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Did anyone else catch this juicy tidbit from the APA about the USAir Merge?

General Lee

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This all via Guppiedriver from another thread:

Allied Pilots Association president Keith Wilson advised pilots Wednesday not to get too worked up yet about the issue of combining the seniority lists of US Airways and American Airlines after the proposed merger.
The reason: It’ll probably be a long time before the two sides get to that point.
“First off, take a deep breath, because the process of accomplishing the merger, achieving a joint collective bargaining agreement (JCBA), and achieving an integrated seniority list will be a long one,” Wilson told them in a hotline message. “We are probably at least 24 to 30 months away from resolving the issue of a combined seniority list.”
APA represents American Airlines pilots. The US Airline Pilots Association represents US Airways pilots.
Keep reading for Wilson’s discussion of the process and the history of seniority list integrations.
Seniority integration
I know that many of you are concerned about both the near- and long-term impact of a merger on your seniority and future career prospects. You are right to take this issue seriously. Seniority is the lifeblood of our profession, and that number on your HI-1 dictates everything from compensation to quality of life.
Rest assured that this is not something that your APA leadership took lightly when pursuing a merger with US Airways. With that in mind, I would like to make clear to you that despite what you may have heard on the line or read on C&R, this transaction provides an opportunity to make our profession here at American much more secure than the independent plan previously espoused by the current AA management team.
First off, take a deep breath, because the process of accomplishing the merger, achieving a joint collective bargaining agreement (JCBA), and achieving an integrated seniority list will be a long one. We are probably at least 24 to 30 months away from resolving the issue of a combined seniority list. Until that date, the memorandum of understanding (MOU) provides initial flying protections until fence provisions are established as part of the seniority list integration process. These MOU provisions include the following language:
– All existing AA aircraft, including orders and options, will be flown by current APA pilots.
– All existing US Airways aircraft, including orders and options, will be flown by — current USAPA pilots.
– US Airways pilots will fly the first thirty E-190 aircraft and starting with the 31st E-190 delivery, APA will receive two E-190 aircraft for every additional E-190 above thirty flown by US Airways pilots.
– BOS-LGA-DCA shuttle operations will be flown by current USAPA pilots, along with existing PHX-Hawaii flying.
– All trans-Pacific (Asia) flying will be performed by current APA pilots.
– Minimum block hour floors are established at both airlines to prevent the new company from drawing down either operation at the expense of the other.
– If either US Airways or American is hiring, furloughed pilots on either side may volunteer to fly for the other operation. Furlough protection will be provided to all pilots at both operations, who are senior to the most junior active pilot on the “effective date.”
Under the MOU, which will now become a merger transition agreement (MTA), we have built a foundation for a new JCBA. JCBA negotiations will begin after AMR’s plan of reorganization is approved and shortly after the corporation exits bankruptcy. The seniority integration process will begin at roughly the same time but, as outlined in the MOU/MTA, the seniority integration is intended to be finished after the JCBA is concluded, but no later than two years after exit from bankruptcy. Although we all would like to see a negotiated single seniority list rather than an arbitrated one, past pilot history has shown us that this is not very likely even in the best of circumstances. Because seniority is so important and so vigorously defended, in most cases it’s often simply a “bridge too far” to expect separate pilot groups to put aside their differing interests and accomplish an integrated list without a neutral arbitrator. In this case, it is unusually complicated when you consider the longstanding divisions and current litigation between “East” and “West” at US Airways, and the effect that this may have on the process. Accordingly, while the APA leadership looks forward to negotiations, we are planning on the assumption that the seniority lists may ultimately be integrated through arbitration under the McCaskill-Bond guidelines.

Many of you are concerned that, considering history, the outcome will be a “date-of-hire” seniority list that harms your career expectations. You can be sure that your leadership will determine the position that will best reflect the American Airlines pilots’ interests, and in that regard, a three-person arbitration panel should help to ensure a fair and balanced outcome. The APA Board of Directors has appointed a Seniority Integration Committee, supported by experienced counsel, and it is ready to carefully analyze the impact of the possible seniority integration methods in the specific circumstances of this case, including date-of-hire, length of service and ratio or other methods. Your APA Board of Directors will direct the Seniority Integration Committee to develop positions that best reflect our interests and career expectations.


