Court approves termination, but it has to be done through collective bargaining - ALPA prevents term

PITbull

Veteran
Dec 29, 2002
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We will not let management or ALPA attempt to freeze or manipulate other defined pensions, in order to appease mangement or ALPA. We will not permit them to take from the grossly less advantaged, to give to the already advantaged.

If we do go to war, this mangement will "jump" at the chance to threaten a "forced Majeur" over the pilots heads. They won't be able to threaten liquidaton, But something far worse for many going forward.
 
C

chipmunn

Guest
US Airways Wins Court Approval to Terminate Pilot Pension Plan
ALEXANDRIA (Bloomberg) -- US Airways Group Inc., the seventh-largest U.S. carrier, won a federal judge''s permission to cancel a pension plan for 7,000 to 8,000 pilots as it slashes costs to emerge from bankruptcy.
The decision doesn''t resolve the carrier''s attempt to abandon the pensions. US Airways still must prove that it has complied with its labor contract with the pilots, said U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Stephen Mitchell.
``I will approve the termination,'''' Mitchell said. `But that is subject to a finding under the mechanisms set forth in the collective bargaining agreement.''''
The airline said last month it can''t make $2 billion in benefit payments due retired pilots the next seven years and asked a federal pension agency for permission to end the plan March 31. The Arlington, Virginia-based company said it would commit $850 million over seven years to a replacement plan.
The carrier says it must reduce pension liability to get $200 million in financing from the Retirement Systems of Alabama and a $900 million U.S. government loan guarantee needed to emerge from bankruptcy.
``US Airways is attempting to force pilots to bear an unacceptable and unjust burden that permanently harms pilots'' retirement income,'''' Captain Bill Pollock, US Airways master executive council chairman for the Air Line Pilots Association, said in a statement. The union objected to the termination and said the question must be settled through arbitration under the Railway Labor Act, which governs airline contracts.
The carrier has been cutting jobs and flights as it tries to adjust to lower demand that contributed to eight straight quarterly losses before the Chapter 11 filing in August. US Airways filed court papers seeking relief from the pension expense after Congress and a U.S. pension agency failed to approve a request to stretch the airline''s obligations over a longer period.
Retirement Systems of Alabama has pledged a $240 million investment in addition to the bankruptcy financing and will get a 37 percent stake in US Airways after the carrier''s reorganization. US Airways said last week that it''s on track to emerge from Chapter 11 by March 31. A hearing on the company''s bankruptcy recovery plan is scheduled for March 18.
 

Pacemaker

Senior
Sep 3, 2002
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Most likely this means ALPA and management are headed for the bargaining table to work out a solution that at least begins to address ALPA's objections.
 

enilria

Advanced
Aug 20, 2002
157
0
So this really means nothing, right? If it is not determined whether management can unilaterally impose this under the current contract, then what does this really mean?
 
OP
PITbull

PITbull

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Dec 29, 2002
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I don't know, but this co. could impose many things to get pilots to possibly concede.

Next "trump card" with this mangement is "forced Majeur" if we go to war. I bet there will be many pilots close to retirement, bailing. I'm not sure I understand this "wishy/washy ruling.

Does this mean the pensions are terminated only if an arbitrator rules so? Or is the judge saying that this IS the ruling and only in arbitration can it be decided differently?

 
C

chipmunn

Guest
US Airways Clears a Hurdle in Bid to End Pension Plan

ALEXANDRIA (Bloomberg) -- US Airways Group Inc. cleared a hurdle in its bid to cancel a pension plan for more than 7,000 pilots, a move designed to help it slash $1.9 billion in costs and emerge from bankruptcy.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Stephen Mitchell approved a request by the seventh-largest U.S. carrier to terminate the plan. He said US Airways still must prove it has complied with its labor contract with the pilots, setting the stage for further talks between the two sides.

``I will approve the termination,'' Mitchell said. ``But that is subject to a finding under the mechanisms set forth in the collective bargaining agreement.''

The airline said last month it can't make $2 billion in benefit payments due retired pilots over the next seven years and asked a federal pension agency for permission to end the plan by March 31. The Arlington, Virginia-based company said it would commit $850 million over seven years to a replacement plan.

``We're disappointed with the judge's ruling that the company met the financial conditions for a termination of the pilot pension plan,'' said Air Line Pilots Association spokesman Roy Freundlich. ``We're gratified that the judge upheld our position on the contract and we are assessing all of our legal options.''

More Negotiations

Chris Chiames, a spokesman for US Airways, said Mitchell's ruling means the dispute is headed for more negotiations, mediation or arbitration. The carrier would prefer negotiation, he said.

``We're calling on ALPA to join us in immediate negotiations to resolve the remaining issues,'' he said in an interview. Mitchell's ruling ``keeps us on track'' to exit bankruptcy, he said.

