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RJDC Update

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Well-known member
Mar 14, 2002
ALPA reaches deal with US Airways to create new RJ affiliate. Mainline furloughees to have special employment rights, special pay rates, and super seniority at all US Airways Express carriers.

On April 18th, the US Airways MEC reached an agreement with their management that would permit the operation of seventy additional RJ’s on condition that mainline furloughees be granted special employment rights and pay rates at all US Airways affiliates. The agreement specifies that:

All vacancies at US Airway’s reactivated Potomac Air will be filled by furloughed mainline pilots

50% of all vacancies created by the additional jets at any other US Airways affiliate will be filled by furloughed mainline pilots.

All furloughed pilots will be paid captain’s pay regardless of which affiliate they fly for and which position they occupy.

Under ALPA’s Constitution and Bylaws, only duly elected representatives of the US Airways Express pilots may negotiate agreements that directly affect pay, seniority, and job security of their member pilots. Yet the new mainline agreement seeks to preempt the existing labor agreements at the affiliates and grant selected pilots special employment and seniority rights not provided to other US Airways Express pilots.

As the RJDC has warned, predatory bargaining is based upon the presumption that there is nothing wrong with allowing mainline MEC’s to use the jobs and careers of “regional” pilots as bargaining capital to secure other contractual objectives. Not only are the Express pilots expected to surrender their contractual and employment rights, but also by trading away the jobs of the Express pilots, the US Airways MEC was able to avoid further mainline salary concessions. As the US Airways MEC stated in their announcement, the mainline pilots will not be polled concerning pay cap adjustments now that the small jet agreement has been reached.

In addition, not one month after ALPA’s President labeled Mesa’s CEO the next “Frank Lorenzo,” and lambasted him for creating Freedom Airlines, ALPA has created yet another “approved” alter ego airline because it served the purposes of the mainline pilots. Ironically, less than a year ago, ALPA filed grievances claiming that the creation of Potomac Air violated the alter ego prohibition in the Allegheny, PSA, and Piedmont labor agreements.

We believe the actions of the US Airways MEC not only violate the union’s Constitution, but the fact that ALPA made such efforts is the clearest indication yet that ALPA willingly ignores its legal and fiduciary obligations to its “regional” members whenever it is politically expedient to do so.

Delta management confirms that mainline scope negotiations will commence soon

On April 16th, Delta management informed the company’s investors that its second quarterly loss will trigger a mandatory re-negotiation or “reset” of Delta scope ratios. The Company’s announcement confirms the position taken by the RJDC last fall that mainline scope negotiations were all but inevitable.

Whether the prospect of mainline scope negotiations will be helpful or harmful to ASA and Comair pilots will ride squarely on ALPA’s decision whether or not to ensure that the ASA and Comair pilots are represented fairly and equally in any scope negotiations.

Through counsel, we have informed ALPA the ball is squarely in their court. If they so choose, the next round of mainline negotiations can be used to address numerous outstanding issues in a manner mutually beneficial to all concerned. However, any attempt by the Delta MEC to use jobs and livelihoods of the ASA and Comair pilots as bargaining capital would constitute yet another gross violation of ALPA’s legal obligations and, as events have already proven, would not help the ASA, Comair, or Delta mainline pilots.

Delta’s scope reset negotiations and what they mean to the ASA and Comair pilots

The “small jet” agreement at US Airways proves that when ALPA permits mainline MEC’s to unilaterally negotiate scope or flying restrictions, the interests of the “regional” members will not be protected and ill-gotten scope restrictions will be leveraged to secure other mainline contractual objectives.

From a scope perspective, the most restrictive (or harmful) element in the Delta working agreement is the System Block Hour Flying Ratio found in Section 1.E.3. This section states that Delta Connection flying may not exceed 34% of total Delta system flying in 2002 (a 2:1 ratio). The ratio means that once the limits are reached, mainline must add approximately two aircraft for every additional aircraft added to Delta Connection. Likewise, for every aircraft removed from the mainline fleet, Delta Connection must remove two.

At current flying levels, each ratio percentage equals approximately 11 RJ’s, 110 pilot positions, and more than $4 million dollars per year in pilot payroll to the Delta Connection pilots. To permit Delta Connection to operate the RJ’s for which it has firm orders, the ratios for this year, next year, and the year after must be increased approximately thirty percent to 40%, 43%, and 44% respectively.