Bear in mind that date-of-hire is not the only way to integrate seniority lists, and in recent years has not even been a common method. The last arbitrated date-of-hire integrated seniority list arose out of the 1986 Northwest/Republic merger. In that case, the arbitrator found that the date-of-hire list could be fair and equitable only with 20-year fences between the two pilot groups. The result was 20 years of arbitrated disputes over what the award meant and how it applied. It was, therefore, generally considered to have been an operational disaster. Since the Northwest/Republic arbitration, the paradigm has shifted in favor of integrated lists based on ratios reflecting the number of jobs and other equities “brought to the merger” by each group, with fences applied for as long as necessary to keep the operation fair until the integrated list can operate fairly by itself. Career expectations at each carrier along with fleet disposition and future delivery schedules are among the important factors in constructing such a list.

While each merger and subsequent seniority integration is unique in its own way, the recent integrations at Delta/Northwest and soon-to-be United/Continental illustrate this decision-making methodology.


By now you should also understand that those things that make a merger with US Airways especially compelling from a business perspective (including strong, viable hubs and the near-complete lack of route overlap between the two route networks) also make this merger more attractive from a pilot’s perspective.
Again, we are at the beginning of a long process. While there will undoubtedly be some bumps in the road in the operational integration of the two airlines — and there will no doubt be disagreements between pilot groups and between pilots and management — those who are forecasting an “Armageddon” scenario are ignoring the success stories in recent merger history and/or have another agenda in mind. Under new management, the new American Airlines has the opportunity to change the broken culture that we have suffered under and compete on a level playing field with Delta and United. And that means a secure future for all pilots.




Wow. Looks like a 3 member arbitration panel will have to finish the AA/US SLI within 2 years from BK exit. So, the East/West stuff will have to be finished prior to that, and we all know a binding award is just that, BINDING. Oh, this is gonna get good. The Easties are surrounded, by F-AWA pilots and their NIC award, and the APA which has the clear majority of pilots. Interesting times ahead.

Also, I didn't know AA would get E190s after 30 flown by USAir? So the APA gets to fly E190s too? I thought they had A319/20/21 orders and some 738s too, besides some 773s. Hmmmmm.


Bye Bye---General Lee
 
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johnsonrod

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Yikes - sounds like an integration war brewing... Those APA pilots sure are COCKY!

I am sure a bunch of former TWA and Reno Air pilots will have flashbacks after reading it... :eek:
 

General Lee

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Yikes - sounds like an integration war brewing... Those APA pilots sure are COCKY!

I am sure a bunch of former TWA and Reno Air pilots will have flashbacks after reading it... :eek:

What? Cocky? They are protecting their group's interests, but willing to go the 3 panel arbitration route. Let's see if all sides abide this time. No crossing fingers! All eyes on USAPA!


Bye Bye---General Lee
 

Heavy Set

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Very interesting. The APA pilots quoted sound confident, but they are not dealing with "rational" pilots on the other side of the table. The US East pilots are irrational with their demands and they have proven they can't be expected to abide by legally-binding terms if they don't like them.

My hope is that the America West pilots get the Nic Award advanced prior to any agreement with APA (as a condition to any agreement) since their career expectations/earnings have been curtailed big time since the merger. It is payback time. The East pilots will say this is an old issue, but it still holds regardless of what the East pilots say. I would expect the Am West pilots to hire attorneys to ensure that any negotiated integration enforces their legally-binding agreement as part of the deal.
 

Dan Roman

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Very interesting. The APA pilots quoted sound confident, but they are not dealing with "rational" pilots on the other side of the table. The US East pilots are irrational with their demands and they have proven they can't be expected to abide by legally-binding terms if they don't like them.

