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Airline Division News, Week Ending June 29, 2013

Republic Flight Attendants, Management Reach Agreement on New Contract

Teamsters Local 135 Flight Attendants, which represents over 2000 Flight Attendants for Chautauqua Airlines, Republic Airlines and Shuttle America, has announced that they have reached a new Tentative Agreement (T/A) with the management of Republic Airlines.

The proposed contract includes increases in pay, improvements in quality of life, and more flexibility in scheduling. The TA still must be presented to union members for review and a ratification vote, which is expected to be held in July.

“We are very pleased to have reached an agreement that reflects the many contributions our Flight Attendants make on a daily basis in providing an exceptional onboard experience. It not only provides the economics that allow the Company to remain competitive as we pursue additional business opportunities but also recognizes the vital role our Flight Attendants have made in making our Company’s successful,” said Republic Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Wayne Heller.

“This TA reflects the dedication and hard work of the local and company’s negotiating committees" said Heller.  “We thank the representatives of Local 135 for their professionalism and commitment in obtaining an agreement on behalf of their members.

Sub ASA Technicians and Related Talks Continue

Negotiations for a stand-alone Technician and Related, Subsidiary ASA contract resumed this week in Atlanta.  For the last year the Union has been meeting with the Company in an effort to bring the ASA mechanics under the Legacy XJT contract. While some progress has been made, the negotiating committee believes that in the current environment, working toward an agreement for the Sub-ASA will be the quickest path toward achieving a Collective Bargaining Agreement for the membership. Accordingly, the Union filed for Federal Mediation on January 11, 2013 and they have now been advised that a mediator had been assigned and mediated talks began on Tuesday, June 25, 2013.

The first day had both sides meeting with the Mediator to discuss the current situation and to agree on how the union will proceed.  On June 26th and June 27th, the company and union worked on two articles. The union presented Article 16, (Moving Expenses) and the company presented Article 10, (Leaves of Absence). The parties have already reached a Tentative Agreement on Article 16 and are very close on Article 10.

To date, Tentative Agreements have been reached on the following:  Articles 4 (Seniority), 5 (Filling of Vacancies), 6 (Reduction in Force and Recall), 13 (Training), 14 (Health and Safety), 16 (Moving Expenses), 20 (Grievance Procedure), and Article 21 (Board of Arbitration).

The Interim Agreement which gives the members a process to fight discipline and discharge up to, and including arbitration. An economist from IBT will be meeting with the company on July 10th to examine their books so that the union may have a better explanation of the Company’s financial condition.

Due to the mediator’s schedule, the next meetings are tentatively set for the last week in August. Meanwhile, talks will continue in Mediation on the Sub-XJT side. 

GoJets Negotiations for New Contract Continue

The GoJets Pilot Negotiating Committee met with Company representatives on Wednesday, June 26th and again on Thursday, June 27th

The session opened Wednesday with the passing of two proposals; a counter proposal on Section 23 (Discipline and Discharge) and an opening proposal for Section 28 (Union Security), with the company presenting a counter proposal to Section 28.

On Thursday morning, the Company gave the Union a briefing on the current Benefits programs to help the committee assess their position going forward regarding Benefits.  Gary Hartling, TSH Director of Insurance Programs, accompanied by Phil Frisher from Lockton Companies (TSH Insurance Broker), presented a very informative briefing and fielded questions.  IBT Benefits expert, Hemant Berry joined the conversation by teleconference and will be assisting the committee on all matters benefits. 

The union passed counter proposals on Section 24 (Grievances) and Section 28 (Union Security) on Thursday afternoon.  Although an agreement was not reached on any of these Sections, significant progress was achieved.

The next negotiating session is scheduled in July.

Airline Industry News

Governmental and Regulatory

The U.S. Justice Department is examining a proposed merger between American Airlines and US Airways. Sources say the department is taking depositions over the merger because of antitrust concerns.

Anthony Foxx has been confirmed as the 17th U.S. Secretary of Transportation in an unusual Senate vote --100-0.

Airlines, Labor and Industry

US Airways CEO Doug Parker reassured North Carolina lawmakers that Charlotte, N.C., will not lose its status as a hub after US Airways merges with American Airlines.

Keith Wilson was elected president of the Allied Pilots Association, the union that represents pilots at American Airlines. Wilson, who has served as interim president since August 2012, will begin his new three-year term at the union on July 1.

FedEx has retired the Boeing 727 freighter from its fleet as the company moves toward more fuel-efficient aircraft.