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.
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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.
"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"
"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."
I Remember not to long ago that the pilots of the newly formed Potomac Air were spat upon called all sorts of names and totally ostrasized by their pairs at Piedmont PSA & Alleghany ...Now with the impending rebirth of Potomac Air again al-be-it with mainline Pilots, are the ALPA MEC's at these very same Wholey owned Express's going to advocate the same dispicable, childish, & dirty treatment that they brought to bear on the "original" Potomac Air
crews be used on their "Big Brothers"? at Mainline. Or did the the Flight Crews of the "original Potomac Air" personally offend the MEC's by accepting a job in an industry that they love diserve this dispicable treatment.
After all what's good for the goose is good for the Gander!!!