Tag Archives: national mediation board

Republic Airways Holdings to go to federal arbitration with its pilots on September 16

Republic Airways Holdings (Indianapolis) has issued this statement regarding its on-going dispute with its pilots for a new contract under federal mediation:

Republic Airways Holdings logo

Republic Airways Holdings Inc. received notification from the National Mediation Board (NMB) requesting the Company meet with the NMB on September 16, 2015, in Washington, D.C. As our case remains under the control of the NMB, the Company intends to fully comply with the request of the mediator.

Although the International Brotherhood of Teamsters has deferred a vote by our Pilots, our proposed contract remains on the table, and we continue to believe the appropriate next step is for the Union to abide by its constitution and let our Pilots vote on their own future. A week ago, we offered to meet with the elected leadership of the Union to discuss their language concerns in the proposed contract. To our dismay, there has been no response from the Union leadership to this invitation as a way to collaboratively bring this process to a close.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Operated by Republic Airlines (2nd), Embraer ERJ 170-100SU N806MD (msn 17000019) completes the final approach to the runway at Washington (Reagan National).

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United Airlines’ flight attendants file for federal mediation

United Airlines‘ (Chicago) flight attendants, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA), have filed for federal mediation under the jurisdiction of the National Mediation Board (NMB).

According to AFA, the filing was done “in order to bring three years of negotiations to a close and allow United to complete its merger with Continental/Continental Micronesia.”

AFA continued:

AFA-Association of Flight Attendants logo

“A clear dispute exists and it is time for federal mediation. We are calling on management to negotiate a fair contract within the reality of record profits. Three years after the talks for a joint contract began, management doesn’t seemed focused on negotiating a contract Flight Attendants can ratify,” said AFA International President Sara Nelson. “The longterm success of United Airlines depends upon current executives finishing this merger, which includes negotiating a joint Flight Attendant contract, and making good on promises to employees, Capitol Hill and the traveling public.”

Mediation under the Railway Labor Act is a formal, statutorily prescribed process. The mediator directs the negotiations with statutory authority including time and place of meetings, subjects to be discussed in a given week and the general approach to negotiations. NMB mediation is not binding arbitration. The contract would only become effective by agreement of both parties and it would be subject to membership ratification. If mediation does not result in an agreement, the union may petition for a release, which would lead to a strike deadline. AFA is focused on reaching an agreement that Flight Attendants can ratify and which contributes to completing the operational integration of United Airlines.

Without a joint contract, Flight Attendants continue to work separately and on airplanes that are designated as pre-merger United, Continental or Continental Micronesia. This leads to inefficiencies for the airline and Flight Attendants, and these inefficiencies are often experienced by passengers as well. Negotiations updates are posted on OurContract.org and further explanation of mediation and the positions of the Union and Company may be found on this website.

“Management’s failure to participate in realistic merged contract negotiations seems to be a symptom of a larger problem for our airline. We are concerned that management is not focused on completing this merger or running United Airlines for longterm success. A three billion dollar share buy back and investment in a foreign airline without any attempt to invest in United’s frontline is troubling. Management needs to position United to compete with any airline in the world. That starts with negotiating fairly with the women and men who breathe life into the Friendly Skies,” Nelson stated.

Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-222 ER N793UA (msn 26946) approaches the runway at London (Heathrow).

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Allegiant Air’s pilots formally request arbitration from the National Mediation Board

Allegiant Air‘s (Las Vegas) pilots have formally asked the National Mediation Board (NMB) to arbitrate the contract dispute between the pilots, represented by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, and management. The union issued this statement:

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters will host a call to update Allegiant Travel Company investors, industry analysts, customers and press regarding the current status of contract negotiations for Allegiant Air pilots, their recent strike authorization vote and the union’s request for a proffer of arbitration from the National Mediation Board.

On behalf of the approximately 500 pilots at Allegiant Air, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Airline Division and its affiliate, Airline Professionals Association of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 1224 (collectively, the “IBT”) filed a request on Friday afternoon, January 23, asking the National Mediation Board to make a proffer of arbitration. The request follows over two-and-a-half years of negotiations and mediation that have yet to result in a contract.

“Allegiant Air pilots have propelled the company to significant growth and prosperity, despite challenging operating conditions and breakdowns at the company. Yet, management continues to show its contempt for its operational employees by negotiating in bad faith,” said Daniel Wells, president of APA Teamsters Local 1224. “Allegiant Air pilots have had enough.”

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. McDonnell Douglas DC-9-83 (MD-83) N864GA (msn 49912) arrives back at the Las Vegas base painted in the old 2003 livery.

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UPS pilots picket the UPS investor conference

The Independent Pilots Association, representing the pilots of UPS-United Parcel Service (UPS Airlines) (Atlanta and Louisville) provided an informational picket line yesterday (November 13) at the 2014 UPS Investor Conference. The union issued this statement:

The UPS pilots, represented by the Independent Pilots Association, conducted an information picket at the 2014 UPS Investor Conference held at the Grand Hyatt New York.