US Airways says it must reduce pension liability to get $200 million in financing from the Retirement Systems of Alabama and a $900 million U.S. government loan guarantee to help it emerge from bankruptcy.

``US Airways is attempting to force pilots to bear an unacceptable and unjust burden that permanently harms pilots' retirement income,'' Captain Bill Pollock, US Airways master executive council chairman for the Air Line Pilots Association, said in a statement before Mitchell ruled. The union objected to the termination and said the question must be settled through arbitration under the Railway Labor Act, which governs airline contracts.

Cutting Back

The carrier has been cutting jobs and flights as it tries to adjust to lower demand that contributed to eight straight quarterly losses before the company's Chapter 11 filing in August. US Airways filed court papers seeking relief from the pension expense after Congress and a U.S. pension agency failed to approve a request to stretch the airline's obligations over a longer period.

Retirement Systems of Alabama has pledged a $240 million investment in addition to the bankruptcy financing and will get a 37 percent stake in US Airways after the carrier's reorganization. US Airways said last week that it's on track to emerge from Chapter 11 by March 31. A hearing on the company's bankruptcy recovery plan is scheduled for March 18.
 
OP
PITbull

PITbull

Veteran
Dec 29, 2002
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[blockquote]
----------------
On 3/1/2003 8:39:38 PM savyinvestor wrote:

[blockquote]
----------------
On 3/1/2003 8:17:01 PM PITbull wrote:

We will not let management or ALPA attempt to freeze or manipulate other defined pensions, in order to apease mangement or ALPA. We will not permit them to take from the grossly less advantaged, to give to the already advantaged.

If we do go to war, this mangement will "jump" at the chance to threaten a "forced Majeur" over the pilots heads. They won't be able to threaten liquidaton, But something far worse for many going forward.
----------------
[/blockquote]
Pitbull, I wish you all the best. Savy
----------------
[/blockquote]

God Sav, this just never ends......
 

fatherabraham

Veteran
Sep 27, 2002
814
354
[blockquote]
----------------
On 3/1/2003 8:53:30 PM Pacemaker wrote:

Management has x number of pension dollars to spend, what is wrong with allocating it equitably? This is the essence of the "infamous page 35".

BTW, what's with the "advantaged/disadvantaged" remark?

Do you think pilots just went out to their mailbox one day after high school graduation and found a diploma from a four-year university, and a letter from the FAA containing an ATP with appropriate type-ratings along with a certified logbook with a credit for 5,000 hours? During the 10-or-so years it took the average pilot to amass the credentials and experience required for employment, what were the "disadvantaged" doing to put themsleves onto the "advantaged" track?


----------------
[/blockquote]

Pacemaker,

Your wasting your time with sound logic on this board. I know...I fought the good fight and lost. 90% + posters are of the mindset that anyone who EARNS more than them are overpaid. Of course they would'nt embrace socialism if it meant say the airport janitor / food service / shoe shiner / aircraft fueler etc. were paid their salary w/o paying the dues to EARN it.
 
OP
PITbull

PITbull

Veteran
Dec 29, 2002
7,784
456
www.usaviation.com
[blockquote]
----------------
On 3/1/2003 9:07:23 PM chipmunn wrote:

Today's ruling pleased ALPA and its legal staff.

The court ruled in favor of the company's motion that it met the financial conditions under ERISA to seek termination of the pilots pension plan with the PBGC.

However, the judge declined to rule whether the termination of the pilots pension plan is a violation of the CBA and the decision is in favor of ALPA’s objection. The ALPA grievance filed on February 5 must be resolved prior to a pension "distress termination" and will be heard on March 13.

Chip

A code-a-phone with additional information will be posted later this evening with further details of today’s court proceedings.
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[/blockquote]

Then I believe the pilots have succeeded, and congratulations for the first part of their endeavor is in order!
 
C

chipmunn

Guest
PineyBob:

Judge Mitchell's decision means the company qualifies for a distress termination, but cannot move forward with a contract change per the RLA.

In its response to the company's motion to terminate the pension plan, a violation of the CBA, ALPA filed a grievance and the court effectively ruled the grievance process must be completed before the company can terminate the plan.

It appears this story has just begun, but time is running out on the airline with war on the horizon.

Chip
 

savyinvestor

Senior
Jan 15, 2003
494
0
www.usaviation.com
[blockquote]
----------------
On 3/1/2003 8:17:01 PM PITbull wrote:

We will not let management or ALPA attempt to freeze or manipulate other defined pensions, in order to apease mangement or ALPA. We will not permit them to take from the grossly less advantaged, to give to the already advantaged.

If we do go to war, this mangement will "jump" at the chance to threaten a "forced Majeur" over the pilots heads. They won't be able to threaten liquidaton, But something far worse for many going forward.
----------------
[/blockquote]
Pitbull, I wish you all the best. Savy
 

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