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Old 09-01-2013, 10:18 PM   #1  
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Default Usapa clt/phl joint update

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Merger Support

We have received many emails and calls, both pro and con, regarding USAPA providing a public statement to the DOJ supporting the US Airways - American Airlines merger. Let us be clear: we understand that the majority of US Airways pilots support the merger and its associated benefits. And make no mistake; the USAPA Board of Pilot Representatives shares this position. Nevertheless we would not be doing our best for our pilots if we did not consider whether there are additional steps that should be taken at this point to protect the interests of our pilots, in the event that the merger does not go forward.

To clarify, the issue is not whether USAPA supports the benefits of a future merger for all of our pilots. The issue is giving unconditional support regardless of any adverse effects that could occur, if we do not act prudently to protect the pilots of US Airways. There are those who want to support this merger and the Company’s goals unconditionally, and those who believe that our support must come with a raised eyebrow, as well as an insurance policy that not only protects, but insures the pilots’ future interests.

Throughout this process we have been reminded of the numerous instances where the Company has thumbed its nose at the US Airways pilot group. Most noticeable, covertly negotiating the Term Sheet with APA and purposely excluding USAPA from the process, resulting in yet again a bankruptcy and sub-industry standard contract for US Airways pilots.

No other pilot group in history has sacrificed as we have. We have contributed well over $10 Billion in concessions as we are forced to endure LAO 93, 3 years beyond the amendable date. The final result is that the APA received 13.5% equity stake in the combined company (approximately hundred thousand per pilot), while the US Airways pilots received an ‘IOU,’ not to mention less than the $10,000 originally advertised. In addition, the American pilots are being paid at Green Book rates which were effective at their signing, and received other benefits immediately, while again the US Airways pilots receive an ‘IOU’ for MOU rates only when the POR is complete.

Furthermore, US Airways pilots will not even begin to accrue MOU vacation until after the POR, should there actually be a completed merger. Given the delay potentially caused by the antitrust suit, the merger may not close until 2014, and this could mean that east pilots may not receive the same vacation as both the west and APA until 2016.

Next we have the 3% issue, a simple contractual stipulation that we have had to fight about for over four years. As per the language outlined in the LOA 84 Restructuring Agreement, beginning in 2010, we are clearly entitled to a 3% raise every May 01, during the status quo period. This equated to 3% on May 01, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013, or a 12.55% raise above current levels. The negotiating evidence clearly shows that the Company knows this, they tried to negotiate their way out of this provision, they forced us to "grieve" this provision, as they attempt to disavow this provision ever existed. The total disrespect this management demonstrates to our pilots and our profession is incredible. While they certainly benefit financially every day, every month, every year from our sacrifices, as well as the merger with America West, our earning power decreases daily against the ever-rising cost of living and inflation. The 3% minimal annual raises that were negotiated in LOA 84 and not removed from our contract in LOA 93 are now being held hostage in the hands of arbitration, as our management continues to prevent contractual increases 10 years beyond our own bankruptcy contract. It should come as no surprise that many of our pilots strongly resent “helping” management with their next merger, while they continue to ignore our needs, as well as abuse our contracts.

In light of these issues, which are only a partial list of the bad behavior exhibited by this management over the last 8 years, how can we make an unconditional public show of support to the DOJ in regards to this merger? What guarantees do we have our pilots will be protected if further sacrifices are required to attain this merger? Whatever your thoughts are at this point, we have an MOU that, regardless of the manner in which it was delivered to the pilots, was approved by 76% of US Airways pilots (56% of PHL pilots, 72% of CLT pilots, 85% of DCA pilots, and 98% of PHX pilots). We have all demonstrated our support and expect the benefits for this merger through our vote. But the MOU does not include any provisions that protect our careers if the merger is not ultimately approved.

Let’s be blunt: what we have done for the past 16 months is to put our careers at US Airways on hold once again, while we assisted our management to secure their positions as leaders of the largest airline on Earth. If this deal is not consummated, there are no benefits for our continued sacrifices and we will have nothing to show for it.

If this merger fails, we are essentially back at square one with Section 6 negotiations before the NMB, and a management who thrives on delay tactics and stalling the negotiating process. The Company will have effectively delayed the Section 6 negotiations for an additional two years, for a total of more than six years, and we will continue to receive substandard wages and benefits. This process will continue for as long as the NMB allows US Airways management to stonewall the Railway Labor Act process in stand-alone, mediated negotiations. No one in USAPA is in any way attempting to derail this merger.

Rather, what we require is insurance and protections in the event that this merger fails.

A fair question at this point would be: Why didn’t USAPA negotiate something up front, before we jumped on board with negotiations for the MOU? The answer is this: Although an effort was made to spring to the Kirby Proposal pay rates if the merger didn’t go through, that very reasonable request was denied by management. We had union leadership that has been all-in since their first briefing by Parker and Kirby in April of 2012, and the officers lead us to the MOU with the hopes that a merger would in fact be the quickest way to a better contract. We certainly hope everyone sees the massive failure here with 20-20 hindsight, and now vow to correct the lack of contingent protections.

Management appears to expect our automatic and continued support. The PHL and CLT Domicile representatives are reluctant to continue our unconditional support for Doug Parker’s merger without some assurances, insurance, protections and mutual respect for all those who made this merger possible, including the US Airways pilots who have faithfully and continually delivered time and again to protect the strong East Coast presence and network which makes this merger so desirable.