“We conducted this picket to inform the investment community that UPS has neglected its airline operations by failing to finalize the pilot contract,” said IPA President, Captain Robert Travis. “We prefer to reach a negotiated agreement with UPS, but with our talks now entering a fourth year, we question whether UPS is equally committed to a resolution.”

“UPS pilots have reaffirmed our intention to fly this Christmas by not seeking a release from the National Mediation Board. This holiday season, we remain committed to safe and reliable delivery,” said Travis. Under the Railway Labor Act a request for release, if granted by the NMB, could lead to a 30-day countdown to a strike, or lockout.

The IPA invites the investment community to learn more about its dispute with UPS at http://www.ipapilot.org. “Investors will want to stay informed. As UPS pilot labor talks continue, we will keep you apprised of developments” said Travis.

UPS and IPA have been following the Railway Labor Act process for the last 39 months; direct negotiations for 29 months and mediated talks for the past 10 months. Direct negotiations began in September 2011 and continued through January 2014. In early 2014, UPS and IPA jointly requested federal mediation. The National Mediation Board docketed the case in February 2014 and assigned a staff mediator to oversee further negotiations. The parties have been in mediated talks since February 2014.

The Independent Pilots Association represents the 2,600 pilots who fly globally for United Parcel Service.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 747-4R7F N582UP (msn 29053) lands in beautiful Anchorage, Alaska.

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FedEx Express requests NMB mediation for a new pilots contract

FedEx Express (Memphis), a subsidiary of FedEx Corporation (Memphis), has formally requested assistance from the National Mediation Board (NMB) to expedite its ongoing pilot negotiations. The NMB is the U.S. governmental agency that oversees labor agreements for entities covered by the Railway Labor Act (RLA), such as airlines, railroads and express companies.

The company and its pilots, who are represented by the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), have been engaged in contract talks for more than a year. The current contract became amendable on February 25, 2013 and the two sides reached a tentative agreement on 20 of the 31 contract sections in September 2014.

Under the RLA, the terms and conditions of the existing contract between the company and ALPA do not expire until the full multi-step RLA process is exhausted. In the meantime, the progression of negotiations into the mediation stage has no impact on company operations or its ability to provide highly reliable service to customers.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-FS2 N862FD (msn 37733) arrives on a cold day at Anchorage.

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Spirit Airlines and its flight attendants reach a tentative agreement for a new contract

Spirit Airlines‘ (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood) flight attendants, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA), announced a tentative agreement with management on a new contract. According to the union,  the agreement “includes immediate economic improvements, as well as protection of industry-leading healthcare and key quality of life provisions. The agreement, reached with the assistance of the National Mediation Board (NMB), would cover the nearly 1,400 flight attendants and more as the airline continues to grow.”

Terms of the agreement were unanimously approved by AFA’s Spirit Airlines leadership, will now be sent to the membership for ratification. The leadership unanimously recommends a vote in favor of the agreement. Voting instructions will be mailed on September 10 and the results of electronic balloting will be announced immediately following the vote close on October 1 at Noon Eastern Time. Full details of the tentative agreement will not be made public until the Spirit AFA membership has had an opportunity to review the terms.

According to the union, “This deal follows the overwhelming rejection of an earlier management offer by the union’s membership. The union re-tooled its proposals based on the members’ feedback following that earlier vote, incorporated changes to reflect that membership input and pressed management for substantial economic improvements. AFA credited the NMB’s Senior Mediator Pat Sims and Mediator Mike Tosi with guiding the negotiations to a successful conclusion.”

Spirit Airlines issued this statement:

Spirit Airlines and its flight attendants, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA), announced that they reached a tentative agreement for a five-year contract. The tentative agreement, which is subject to ratification by the flight attendant membership, planned for fourth quarter 2014, was unanimously supported by the union’s leadership. The agreement was reached with the assistance of the National Mediation Board.

“We’re very pleased to have agreed on a tentative agreement that recognizes the contributions of our flight attendants, who play a key role in providing safe, reliable, friendly service to our customers,” said John Bendoraitis, Spirit’s Chief Operating Officer. “I want to thank the National Mediation Board, AFA leadership and the negotiating committees for helping us reach a mutually favorable agreement. We look forward to continuing our close working relationship with our AFA partners and Spirit flight attendants.”

Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A320-232 N611NK (msn 4996) lands at Baltimore/Washington (BWI).

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JetBlue Airways’ pilots select ALPA to represent them

JetBlue Airways Corporation (New York) today issued the following statement from CEO Dave Barger responding to the unionization vote among JetBlue’s 2,529 pilots, in which a majority of JetBlue pilots who cast a vote elected ALPA as their representative.

The National Mediation Board will authorize ALPA as the representative body for JetBlue pilots, and then both JetBlue and ALPA will organize negotiating committees.

Read the analysis by Bloomberg Businessweek: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Embraer ERJ 190-100 IGW N318JB (msn 19000364) prepares to land at Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT).

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