By The Rev. Felipe N. Martinez
God has told you, O mortal, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8
When injustice is evident in our community, the Church is called to stand with those who are wronged, to support them, and to advocate for justice. Last week, the Church stood in solidarity with the mechanics of Republic Airways, who face hostile labor conditions created by management's decisions that trivialize and undermine its employees.
Representing a Monitoring Committee formed by IWJ, the Rev. Darren Cushman-Wood and I, marched together with dozens of Republic Airways pilots, flight attendants and mechanics to the corporate headquarters in Indianapolis. Our goal was to speak in person with Republic Airways CEO Mr. Bryan Bedford and express the committee’s desire to seek a mutually beneficial settlement to the mechanic’s plight.
The Monitoring Committee attempted several times to schedule a meeting with Mr. Bedford. The committee also wrote to Mr. Bedford, appealing to his professed faith, asking for a meeting with the committee to present the improvements mechanics were seeking. Regrettably, Mr. Bedford has declined to meet with the Monitoring Committee. On August 30, 2012, the Republic Airways reception staff told the Rev. Cushman-Wood and me that Mr. Bedford was not present in the office. We left the report written by the Monitoring Committee detailing our findings and our suggestions on how to find mutually beneficial solutions to the problems identified by the Republic Airways mechanics.
The Monitoring Committee and area churches in Indianapolis will continue to pray that all the Republic Airways employees, especially its mechanics, will be able to bring an end to the unjust treatment they endure. The committee continues to pray that the mechanics’ efforts to organize will continue, even in the face of the illegal scare tactics and calloused manipulation by management. The committee will continue to meet and advocate for a mutually beneficial resolution between Republic Airways management and mechanics, which we pray will yield a fair contract which honors the mechanics hard work, skills and professionalism.
Join people of faith from Indianapolis, Indiana and the Midwest and pray for workers at Republic Airways. IWJ cannot advocate for workers without supporters like you! In a special way this month, honor the Republic Airways workers, and consider a gift to IWJ.
The Rev. Felipe N. Martinez is a member of Whitewater Valley Presbytery is Indianapolis where he serves as an Associate Executive Presbyter. Felipe is a member of the IWJ Monitoring Committee that advocates on behalf of mechanics at Republic Airways.