raw deal.

"For our maintenance brothers and sisters they want to outsource the maintenance portion of their jobs and have foreign countries, foreign workers actually maintain the aircraft. They want to lower the standards we have in our medical benefits and our pension benefits which is always our quality of life," said Sidney Jimenez, President of the TWU.

American Airlines responded with a statement saying, “In mid-July the company presented the TWU-IAM Association with a proposal that covers all remaining open items of the collective bargaining agreement. It proposes providing our team members with the highest pay rates in the industry, and keeping more maintenance and fleet service work in-house than any of our major competitors. Offering a comprehensive proposal is usually one of the last steps in the negotiating process, so we are hopeful the Association will respond to our proposal soon.”

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