Thread: SLI work begins
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Old 12-19-2012, 11:41 AM   #1  
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Default SLI work begins

or continues, depending on how you view it.

With the ratification of the Joint Collective Bargaining Agreement (JCBA) last Saturday, some pilots’ attention will now turn to the seniority list integration (SLI) process. Your Merger Committee has been working hard and has been very busy on a variety of tasks to date. The most important of these, obviously, is preparing for the upcoming SLI mediation and arbitration proceedings that will occur now that our JCBA has been ratified. When requested, we also have engaged in other MEC business, such as assisting other MEC committees on matters relevant to the merger process. We have also attended local council meetings and MEC meetings, and participated in Town Hall conference calls to communicate with the pilot group. We nonetheless continue to spend the majority of our time preparing for the negotiation, mediation and arbitration phases of the SLI process.

We conduct our day to day work in Washington, D.C. This arrangement allows us easy access to our merger attorneys from Katz & Ranzman, with whom we meet on a regular basis. This preparation phase consists of analyzing the two seniority lists in detail, and reviewing and researching past mergers and their associated seniority integration results. We also analyze other economic data and employment data going back many years. We spend a considerable amount of our time analyzing the various pilot “equities” that each pilot group brings to the merger and each group’s career expectations. This work is dynamic and our case is always evolving. For example, corporate and industry decisions and events that have occurred during this lengthy process have frequently led us to refine our strategy. This preparation is exhaustive and involves mountains of data and research. We will craft and employ strategies that will allow us to seek and achieve a fair and equitable SLI for the Continental pilots.

The SLI process, as you may recall, is governed by the protocol agreement executed by the UAL MEC and the CAL MEC on May 17, 2010, shortly after the announcement of the merger. The protocol agreement required that we begin SLI negotiations with the United Merger Committee upon the announcement of a merger, with the goal of a consensual agreement on an ISL between both Merger Committees. This agreement further provides that we will initiate the mediation/arbitration phases (selection of mediator and arbitrators and the actual proceedings, etc.) only when the two MECs have approved a tentative agreement (TA) for the JCBA, and that we will begin the actual arbitration proceedings only when we have a fully ratified JCBA.

There are several dates/timelines that the protocol agreement lays out for the SLI process. The timelines are based on the date of the JCBA TA, which was Nov. 12, 2012.

TA + 30 days (12/12/12): Select Mediator and 3 Arbitrators
TA + 100 days (2/20/13): Mediator Joins Negotiations
TA + 140 days (4/1/13): Arbitration Becomes Mandatory

The two Merger Committees are currently in the negotiations phase. In fact, we are scheduled to meet Jan. 8-9, 2013. If we don’t reach agreement on an ISL with the United Merger Committee by Feb. 20, 2013, we will initiate formal mediation proceedings, with the jointly selected mediator joining the two Merger Committees in the SLI negotiations. If we don’t reach agreement while utilizing the mediation process by April 1, 2013, the arbitration will become mandatory. That said, however, nothing in the protocol agreement prohibits both Merger Committees from initiating mediation and, if necessary, arbitration, prior to those dates.

Many pilots have asked us when we expect the process to be fully completed. Unfortunately, while there is a defined date for when certain aspects of the process must begin, it was not possible to establish a deadline for when the process must conclude. However, it is safe to say that the entire SLI process should reasonably be expected to conclude within six months of the date that the JCBA was ratified, which was Dec. 15, 2012.

Please remember that while virtually all of what we do in preparation for the negotiations, mediation and arbitration is confidential, the actual arbitration proceedings will be held in open session and all pilots will be invited to attend. Additionally, once the SLI is achieved, we will be briefing the pilot group on the SLI agreement or arbitrator’s award, and providing a summation of our work in a town hall format.

Further, we have a Q&A document on our Merger Committee web page on the CAL MEC website. This document has some common questions and answers that we believe may prove useful to you for this upcoming process.

If you have a question, comment or concern about the SLI process, please write directly to your entire Merger Committee at [email protected]. We will respond as soon as possible.

CAL MEC Merger Committee

Air Line Pilots Association, International
Air Line Pilots Association, International
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