No US Airways pilot needs to be reminded that we have suffered under bankruptcy wages and work rules and without a raise for almost ten years. In fact, the recent delay can be directly attributed to US Airways Management (with the assistance of the NMB), who focused their attention on negotiating with the APA on our behalf and what was to be a pending merger.

Since April 18, 2012, USAPA has spent most of its time and effort supporting the proposed merger. While there was always the possibility the DOJ would take issue with some aspects of the merger, we didn’t think anyone ever believed they would attempt to prevent the merger outright.

While we hope the merger will occur, there is always the possibility that it will not. And if it doesn’t occur, US Airways pilots will essentially be back to square one with respect to negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement. When negotiations ceased two years ago, the Company hadn’t moved off of their original, sub-standard proposal in any meaningful way.

In light of the record profits they are reporting, we should be far north of anything they offered in 2007. We believe if the merger does not occur, it is not unreasonable to require the Company to commit to the same aggressive negotiating schedule it displayed with APA, where an entire agreement was crafted in just a few weeks. Unfortunately, we were told last week by USAPA President Hummel that US Airways’ President Scott Kirby has no intention in negotiating quickly with us, and once again plans to use the seniority issue as the excuse. So here we sit, having supported the merger, our livelihoods diminished, our retirements mostly gone, much of our flying outsourced….and yet, rest assured, our top management is doing quite well, merger or no merger.

All this said, if you still feel the need to provide unsolicited support and enable our management to continue with “business as usual” when it comes to how they treat their front line employees, then please provide us your reasoning and we will include it with all the other input we have been receiving. From our vantage point, and from what many pilots are telling us, we are at the point of ambivalence. This merger will be a quick remedy for many of our current issues, but when you consider that the entire ordeal before the DOJ and the courts, simply put, it is out of our hands. We are not piloting this merger; we are in the last row of the jet. If all else fails we must be prepared to stand up for ourselves should the DOJ prevail in keeping American and US Airways separate.
Bill McKee Steve Crimi Dewitt Ingram
CLT Chairman Vice Chairman Vice Chairman
Paul DiOrio Paul Music John Taylor
PHL Chariman Vice Chairman Vice Chairman
......................
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Old 09-01-2013, 10:23 PM   #2  
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This is so everyone understands the lunacy we are dealing with.

1- the east walked away from negotiations, not the company

2- the 3% raise went to arbitration and they lost, the east is now wanting to sue the arbitrator in federal cour (no surprise there)

3- the nmb parked them indefinitely because the company believes what they are attempting to do to the west is illegal and so does the nmb.
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Old 09-01-2013, 11:08 PM   #3  
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Originally Posted by cactiboss View Post
This is so everyone understands the lunacy we are dealing with.

1- the east walked away from negotiations, not the company

2- the 3% raise went to arbitration and they lost, the east is now wanting to sue the arbitrator in federal cour (no surprise there)

3- the nmb parked them indefinitely because the company believes what they are attempting to do to the west is illegal and so does the nmb.
That is correct. All these wounds are self inflicted. USAPA are masters at that.
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Old 09-01-2013, 11:20 PM   #4  
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That is correct. All these wounds are self inflicted. USAPA are masters at that.
It's not usapa, it's the east pilots. An important destinction here, loa 93 and loss of pension was achieved by these same guys against alpa nationals advice.

Last edited by cactiboss; 09-01-2013 at 11:32 PM.
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Old 09-02-2013, 05:13 AM   #5  
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Unfortunately it will take years before third listers have the voting majority to replace the hardliners in PHL and CLT.
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Old 09-02-2013, 05:48 AM   #6  
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Unfortunately it will take years before third listers have the voting majority to replace the hardliners in PHL and CLT.
Sad but true.
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Old 09-02-2013, 06:16 AM   #7  
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Default Usapa clt/phl joint update

Not necessarily... They are all so old, they'll probably die or retire. USAPA will be out soon enough anyhow. APA to run the show for sure. Third listers will own the airline, just wait.
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Old 09-02-2013, 07:00 AM   #8  
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I've flown with just as many east guys who are fed up with usapa as usapa hardliners. I think if something were put up for vote today it would pass.
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Old 09-02-2013, 07:04 AM   #9  
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T
Quote:
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That is correct. All these wounds are self inflicted. USAPA are masters at that.
He is not correct, he is oversimplifying as usual.

1-East ALPA walked away from JCBA. USAPA was negotiating.
2-There were two 3% grievances. In the first one the arbitrator used language that supported the second to rule in the company's favor, then denied the second! I thought the first one was BS, there was no intention to snap back the rates. I thought the second one had a shot. No matter what you think of the outcome or the handling of the process, every pilot should be concerned about the way the company misuses the RLA and the grievance process. Those have nothing to do with the Nicolau award and we should stick together on it.
3-The NMB parked us because of the legal quagmire we are in. The one you guys started with an unripe lawsuit and by trying to drag the company in on it in order to give the hope of big bucks damages. How's that worked out for you?
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Old 09-02-2013, 07:08 AM   #10  
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I've flown with just as many east guys who are fed up with usapa as usapa hardliners. I think if something were put up for vote today it would pass.
Here's what many of you new guys don't know. There have been many east guys fed up with some of USAPA's actions all along. Several of us were working with a group of west pilots to change the leaderships years ago. When AOL lost in SFO, it fell apart. The AOL founder Eric Ferguson said "Mike Cleary is the best thing for WEST pilots." That is when I came to see that the west was the same as the east. They want to WIN, at any cost.

Unfortunately you guys are sitting in between the Arabs and Israelis.
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