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Arbitration Panel Creates Single Seniority List for All AA Pilots

A final ruling by an arbitration panel will open the door to integrating American Airlines’ 15,000 pilots into a single seniority list.

A binding decision by The Seniority List Integration (SLI) arbitration panel put in place to resolve seniority issues stemming from the merger of US Airways and American Airlines has announced a final decision on how the new airline’s 15,000 pilots will be integrated into a single seniority list. The 300-page integrated seniority list (ISL) is expected to be the final word on how pilots will be ranked within the new American Airlines.

Before the panel could rule on how to merge seniority lists for American Airlines and US Airways pilots, committee members first had to settle lingering seniority disputes from the 2005 merger of America West Airlines and US Airways. The SLI panel largely ignored a controversial 2008 decision on how seniority would be determined following the earlier merger, setting brand new rules.

“As the collective bargaining agent for all pilots flying for the new American Airlines, APA has been committed to a list integration process that results in a fair and equitable outcome consistent with existing law and applicable agreements,” the Allied Pilots Association (APA) said in a statement to its members. “APA was not a party in the SLI proceeding and has remained neutral throughout the process. Now that the ISL has been issued, APA will be closely working with the Company on its implementation.”

American Airlines said that the company likewise remained on the sidelines and left it to the panel to determine the most equitable course forward. “While the company was neutral on how the list shook out and did not advocate for any particular outcome, this is a very important, very sensitive issue that affects every one of us as pilots,” American Airlines VP of Flight Kimball Stone told the Dallas Morning News. “The most important factor in the implementation of the combined seniority list is that it will enable our pilots to move throughout the system to new domiciles and equipment through the regular vacancy bidding process.”

[Photo: Tim Boyle/Newsmakers]

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