My hope is that the America West pilots get the Nic Award advanced prior to any agreement with APA (as a condition to any agreement) since their career expectations/earnings have been curtailed big time since the merger. It is payback time. The East pilots will say this is an old issue, but it still holds regardless of what the East pilots say. I would expect the Am West pilots to hire attorneys to ensure that any negotiated integration enforces their legally-binding agreement as part of the deal.

USAPA was formed because they were able to have a majority of the pilots vote to not accept the legally binding arbitration. The east had a majority. In this case, AA has the majority and so they should sound confident.
 
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What? Cocky? They are protecting their group's interests, but willing to go the 3 panel arbitration route. Let's see if all sides abide this time. No crossing fingers! All eyes on USAPA!


Bye Bye---General Lee

I'm guessing there's some sarcasm in Johnson's post. Like all of it.

Now, if not...then what GL said.
 

Bringupthebird

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APA will file for single carrier and it's lights out for USAPA. Put the Tauruses up on Craigslist. They won't get a chance to negotiate DOH, and it won't need to go to arbitration. APA will pass whatever it wants overwhelmingly.

USAPA=Irrelevant
 

sean67

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APA will file for single carrier and it's lights out for USAPA. Put the Tauruses up on Craigslist. They won't get a chance to negotiate DOH, and it won't need to go to arbitration. APA will pass whatever it wants overwhelmingly.

USAPA=Irrelevant


I'm an east guy hired in 99....not too much in the east -west crap fight...my hope is for ALL of us that fly for the New American Airlines will compete well with DAL and UAL and have great growth potential and an awesome career..And, that ALL of our pilots benefit. Now, General...please tell me that you don't have a wife and kids at home. You really are sick, dude... step away from FI and get a life!
 

General Lee

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I'm an east guy hired in 99....not too much in the east -west crap fight...my hope is for ALL of us that fly for the New American Airlines will compete well with DAL and UAL and have great growth potential and an awesome career..And, that ALL of our pilots benefit. Now, General...please tell me that you don't have a wife and kids at home. You really are sick, dude... step away from FI and get a life!

So, you don't want me to give an opinion? I have a great personal life, but I also enjoy this forum. Quit deflecting the topic. Your group will benefit after you abide by your binding award your group and management agreed to prior, along with the arbitrator you agreed to. Settle up with any integrity your group has left, and most people might take you seriously, instead of the joke you have become.

And I won't step away from something I enjoy, only guys like you want me to so I won't bring up painful subjects you are trying to hide. Fix this, and I'll move on to the next controversial subject.


Bye Bye---General Lee
 

Guppiedriver

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APA will file for single carrier and it's lights out for USAPA. Put the Tauruses up on Craigslist. They won't get a chance to negotiate DOH, and it won't need to go to arbitration. APA will pass whatever it wants overwhelmingly.

USAPA=Irrelevant

Eventually, it will be lights out for USAPA. The rest of your post is pure nonsense.
 
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General Lee

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Oh yeah!!

US Airways West Pilots: We Won't Back Down on Seniority
by: Ted Reed
02/26/13

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (TheStreet) -- Despite widespread hopes that a merger with American would bring closure to a pilot seniority dispute at US Airways, it's not that simple.

A controversial 2007 seniority ruling by arbitrator George Nicolau followed the 2005 merger between US Airways and America West. The ruling, which resulted from binding arbitration, led to a bitter separation among pilots from the two airlines.

This month's American/US Airways merger will lead to another round of pilot seniority integration, this time under guidelines established by the McCaskill-Bond Amendment. The 2007 congressional legislation requires unions to resolve seniority disputes through negotiations and, if that doesn't work, through binding arbitration. Leaders of the Allied Pilots Association and the U.S. Airline Pilots Association seem hopeful that the process will go smoothly and resolve the simmering dispute at US Airways.

But another round of binding arbitration, if it is not based on the Nicolau list, isn't acceptable to former America West pilots. Their attorney said they will go to court if the ruling isn't part of the merged airlines' seniority list.