Given management’s plans to acquire an additional 95 RJ’s in 2002 and 2003, and its plans to furlough as many as 1300 mainline pilots, it is a virtual certainty that the Delta MEC will seek to re-allocate system flying and secure special employment rights for Delta pilots at Delta’s subsidiaries—while ensuring that all other Delta Connection flying remains severely restricted.

The RJDC has been working tirelessly to educate the ASA and Comair pilots of the impending threat and to compel the union to uphold its legal obligation to treat all of members equally and without discrimination.

For additional information, please visit our web site
at www.rjdefense.com
In addition to our frequent updates, look for a detailed report on the RJDC’s actions, industry events, and our on-going litigation that will be published early next month.


This RJDC rhetoric is getting old, stale and exceedingly boring. Here's a suggestion...when you have something new to add, wake me up.

Your telling me that having USAIR mainline pilots fly RJ's with different pay rates and workrules than the WO's is old news ???

I can't wait to see the pay rates because they will likely raise the compensation level for operating RJ aircraft. This will be mighty handy when ASA starts contract negotiations in June of this year.

You're right..that part is not old news. I too, will be interested to see the rates the mainline pilots get for flying the RJs, and hopefully it will raise the bar on compensation for operating RJs.

All US Airways pilots will be paid 1st year Captain pay regardless of seat position approx. $50 per/hour.
What it really means is this:

1) A USAir pilot hired at a regional under this program will receive that regional's 1st year Captain pay rate, even if the USAir pilot is hired as a First Officer.

2) FO's that come from USA will be paid more that FO's at the regional airline who are senior to them (for the same work)

3) Several small regionals who might participate in this program have minimum hourly requirements for upgrade. Therefore, newly hired pilots from USA may upgrade ahead of them and out of seniority if they happen to have more flight time.

4) Several regionals that might participate operate both jets and turboprops. If they acquire more jets under this program, 1/2 of the positions will be filled by USA pilots, thus depriving turboprop pilots at the respective airline from upgrading into the jets. This will cause the regional pilots to lose the pay that would result from the upgrade to jets.

5) Airlines may retire turboprops and replace them with jets. If so 1/2 of the pilots in the jets must come from USA. This may cause turboprop pilots at the receiving airline to become redundant and be furloughed. If not for this progrogram, the turboprop pilots would be upgraded to the new jets.

All regional carriers that might be affected have collective bargaining agreements that do NOT allow any of these procedures to take place. Those pilots are represented by ALPA.

ALPA has negotiated for USAir pilots a contract provision that violates the contracts ALPA negotiated for its regional pilot members. Thus ALPA discriminates against the regional pilots in favor of the USAir pilots. As of this date, NO regional pilot group has agreed to the USAir contract. ALPA has done this without the consent of its regional members.

The agreement permits the revival and operation of Potomac Air (a certificate owned by USAir Group), to be crewed exclusively by USAir pilots. The operation of Potomac Air violates the ALPA contracts of 3 - regional carriers owned by USAir Group.

This type of behavior by ALPA is precisely why the RJDC exists and why it is suing the ALPA.
Point for Surplus 1

Surplus 1.
Your point is very well made. Thank you for your input. I observe this battle from the sidelines because my carrier doesn't have a regional partner, so my opinion doesn't really count; I've even given up reading most of the posts dealing with the matter, but your posts really adds perspective. Now if the RJDC would just replace the word JETS in its title with the word PILOTS.
Whats going to be interesting will be the renegotiation of scope at Delta. I guarantee you that will drag on and on. All the while the rj's will continue to expand the route structure.

ALPA will have their hands full this year trying to juggle multiple negotiations and try to be all things to all people. Kinda of like a Washington politician.
Don't the regional's contracts have their own negotiated scope clauses -- e.g. all flying done by the company be done by pilots under their contract provisions and their seniority list?? What are you worried about? If the company tried to insert pilots out of seniority and at rates not in accordance with the contract provisions . . . . grieve it, sue 'em, etc etc. Seems to me it would be a clear violation of your contract.

Potomac Air is more problematical. How do your scope provisions prevent that?

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