US Airways faces class action lawsuit from America West pilots

MK82Man

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PHX New Times Article Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 03:41:41 PM

http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/valleyfever/2008/09/us_airways_faces_class_action.php

By Sarah Fenske

Last week, I told you about the war about between pilots at the old America West and the old US Airways. Even though the airlines merged three years ago, the two groups of pilots are still operating under different contracts -- and are facing off on the terms of a new one with definite rancor. As my story details, the East Coast-based US Airways pilots (or "East") have accused their Tempe-based counterparts ("West") of everything from hanging nooses in the cockpit to making thousands of prank calls to running a criminal conspiracy!

When I wrote my story, the West pilots were on defense, fending off a RICO suit in federal court. (Though the judge tossed the suit against them, the East pilots were vowing to appeal.) But now they're on the attack. This week, the West pilots filed a class action lawsuit in district court -- charging not only that the East-dominated union has breached its duty of fair representation, but also that US Airways breached the pilots' collective bargaining agreement by failing to negotiate in good faith.

There's a lot of complicated legal arguments going on here, but the gist appears to be this: When America West and US Airways merged, the two groups of pilots and the newly formed company agreed to a transition process. That process eventually led the two pilot groups to binding arbitration to hash out issues of seniority -- but when the East pilots didn't like the arbitration results, they walked away and instead formed a new union.

That new union, the West pilots argue, has done little to represent its interests. And the company has made matters worse, the suit says, by letting the East pilots throw out the arbitration award that all three groups had agreed to.

As a result, the suit says, West pilots are unfairly losing their jobs. Already, the active roster of East pilots is growing; the West is not. And, the suit says, 57 West pilots will be furloughed, or laid off, on October 1. Another 54 pilots will follow in November.

The West pilots are seeking an injunction to stop the furloughs and force both the company and the union to accept the arbitrators' award.

I left a message for the lawyer on the case, Marty Harper of Shughart Thomson & Kilroy, and I'll update this post when I hear back.
 

Bringupthebird

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What Tejas, a fabricated RICO suit involving fecces grabs your attention, but a bonified lawsuit to stem the damages created by this ill-conceived power-grab that is USAPA interests you?
 

OurMoney1

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Yawn is right....

Those pilots are so screwed, all of them!!

While they're yelling at each other about who's turd is bigger the company they are working for is slowly dieing. Except this time there will be no bail out,
this time she might actually sink.

They are in crisis level financial shape and just like last time the pilots are clueless. More will be revealed....
 

TWA Dude

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OurMoney1:

So let's say your airline merges with another airline and you agree to settle the seniority issue with arbitration. Subsequently, the other airline's pilot group doesn't like the result and successfullly delays its implementation while it tries to impose an integration on you that it feels is "fair". Would you choose to fight that or would you just accept it and concentrate on the financial health of your employer? Be honest, now.
 

GOULET!

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If there is one company that needs to go away its this one. Burn the place down and we will all be better off.
 

Scope out RJ's

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I wonder what PFT-MCDU will do when LCC goes TU!
 

MCDU

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Retire. How about you?
 

Scope out RJ's

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Retire. How about you?
I'm sure there are more PFT jobs out there for you. Or better yet you can always be like the eastern replacements.;)
 

MCDU

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I'm sure there are more PFT jobs out there for you. Or better yet you can always be like the eastern replacements.;)
You being a McCain supporters says it all. By the way. PFT indeed. The Tax payers paid my flight training. How about you?

Its funny how Westies do not want permanent fences? I will tell you why. Because these former Mesa, Trans States pilots at AWA want to take East flying. They want EAST jobs. Like they took east flying while at Mesa and Trans States, they have no problem doing it again.

Fact: There is not one real US Airways that crossed a picket line. PFT did not start til the mid to late 90's.

Fact: AWA has many PFT pilots and many pilots that crossed picket lines. So much for integrity.

Another Fact is that AWA (Mesa Grande) was the first to allow 90 seat RJ's.

M
 

Thebadcat1313

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MCDU,

What's your beef with Mesa and Trans States pilots? Yeah, they are both crappy company's to work for, but they have good safety records and are excellent places to build quality flight time and experience. You act like these pilots are somehow beneath you. When I was at Trans States back in the day, there were a ton of guys who left for US (I never applied because I did'nt want to work there, but here I am). I'm sure they hired some from Mesa, as well. BTW, there are plenty of pilots at AWA who worked for Eagle, Skywest, Horizon, flew DC-3's, Beech 18's, or came from the military. I just don't get how you guys justify your attitude toward the west by writing us off as Trans States and Mesa guys.
 

Prog 2/2

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Its funny how Westies do not want permanent fences? I will tell you why. Because these former Mesa, Trans States pilots at AWA want to take East flying. They want EAST jobs.

M
Nope.

I want to keep the job I brought to this merger.........you know, the one you and the other Us Air furloughees didn't bring, but somehow think is owed you now.
 
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MCDU

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So, I guess you think you are entitled to the USAIR East jobs that the former USAIR furloughees filled.

AWA pilots want to keep their jobs and the expense of EAST pilots even though they are parking west airplanes. We have a min. fleet and block hour protection. and these positions are being staffed by real USAIR pilots. The job that you brought to the merger is no longer. The job you brought to this mess is going away and you want the East pilots to make room for your job that is being downsized. How things change. The job you brought to the merger is gone.

M
 

Tejas-Jet

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What Tejas, a fabricated RICO suit involving fecces grabs your attention, but a bonified lawsuit to stem the damages created by this ill-conceived power-grab that is USAPA interests you?
Naw....just growing a bit tired of the "family feud".

Had a jumpseat rider last Friday who felt like he had to let me know he was from the West.

My response? "Our jumpseat agreement is with ALL of US Airways....doesn't matter if you are East or West...but...please feel free to take a seat in the back and welcome aboard"
 

Prog 2/2

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The job you brought to the merger is gone.

M
Nope.

That job is alive and well.

Held now by a somebody that was on the street the day before this merger was announced.

Let's recap, shall we.

Furloughees brought nothing in the way of a job to the table.

Every west pilot brought a job to the table.

All you had going for you was a vague promise that you would someday be recalled.

Absent this merger, that promise was worthless.

Now you believe that a pilot that had only that promise of a recall has a bigger claim to a job than one that brought an existing job to the merger.
 

Tweaker

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As far as LCC "dieing" sic, our stock was just changed from hold, to outperform. This means that today's stock price is felt to be undervalued or the company is truly worth more than it currently trades at.

Also, oil is $95/barrel today.

I ain't sayin' nothing, I'm jes sayin'.
 

Scope out RJ's

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So, I guess you think you are entitled to the USAIR East jobs that the former USAIR furloughees filled.

AWA pilots want to keep their jobs and the expense of EAST pilots even though they are parking west airplanes. We have a min. fleet and block hour protection. and these positions are being staffed by real USAIR pilots. The job that you brought to the merger is no longer. The job you brought to this mess is going away and you want the East pilots to make room for your job that is being downsized. How things change. The job you brought to the merger is gone.

M
Don't be mad PFT-MCDU. You can just go for another round of PFT like you did at Gulfstream. Or wait til another airline goes out on strike to get another job. You have prefected that. With your gulfstream academy background, "You're an ace (hole)."
 
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