Pilots union: Halt US/america west integration

 

Old Feb 28, 07, 5:49 pm
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Pilots union: Halt US/america west integration

Feb 28, 2007 18:22 ET RSS

Air Line Pilots Association Files Lawsuit Against US Airways

Complaint Charges that US Airways Illegally Integrating America West Operations

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The US Airways and America West units of the Air Line Pilots Association, Intl. (ALPA) today filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Philadelphia demanding that US Airways [NYSE: LCC] halt plans that attempt to illegally merge the airlines until a single contract is reached between both pilot groups, as is required under the Railway Labor Act and an agreement reached by the parties in September 2005.

US Airways plans this weekend to eliminate America West's HP designator code from reservation systems, which means that all flights will be listed as a US Airways flight. The code elimination is in violation of the Transition Agreement negotiated with the two pilot groups that promised that the two airlines would remain separated until a single pilot collective bargaining agreement is reached.

The parties have been negotiating for a year and a half, but US Airways management is continuing to pass bankruptcy-era proposals that ignore the investment that the pilots made in order to keep their airline viable after 9/11. Until a single agreement is reached, the Company must operate both airlines separately. Instead, management apparently is trying to reap the benefits of the merger without fulfilling their promise to first get a single, fair pilot contract.

ALPA contends that US Airways is violating their obligation to negotiate a single agreement and asks that the status quo be maintained until then.

"US Airways wants desperately for our pilots to look like, dress like, and act like they work for a merged airline. However, the only road to a real merged airline is through a single contract," said US Airways Master Executive Council Chairman Captain Jack Stephan. "Our pilot group will not tolerate management attaining synergies they haven't paid for or negotiated. Like our passengers, we are frustrated dealing with management's empty promises and their reluctance to properly merge our airline."

"US Airways continues to drag the merger process on and on, to the detriment of our passengers and our employees," said America West Master Executive Council Chairman Captain John McIlvenna. "Instead of focusing on productive negotiations, management is trying to grab operational efficiencies they can't legally have. Until the America West and US Airways pilots have a fair, single contract, we are far from being one airline."

Founded in 1931, ALPA represents 60,000 pilots at 39 airlines in the U.S. and Canada. Visit the ALPA website at http://www.alpa.org/.
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Old Feb 28, 07, 6:07 pm
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There's nothing like leaving it to the last minute, is there? Which, I suppose, is the point.
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Old Feb 28, 07, 6:34 pm
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Originally Posted by Jenniferpa View Post
There's nothing like leaving it to the last minute, is there? Which, I suppose, is the point.
I'm not sure what fuss is about. Legally they will still be on two certificates, and the West-operated flights will still bear the "operated by" sub-heading.
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Old Feb 28, 07, 6:46 pm
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Originally Posted by martin33 View Post
I'm not sure what fuss is about. Legally they will still be on two certificates, and the West-operated flights will still bear the "operated by" sub-heading.
The whole point is that US and HP will operate under one certificate, not two separate ones...
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Old Feb 28, 07, 6:47 pm
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That, I would imagine, would be US AIrways position. The pilot's union obviously feel this will be a merged airline in everything but name.
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Old Feb 28, 07, 7:02 pm
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The point is that:
1. The migration of systems is (was?) to take place this weekend.
2. They will soon be operating under one certificate under the name of US Airways.
3. But the pilots of US and HP do not have a single contract.

Last edited by me4yankees; Mar 1, 07 at 5:37 pm Reason: For clarity since I have been misunderstood!
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Old Feb 28, 07, 7:10 pm
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But if I'm reading the quoted article properly, the pilot's unions don't want the Sabre->Shares migration to happen, ostensibly because it violates their contract.

I can understand how a merged operating certificate would, but I don't see the big deal (for the pilots anyway) in the Sabre->Shares conversion.

They mention, "Like our passengers, we are frustrated dealing with management's empty promises and their reluctance to properly merge our airline." Well as a frustrated passenger, nothing would make me happier than a merged reservations system. I am not fond of the idea of this being delayed any further because of a last-minute lawsuit by the ALPA.

Did I mis-read the article?
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Old Feb 28, 07, 7:12 pm
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Originally Posted by martin33 View Post
I'm not sure what fuss is about. Legally they will still be on two certificates, and the West-operated flights will still bear the "operated by" sub-heading.
I suppose they are going to rely upon language in their transition agreement with the company, or some part of the contract dealing with codesharing.

