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Airline Division News, Week Ending February 20, 2016

Amerijet drops the suit against the Teamsters

Now that the both lawsuits have been dropped by the company, the Teamsters and management the parties now look to the process of returning to the table under the auspices of federal mediators.

The NMB has advised the parties that mediators Eva Durham and Michael Tosi will convene a meeting in Philadelphia, PA starting on March 29th and going through March 31st to begin the mediation process for the P.F.E. and Pilot contracts. In a message to the members, Local 769 Business Agent David Renshaw said, “The Teamsters are looking forward to getting back to the table in an attempt to obtain a successful tentative agreement to bring back, subject to ratification by the membership.” Steven Nagrotsky, Deputy Director of Airline Division, will join the union team at the mediation.”

Flexjet/Flight Options complete integrated Seniority List

In a message to Flexjet and Flight Options pilots, Local 1108 President Efrem Vojta reported that the Flight Options and Flexjet Pilots Merger Committees have completed the task of producing a OneSky Pilots Integrated Seniority List (“Integrated List”). In his message, Vojta said, “The Committees have spent an extensive number of days meeting and evaluating the available pilot employment data at Flexjet and Flight Options to produce a fair and equitable result, while maintaining the Union’s responsibilities under the law and it’s of duty of fair representation. I am proud of the dedication and commitment portrayed by our pilot peers in completing this truly historic event. I and Union Leadership commend the two Merger Committees for what is, perhaps, one of the most daunting, yet thankless tasks during the on-going merger process.” The two Committees have submitted their unanimously endorsed Integrated List to the IBT Airline Division for review. The Airline Division Director and IBT legal staff will conduct a prompt, in-depth review of the Integrated List to verify that it complies with the legal requirements of the McCaskill-Bond Amendment and the Union’s duty of fair representation to all OneSky pilots.

Commenting on the report, Airline Division Director Captain David Bourne said, “I want to congratulate the committees for their diligence and we look forward to reviewing the list.”

Pending a satisfactory result of the review, the approved Integrated List would then be presented to the Company for acceptance. Pursuant to Section 1.5(c)(1) of the Flight Options Pilots Collective Bargaining Agreement, “The Company or other Successor, as appropriate, shall accept the integrated seniority list.” Furthermore, the provision concludes, “There shall be no system flush or removal of Pilots from their positions as a result of seniority list integration.”

NetJets Dispatchers

The NetJets Dispatchers Negotiating Committee met with the Company on February 10th -12th.  On Wednesday, they received a comprehensive proposal from management covering pay, benefit and unresolved working conditions.  The day was spent reviewing the details of management’s proposal. On Thursday, the Union submitted a comprehensive counterproposal to resolve all outstanding issues.  Teamster representatives informed management that the proposal contained all of the essential parts of an agreement on a first contract. On Friday afternoon, the parties continued to discuss open issues.

The Union met with the Company again February 16th through 18th in a previously unplanned session in hopes to gain a tentative agreement. Commenting on the meeting in a message to the membership, the committee noted however, “The Company’s proposals were subpar. The actions from the Company on both days continued to devalue our craft and demonstrate a level of hypocrisy against the Unit. The unwillingness of the Company to move off of a status quo attitude shows a complete lack of respect for our workforce. Despite your committee having adjusted compensation and having significantly moved on benefits, the company has shown they are not serious in making a deal, not because of economic burdens, but primarily because of their fears of non-bargaining groups possibly organizing. This is simply unacceptable and we made it clear that we will not be held hostages by their fears.

The rewards of our hard work, our certificate, and its responsibilities have come due. The NC will not accept anything short of a contract that does not contain the levels of compensation and benefits that are deserving of the class and craft of our profession. NetJets has hijacked our benefits for too long. The Teamsters are ready to do what it takes to secure the contract that our members deserve.”

UAL Mechanics Reject Company Proposal

UAL Mechanics sent a very clear message about what they thought about the company proposal that was presented to them with 93% of the voting members rejecting the proposal.

The proposal from the company was not a negotiated tentative agreement. In a letter to the membership on Friday evening, Airline Division Director Captain David Bourne said, “Our members sent the loudest and clearest message to United management this week - that United mechanics must be paid what they are worth, and that we won't accept a substandard agreement forced on us by the company.  Congratulations on sending such a strong, united message and for capturing the attention of people inside and outside the industry.

Empowered by your strong support, I convened our team of Principal Officers to meet with me at IBT Headquarters in Washington, D.C. yesterday to finalize our next steps to get you the contract you deserve.   In attendance were Bob Clever of Local 19, Peter Finn of Local 856, Chris Griswold of Local 986, George Miranda of Local 210, Mike Moats of Local 964, Mike Scott of Local 769 and Paul Stripling of Local 781.  Also present were Airline Division, Communications, and Legal and Strategic Campaigns personnel.

Together, we finalized plans for a number of events in coming weeks that will keep the attention of the NMB, the public and most of all United management focused on our issues and goal of an industry-leading contract. The Teamsters do not telegraph our punches, but be assured we plan events that will allow our mechanics the chance to show their anger, unity and resolve in ways that will get United's full attention.

We also planned out a strategy to approach pressure points, including creditors, customers, politicians and federal agencies to put pressure on the company to show up at the table ready to finally get serious about a new contract.

Finally, we've appointed International Rep Clacy Griswold as Chairman of the committee, to be assisted by International Rep Bob Fisher and advised by new legal counsel Josh McInerney.   This leadership will be able to get the job done.”


Airline Industry News

Governmental and Regulatory

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx invited US airlines to apply for service to Cuba by March 2. Under a new agreement between the US and Cuba, airlines based in the US will be able to fly 20 daily flights to Havana, as well as additional flights to other cities in Cuba.

Jim Burnley, a former secretary for the Department of Transportation, supports a plan to reform the US air traffic control system. "Congress must pass the [Aviation Innovation, Reform and Reauthorization Act] so that we can reclaim our mantle of global leadership in the skies," he writes.

Air Canada and the Canadian Airline Dispatchers Association have reached a 12-year labor contract, according to the airline.

American Airlines and Southwest Airlines together added more than 8,000 jobs in 2015, leading an overall industry gain of 13,000 positions. The hiring increase reflects growth across the industry, writes Mitchell Schnurman.

United Continental Holdings and the union representing its flight dispatchers have reached a tentative agreement. The labor agreement through 2021 covers more than 420 employees. "This is an important milestone for United and for our dispatchers," said Oscar Munoz, president and CEO of United.

Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings reported a $39.44 million profit for the fourth quarter, compared to $38.85 million in the same quarter of 2014. Earnings per share of $1.59 also exceeded analyst estimates of $1.52.