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Airline Division News, Week Ending May 2, 2017

Cape Air Pilots ratify LoA

Faced with insufficient number of crewmembers to fly, Cape Air management recently approached the union to loosen up the restrictions on how the company can use on-call pilots.  CBA language would not allow the company cannot award a shift to an on call pilot out of open time pool until it is 7 days before the shift.

Working with management, the union set up an incentive program for full time Captains to work overtime, and in exchange union would allow the company to schedule on call pilots further out, which allows them to pre sell tickets.

After negotiations between the union and management, a LoA was agreed to and presented to the membership for voting. Full time pilots will have 10 days after bids have been awarded to pick up shifts from all available flying from June to October.  For each of these shifts, pilots will be paid an incentive.  At the end of the 10 days, any additional shifts picked up by full time pilots will have a smaller incentive.  Once the 10 day period is up, the company may schedule on call pilots to available shifts.

In a message to the membership, Cape Air ExCo Chairman Captain Marilyn Rhude said, “Thank you to all who voted and called with questions and input regarding the Summer Incentive LOA. As you know, the LOA has been ratified and I hope this summer provides us with more earning potential during what is sure to be a busy season.

That said; the spring and summer bid lines have been a disappointment.  Your union leadership is working with the schedulers to lessen the impact of the pilot shortage on our crews.  While we all want our airline to prosper, it cannot be at the expense of safety.  Until we can make necessary changes, I remind those who have extremely long days with multiple legs to use the Fatigue Policy if you feel you cannot finish your day safely.”

MCBA discussions at Flexjet / Flight Options Continue

Arbitration proceedings for the new Merged Collective Bargaining Agreement (“MCBA”) for all Flight Options and Flexjet pilots resumed Tuesday, April 25th.  Arbitrator Herb Fishgold presided over the session that ended Thursday, April 27th.  Progress continues as Tentative Agreements (“TAs”) were reached on two more MCBA sections and two Letters of Agreement (“LOAs”).  Union representatives have information requests pending to which the company has yet to properly respond.

In order to formalize compensation and certain other provisions, it is essential for the union to have access to detailed payroll data for economic modeling.  While the Union has requested management to provide the same kind of payroll data for Flexjet that they have consistently provided for Flight Options, management has steadfastly refused.

At present, management owes the Union twelve counter-proposals––some of which have been on the table since March 12th, in contrast to the two counters that the Union owes management which will be presented on Tuesday, May 2nd

The Union also continues to insist that management sign the Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) for Flexjet Pilots Interim Representation Procedures.  This MOU would provide additional protections and representation for Flexjet pilots who may be subject to possible disciplinary action.  Local 1108 President Vojta has signed the attached MOU and formally presented it to management.  Management continues to refuse to sign the MOU, thereby depriving Flexjet pilots of their rights and protections.  Despite repeated requests, the union has yet to receive a legitimate answer for their refusal to agree to the MOU.      

Airline Industry News

Governmental and Regulatory

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are introducing bills targeting airlines' business practices in response to incidents such as the recent one aboard a United Airlines flight in Chicago. Airlines in recent days have announced enhanced customer service initiatives.

American Airlines and United Airlines are in the market for new talent to lead their lobbying efforts at a time when some lawmakers want to more closely regulate the industry.

Airlines, Industry and Labor

Indianapolis-based Republic Airways Holdings, parent of Republic Airline, has emerged

from Chapter 11 restructuring, effective April 30.

Tom Nealon, Southwest Airlines' former chief information officer, has returned to the airline in the role of president. "Our vision is to be the world's most loved, most flown, most profitable airline and that's a pretty bodacious vision," Nealon said.

Major US airline companies are reaffirming their commitment to their passengers by outlining enhanced customer-first boarding policies.

United Airlines has released a "Review and Action Report" stating 10 changes to its policies after the recent incident in which a passenger was forcibly removed from an aircraft. Among the actions taken by CEO Oscar Munoz to ensure the highest levels of customer service are in place include: ensuring customers seated on the aircraft will not be subject to involuntary denied boardings, and the airline will not involve law enforcement unless in case of a safety or security issue. In addition, United enhanced its customer compensation polices, which will take effect this week.

American Airlines has announced pay increases of 8% and 5% for pilots and flight attendants respectively. "As our industry has rapidly evolved and pay increases at other airlines have accelerated, some of our colleagues have fallen behind their peers at other airlines in base pay rates," said CEO Doug Parker, who noted that didn't feel right or reflect American's new commitment to its employees.

Southwest Airlines is moving toward a single-solution maintenance management system and will bring on Mxi Technologies' Maintenix software for its fleet of Boeing 737s next year.

UPS beat analysts' forecasts in the first quarter, growing revenue to $15.3 billion. "We think of it as a good start, and we're determined to have a good finish to the rest of the year," CEO David Abney said.

American Airlines CEO Doug Parker notes that the company's decision to increase wages is an investment that will make a difference in how they serve their customers. The airline is investing $930 million in salary increases for pilots and flight attendants. "As a service organization, investments in our team are investments in our product," Parker said.