I don't blame them. Forcing Tempe to sit down and negotiate merged contracts is a good thing. Taking a play from the Jerry Glass playbook (thanks, Bob) and smacking it right back at management. It is utilizing legal leverage. Sort of like US did in two bankruptcies (and continues to try to do with the unionized groups, pilots and otherwise).
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Old Feb 28, 07, 7:22 pm
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GREAT billboard on my way to Terminal E in PHL (NW) flights this week! The pilots spent quite a few bucks on that along I95!!!

Forget what it said..but something to this effect.
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Old Feb 28, 07, 7:32 pm
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Originally Posted by vysean View Post
But if I'm reading the quoted article properly, the pilot's unions don't want the Sabre->Shares migration to happen, ostensibly because it violates their contract.

I can understand how a merged operating certificate would, but I don't see the big deal (for the pilots anyway) in the Sabre->Shares conversion.

They mention, "Like our passengers, we are frustrated dealing with management's empty promises and their reluctance to properly merge our airline." Well as a frustrated passenger, nothing would make me happier than a merged reservations system. I am not fond of the idea of this being delayed any further because of a last-minute lawsuit by the ALPA.

Did I mis-read the article?
Not unsurprisingly, they feel the US AIrways has a lot invested in this plan of action, and in order to let it go forward in a timely manner, they're using it as a lever to get US to do what it promised to do: negotiate.
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Old Feb 28, 07, 9:30 pm
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Originally Posted by Jenniferpa View Post
Not unsurprisingly, they feel the US AIrways has a lot invested in this plan of action, and in order to let it go forward in a timely manner, they're using it as a lever to get US to do what it promised to do: negotiate.
Thanks for the clarification, Mrs. Jenniferpa

Anyone care to wager as to the likelihood of this lawsuit going through and the Sabre conversion being put on hold?

We're only talking what, two days here?
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Old Feb 28, 07, 10:00 pm
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I have a great deal of sympathy for the pilots, no matter whether it screws up my travel plans, except for the phrase "attaining synergies" for which, frankly, the spokesman should be shot.

Other news reports indicate that the airline and the pilots are meeting on Thursday (actually today) so I assume this is designed as a warning. Ah, the joys of labor negotiations. I don't know how inclined the court would be to grant an injuction in the event that the talks break down.

Last edited by Jenniferpa; Feb 28, 07 at 10:10 pm
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Old Mar 1, 07, 7:10 am
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Can someone - anyone - present a clear, logical reason why the pilots should care? What difference does it make to them whether flights are listed in the GDS under one code or two? Are they really going to the mat over the uniforms they wear?

I don't see anything here that changes the way they work or get paid. Sounds more like the union trying depserately to stay relevant in the face of management rendering them increasingly ineffective.
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Old Mar 1, 07, 11:28 am
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Originally Posted by ClueByFour View Post
I suppose they are going to rely upon language in their transition agreement with the company, or some part of the contract dealing with codesharing.

I don't blame them. Forcing Tempe to sit down and negotiate merged contracts is a good thing. Taking a play from the Jerry Glass playbook (thanks, Bob) and smacking it right back at management. It is utilizing legal leverage. Sort of like US did in two bankruptcies (and continues to try to do with the unionized groups, pilots and otherwise).
A good thing? For those of us who actually use the airline it's certainly not a good thing.

Edit: If you edit your post you get the correct text back. Thanks for the heads up Jenniferpa

Last edited by murphy; Mar 1, 07 at 11:38 am Reason: FT is acting all crazy-like
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Old Mar 1, 07, 11:31 am
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Originally Posted by murphy View Post
A good thing? For those of us who actually use the airline it's certainly not a good thing.
There is something screwy going on with this website: I keep getting posts from other threads (not necessarily my own)

For example I do a quote and get the above, but the post actually says
"Phone numbers (and their associated systems) are a limited resource. CO's changing the phone number yearly is a way to cut down on the number of non-elites calling the elite phone number. Yes, the non-elites will be sorted out when the onepass number is prompted for, but if the non-elites don't even know the new number they cannot get that far, and thus cannot use a resource they're not supposed to use."

which I'm sure wasn't posted to this thread.
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