October 02, 2008
On Monday, September 29, the Delta and Northwest Merger Committees provided their respective Pre-Hearing Statements to the three-member SLI (Seniority List Integration) Arbitration Panel in accordance with the “Ground Rules” established for the SLI Hearings. The Arbitration Panel’s task will be the creation of a fair and equitable integration of the Delta and Northwest pilot seniority lists consistent with ALPA Merger Policy.
SLI Arbitration Hearings Begin
The Delta MEC Merger Committee provided the Panel with a comprehensive Pre-Hearing Statement in which they laid out their intent to present an argument for an integrated list based on “ratioed status and category” with certain “conditions and restrictions,” commonly referred to as “fences.”
During this first phase of hearings, the Delta MEC Merger Committee’s direct case will expand upon the points made in the Pre-Hearing Statement, and they will submit to the Panel a comprehensive proposed integration methodology that will meet ALPA Merger Policy’s “fair and equitable” standard.
The Northwest Merger Representatives provided the Panel with their Pre-Hearing Statement in which they proposed that the two lists should be integrated by “date of hire,” subject to certain conditions and restrictions.
To provide you with a convenient method to follow the progress of the SLI hearings, the Delta MEC website now includes a separate webpage dedicated to Seniority List Integration. You may access the SLI webpage by clicking on the appropriate icon (shown to the right).
The SLI webpage has been populated with the SLI Process Agreement, past MEC Updates related to the SLI process, and the Pre-Hearing Statements of both parties. A court reporter will be present during each hearing day and will provide the Arbitration Panel and both parties with official transcripts of the hearings. These transcripts will be posted on the SLI webpage of the Delta MEC website as soon as practicable after receipt of the transcripts in order to provide you with an accurate and unbiased record of the hearings.* We strongly urge pilots who want to follow the hearings to carefully read the transcripts rather than rely on reports from others.
Throughout the months leading up these hearings, the Delta MEC has been consistent in its belief that the best integrated seniority list is a negotiated list, and a negotiated seniority list is still achievable prior to the award of an arbitrated list. Despite the inability to yet reach a negotiated agreement, your MEC will not be deterred from continuing to pursue a fair and equitable resolution (as described in our Pre-Hearing Statement) through arbitration – one that we believe will approximate a fairly-bargained settlement and that will generate solidarity and unity within the 12,000+ strong combined pilot group.
As a reminder, the schedule for the SLI Arbitration Hearings is reproduced below. The hearings will be open except to members of the news media. Admittance to non-reserved seating will be on a space available basis with equal access for attendees from both the Delta and Northwest pilot groups. Appropriate dress is business casual or pilot uniform.