Qantas Airways Aircraft Maintenance Engineers in Los Angeles Vote to Join IAM Union


Approximately 150 Qantas Airways aircraft maintenance engineers (AMEs) at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) have overwhelmingly voted to join the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM).

Qantas AMEs contacted the IAM in late 2023 to explore the idea of forming a union and then filed in January 2024 for a National Mediation Board (NMB) election. The NMB election vote count took place today, Wednesday, April 3.

“I am grateful to be able to bring respect and honor to those fellow mechanics who have honored and respected an old dog trying to learn new tricks,” said Edward Berg, a Qantas AME and lead inside organizer. “This career and field are new to me, and I’m humbled and proud to be working alongside those who care about their craft. In the upcoming negotiations, I hope management will see the majority of those mechanics who care about their responsibilities and do right by them.”

The AMEs believe that Qantas management should treat them better and decided collectively that forming a union with the IAM and negotiating a legally binding contract would be the best way to ensure that they are recognized appropriately for the value they create for Australia’s largest airline.

“As the largest and most powerful airline union in North America, the IAM is honored to welcome Qantas Airways aircraft maintenance engineers into the IAM family,” said IAM Air Transport Territory General Vice President Richie Johnsen. “These brave workers stood strong during their organizing campaign, and now we will continue to stand alongside them for a strong first contract with Qantas management.”

The IAM represents thousands of aircraft mechanics and related workers at major and regional airlines across the United States, such as American Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, British Airways, PSA Airlines, and Air Wisconsin Airlines.

“The IAM Air Transport Territory will continue to provide every resource necessary to Qantas Airways workers in their mission toward justice on the job,” said IAM Air Transport Territory Chief of Staff Edison Fraser. “We couldn’t be more proud of this great victory for Qantas Airways workers and their families.”

The IAM has approximately 600,000 active and retired members in countless industries and is the largest airline union in North America.

“It’s been a privilege to get the know these dedicated professionals at Qantas Airways,” said IAM Air Transport Territory Grand Lodge Representative Sean Ryan, who served as lead organizer on the campaign. “As a fellow aircraft mechanic and proud IAM member, I can’t wait to help bring the benefits of a strong IAM contract to Qantas aircraft maintenance engineers.”

“IAM District 142 is excited to represent Qantas Airways aircraft maintenance engineers, and we look forward to getting to the bargaining table alongside them,” said IAM District 142 President and Directing General Chair John M. Coveny Jr. “Our strength for airline workers is only growing, and together our voices are transforming this industry for the benefit of its workers and the flying public.”

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