"We expect the parties to abide by the Nicolau list, which is the arbitrated joint seniority list accepted by the company in 2007," said Mark Burman, spokesman for Leonidas, a group of pilots who have supported the continuing court battle to have the ruling implemented.

On Feb. 7, US Airways pilots overwhelmingly approved a memorandum of understanding, setting temporary contract terms that would be implemented in the event of a merger. In a Feb. 18 letter to the labor attorneys for US Airways, Leonidas attorney Marty Harper referred to a 2010 finding by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that the west pilots' claims regarding Nicolau implementation would be "ripe," or ready for a court's consideration, once a contract was signed.

"The time has come with ratification of the MOU and approval of the merger," Harper wrote.

Harper said west pilots have until early August to seek relief in their duty of fair representation case against USAPA. "They will do so, " seeking a temporary restraining order, if pilots have not agreed prior to that date to implement the Nicolau award, he said.

USAPA President Gary Hummel has said the west pilots are trying to delay the merger. But Harper wrote that "the west pilots supported this merger from the start, have no interest in delaying it now. (But) the west pilots must do whatever is needed to defend the Nicolau award."

In a Feb. 21 letter to USAPA members, Hummel declared the union continues to oppose the Nicolau ruling.

"This merger provides substantial and life changing benefits to all USAPA pilots, including those based in Phoenix," Hummel wrote. "USAPA will aggressively oppose any efforts to slow down or stop the merger process and will be equally vigilant in adhering to our constitutionally mandated principles that reject the Nicolau Award in its entirety."

In his letter, Hummel said USAPA has asked the Ninth Circuit for an expedited ruling on a pending appeal filed by US Airways. The airline, joined by west pilots, appealed an October ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Roslyn Silver in its case seeking clarification of the necessity to adapt the Nicolau list. In her ruling, Silver said USAPA's seniority proposal could be acceptable "provided it is supported by a legitimate union purpose."

USAPA wants an expedited ruling because "We want there to be no uncertainty about whether USAPA can pursue a different seniority proposal," Hummel said.

Follow @tedre

-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C




Bye Bye---General Lee
 

igneousy2

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Yikes - sounds like an integration war brewing... Those APA pilots sure are COCKY!

I am sure a bunch of former TWA and Reno Air pilots will have flashbacks after reading it... :eek:

Yes they are...but I don't agree that this letter is an example of it. I actually thought it was a pretty well written.
 

waveflyer

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"Constitutionaliy mandated..." Doesn't quite have the same effect when it was written AFTER the arbitration award
 

Bringupthebird

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The rest of your post is pure nonsense.
Why would APA want to get USAPA all over themselves when they don't have to. A pure integration proposal from APA without USAPA's controversial DOH nonsense insulates them from being dragged into the east-west food fight. If an arbitrator subsequently decides that DOH is the only fair integration methodology (fat chance), then Leonidas can take it up with them, but APA keeps it's hands clean.

The sooner USAPA is cut out of the picture, the sooner the merger can be consummated.
 

Dan Roman

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Man, there is just no easy way out of this. USAPA is not going to ever accept the nic. The west certainly isn't going to just walk away from a binding legal ruling that protects their rights and APA has officially said they support the binding arbitration process. The sad thing is none of you guys deserve this crap. Good luck to all of you.

One question, when does the new contract pay rates kick in for the USAir pilots?
 

Bringupthebird

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It kicked in as an IOU on Feb 8th to be paid on the date the Plan of Reorganization is accepted (in the fall, maybe).

The payrates in the years beyond the Transition still are part of the Joint negotiations with the company, so we'll have to see if the Pie that was sold in the MOU is what actually ends up on our plate.
 

SpauldingSmails

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Eventually, it will be lights out for USAPA. The rest of your post is pure nonsense.


You're right, and don't think that US Airways management isn't excited about the premise that this merger will complete their first merger.

I would imagine this was a major selling point for US Airways to merge: American Airlines comes replete with a steamroller that could merge their seniority lists.
 
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