Judge gives US Airways more time to negotiate



Judge gives US Airways more time to negotiate
PITTSBURGH (Business Times) - A federal judge has agreed to let US Airways have more time to negotiate with employees who haven''t ratified restructuring agreements before he considers the airline''s request to dissolve its collective bargaining agreements with those workers.
During a hearing in Alexandria, Va., Tuesday, Judge Stephen Mitchell of U.S. Bankruptcy Court postponed the request to dissolve the labor agreements until Sept. 23, according to a Dow Jones report.
Some 14,000 US Airways employees have yet to agree to wage and benefit cuts that would help the Arlington, Va.-based air carrier restructure. Those employees are represented by the Communications Workers of America and the International Association of Machinists.
US Airways filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Aug. 11. After months of negotiations with the company, employees including pilots, flight attendants and baggage handlers approved restructuring agreements.
US Airways had asked the bankruptcy court to dissolve its labor agreements with the communications workers and members of the machinists union who had not agreed to concessions. The hearing Tuesday was supposed to address that request, but US Airways asked the court last week for a delay after it reached a tentative agreement with the communications workers on Sept. 6.
The communications workers union represents about 8,000 reservations and customer service employees at US Airways. The machinists union represents several groups of US Airways employees, including almost 7,000 mechanics who have not agreed to restructuring concessions.
US Airways, which operates a major hub at Pittsburgh International Airport, is using other cost-cutting measures, such as trimming its flight schedule and retiring older aircraft to assist its restructuring effort. The airline also has received conditional approval for federal loan guarantees worth $900 million.
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Hi Liz:

I agree with you the timing of the bonus payment announcement was not good. But as you and I have discussed, people need to look at what is best for themselves and their families.

This economy, this industry, and this company are in crisis. Nobody including you, I, or anybody interesting in the success of the company wants to see how ugly it will get if a S.1113 hearing is held.

There will be no winners, but Dave has no choice if the restructuring agreements are not ratified. Dave must have access to the DIP Credit Facility, the Emergence Financing, and the Loan Guarantee. He cannot operate without these funds and must obtain concessions one way or another. The financiers require it.

The financing listed above requires restructuring agreement concessions; therefore, management has no options. The company must either reach voluntary accords or seek deeper court-ordered concessions, which will occur no later than September 23, or it will not have the funds to operate.

In today's environment, there are no other corporate options if the company wants to operate as an independent business entity.

This whole situation is affecting 36,000 employees, their families, and the communities we serve. Nobody likes the stress or the issues, but as the country mourns the events of September 11, I do not believe anybody wants to see US liquidate, but that is what will occur if the Judge does not side with the company at the S.1113 hearing. I doubt Judge Mitchell will side with any union who does not have a consensual agreement.

On 9/10/2002 11:34:36 PM chipmunn wrote:

Judge gives US Airways more time to negotiate

PITTSBURGH (Business Times) - A federal judge has agreed to let US Airways have more time to negotiate with employees who haven't ratified restructuring agreements before he considers the airline's request to dissolve its collective bargaining agreements with those workers.


This is really a misnomer. USAirways is NOT using the time to negotiate wtih the two employee groups who have not ratified restructuring agreements. Instead the Company is sending out upper level management to badger and har@ss employees to vote the way they wish them to do so. It is inflammatory to rank and file employees to hear about a V-P's bonus at the same time they are being asked to consider a package with massive pay cuts or worse: a layoff.

USAirways needs to avail themselves of some human relations seminars. They're going about this in the very poorest way possible and they will have no one but themselves to blame for the outcome.

Why should they continue to negotiate? The CWA has a T/A that they'll be voting on and the IAM will be voting a second time on the company's last offer. Until the results of those votes are known, any further negotiating would be pointless. The extension was to give more time for the votes to be completed, as well as a few more days after that with which to negotiate should one or both of those votes fail.
777, Are you saying that IF the IAM votes down this offer for the second time,, There will be a THIRD vote ??
No, my point was that Siegel isn't foolish. He doesn't want to seek abrogation of your labor agreements unless he absolutely has to. But anyone who doubts his sincerity on that issue is foolish. I wasn't talking about a third vote on the same last offer. I view it more along the lines of giving labor one last chance before the company hauls out the heavy artillery before the judge.