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Airline Division News, Week Ending September 2, 2017

Atlas Air/Southern Air Cargo Negotiations Update

The parties met August 8th-11th, the second meeting with the company after a one day session on July 6th 2017.  The meetings were held at a neutral site in Washington D.C.  

The meeting started with discussions on three Articles which were close to an agreement from the previous negotiating session. After several passes of Article 15 - Physical Standards, Article 19 – Discipline, Discharge and Probation, and Article 30 – Uniforms, the parties we were able to reach Tentative Agreements.  

At the conclusion of the July session, the Company and the Union were far apart on Article 10 - Management and Non-Flying Duty. During this session, the Company engaged in a collaborative effort to resolve mutual concerns which culminated in a Tentative Agreement on this Article. This new found effort between the Company and the Union is viewed as encouraging as they proceed into the more complex Articles that necessitate a collaborative effort between the parties in order to be successful.  

Unfortunately, the distance between the parties in Article 23 - Furlough and Recall and Article 13 – Leaves of Absence were too great to overcome in this session. 

The next session was held on August 22nd -25th at the same neutral site in Washington D.C. as the previous prior session. 

As the week unfolded, the focus centered on the differences with Article 23-Furlough and Recall and Article 13–Leaves of Absence; with the unions goal of replacing obsolete 1990’s contract language to modern contract language that is consistent with current industry language.  Multiple passes of both of these articles took place with only a measured amount of progress; however the distance between the parties was too great to overcome in the session.  

Since the company had not responded to the unions Article 24–Filling of Vacancies proposal from over a year ago, the company invited the union to make a fresh proposal to them. The union accepted the invitation and presented an updated proposal as well as a proposal to Article 14–Sick Leave. 

The next session scheduled for September 6th -8th.  

AAC/NAC Negotiations Update

The parties met on Tuesday, August 8, 2017. NMB Mediator, Mr. Michael Tosi presided over the initial meeting and explained the processes of mediation under the NMB. He also advised the parties of their responsibilities and obligations throughout the process. Both parties acknowledged the purposes of mediation and voiced their commitment to reaching an agreement as expeditiously as possible. 

The parties first engaged in the attempt to resolve the issues with the recent Letter of Agreement (LOA) for interim B737 Pay Scale and B767 Initial Cadre. After a daylong negotiation, the parties broke for the night and agreed to resume discussions early the next day. The parties reached a final agreement on Wednesday morning and the LOA was revised to reflect the re-implementation of the Retention Bonus Program, resulting in the securing of some $800,000.00 additional annual pay for the bargaining unit members.

Next, the parties began to work on an LOA for the Human Intervention Motivation Study (HIMS) and HIMS Committee Program. This vital process is beneficial in assisting crew members who seek help with chemical or substance abuse and dependency, or related challenges and will prove valuable in such cases. The ability for a crew member struggling with such issues will have support system to seek out and utilize without the fear of career altering consequences. 

Business Agent Rick Canoy has requested that if any crewmembers have questions regarding the status of contract negotiations, please do not hesitate to contact him via email at rcanoy@akteamsters.com or via cell phone at (907) 250-1000.

Allegiant Pilots Maintenance Committee, Company meet

At the request of management, the Maintenance Committee attended a meeting with management at corporate headquarters on July 26th. Hansel Duran and Grant Groathouse represented the committee.  

Chris McCartney, Director of Maintenance, served as host and began the day with a brief tour of corporate offices.  The committee representatives sat in various ops meetings, which allowed them to see the company's processes for daily operations. They also engaged in round table discussions; with topics including current maintenance technician and controller staffing levels, MD-80 engine over-temp issues, and progress of technician training using the Airbus courseware. A final discussion with Eric Gust and Travis Schweider outlined both parties’ intent of continuing to work together in the future.  Both parties agree that Maintenance is important, especially with the company’s history.  Another meeting planned for next quarter, and the company was open to, and suggested meeting more frequently if needed.  

Airline Division Legislative Affairs continues the fight for H.R 2150

H.R. 2150; aptly named “Flags of Convenience Don’t Fly Here” Act seeks to “ensure that permits issued by the Secretary of Transportation to foreign air carriers under the United States-European Union Air Transport Agreement of April 2007 do not undermine labor rights or standards, and for other purposes.”  

Sponsored by Pete DeFazio (D-OR) the bill now has 74 bipartisan co-sponsors, including most recently Tim Ryan (D- OH) and importantly, Bob Gibbs, (R- OH). Talks are ongoing with several other representatives to sign on as well. 

While the perspective of potential enactment of HR. 2150 is important, Congressman Ryan (D-OH) provided a correctly gloomy forecast on House passage of the FAA Reauthorization Bill in September where it was hoped to attach it as an amendment. He has suggested other options for the HR to be addressed that are being looked into.  

Airline Industry News 

Governmental and Regulatory 

A group including several US airlines, US airports and US companies associated with tourism has urged Congress to reaffirm Open Skies agreements and reject pleas from American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines to take action against the major Gulf carriers over alleged subsidies.

Airlines, Industry and Labor 

Atlas Air has secured an agreement with Amazon to operate 20 freighters for the online retailer. The airline plans to have all 20 aircraft operational by the end of 2018. 

UPS and FedEx resumed flights to and from Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport on Thursday. The airport had been closed since Sunday. 

The pilots of a landing Air Canada Airbus A320 that nearly collided with several aircraft on a taxiway waiting to depart the San Francisco International Airport (SFO) around midnight July 7 were visually confused by the runway lighting at the airport, according to an NTSB investigative update on the incident. 

Beaverton, Oregon-based Precision Aircraft Solutions (PAS) and Wilmington, Ohio-based Air Transport Services Group (ATSG) have formed a joint venture (JV) company to develop a passenger-to-freighter conversion of the Airbus A321-200. 

Nippon Cargo Airlines (NCA) has added a Canadian destination to its network – thanks to its alignment with Atlas Air

The high cost of landing the Amazon Prime Air contract in the first half did not stunt ATSG’s growth, as it recorded a near-doubling of revenues and increased EBITDA of 17%.

Message from the Airline Division 

As we celebrate Labor Day 2017, let us all remember that this day of rest and remembrance came about as a consequence of those who came before us and stood up for unity and the rights of their fellow workers. For those families who suffered along with their union members, teaching younger generations why unions matter; today is the day we honor and remember them with a silent “thanks” for being there for us. 

Let us resolve to be the next generation to stand as they did.  

On behalf of all of us at the Airline Division, Happy Labor Day to you, your families and all our union brothers and sisters. Please remember those how are suffering unimaginable loss from hurricane Harvey.  

The offices of the Airline Division will be closed in honor of Labor Day. We will reopen for regular business on Tuesday September 5, 2017.