New RJ TA Allows Non-Union Pilots

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Aug 20, 2002
The new US Airways Letter of Agreement for small jets contains the following:[BR][BR][A. Up to 20 Medium SJs (50-seat) and up to [STRONG]30 Large SJs (70-seat CRJ-700 aircraft only)[/STRONG] may be operated by Mesa Airlines or by [STRONG]any wholly owned subsidiary of Mesa Air Group [/STRONG]or Mesa Airlines under terms agreed to between Mesa Air Group and the Association. Such aircraft shall be subject to the Jets for Jobs Protocol and must be placed into revenue operation no later than December 31, 2004.][BR][BR]Only Mesa Air Group subsidary [STRONG]Freedom Airlines [/STRONG]operates the 70-seat CRJ-700. It appears that, as sources have stated, this is the subsidary the agreement refers to. [STRONG]Why is US Airways ALPA making an agreement with a non-union airline which ALPA National opposes?[/STRONG] This seems to go against everything ALPA represents.[BR][BR]The following is from [A href=][/A] and states ALPA''s position on Freedom Airlines:[BR][BR]
[P][FONT face=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica size=4]Are you considering applying for a job with Freedom Airlines?[/FONT][FONT face=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica size=2] If so, think again. ALPA urges all furloughed pilots to consider the facts and their own futures before applying for or accepting a job at Freedom Airlines. Working for Freedom Air is bad for the piloting profession and it’s a gamble for your own career.
[P]Accepting work with Freedom Airlines is detrimental to all Mesa Air Group pilots. ALPA’s position is that Freedom Airlines is an alter-ego, runaway shop carrier created by Mesa Air Group specifically to undermine the collective bargaining strength, working conditions, and career aspirations of Mesa Airlines pilots. Mesa Air Group is using Freedom Air to intimidate and threaten Mesa Airlines pilots with the transfer of work opportunities as a means of dictating pilot pay and working conditions. [/P]
Under Ornstein’s control, Mesa Air Group operates the three wholly owned subsidiary carriers, Mesa Airlines, Air Midwest, and CCAir. The Mesa and Air Midwest pilots work under a single contract and a single pilot seniority list. In other words, Mesa and Air Midwest are a single pilot group. [/P]
[P]Mesa Air Group is attempting to establish Freedom Airlines as a non-union carrier operating 70- and 90-seat jets on a separate operating certificate. At the same time, the Mesa Airlines pilots are in contract negotiations, seeking much-needed improvements in their compensation, retirement, and working conditions. Contract negotiations have been stalled by management are going extremely slowly. In fact, ALPA has filed a lawsuit asking the federal court to compel management to bargain in good faith as outlined by the Railway Labor Act.[/P]
[P]When you are considering your next career move, consider the following facts:[/P]
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[P]· [/FONT]Freedom Airlines is a non-union airline. Freedom pilots will not have the protections and benefits of union representation or a union contract. Freedom pilots would be at-will employees subject to the whims of management’s decisions. Pilots would not have representation in disciplinary actions and would be subject to unilateral changes in their compensation, benefits, and working conditions.[/P][FONT face=Symbol]
[P]· [/FONT]The status of Freedom Airlines is subject to challenge in litigation brought by ALPA. The Association is alleging that Mesa Air Group’s use of Freedom Airlines to undermine the collective bargaining position of the Mesa pilots is a violation of the Railway Labor Act. In the ongoing lawsuit, ALPA is asking the federal court to enjoin Mesa Air Group from operating Freedom Airlines.[/P][FONT face=Symbol]
[P]· [/FONT]ALPA will also challenge Mesa Air Group’s ability to manage labor relations at Freedom Airlines separately from those of its other carriers. The National Mediation Board has already upheld the Association’s assertion that Mesa Airlines, Air Midwest, and CCAir are, in fact, a single carrier for collective bargaining purposes. If Freedom Airlines does begin operations, ALPA will seek a similar single-carrier ruling from the NMB as it applies to Freedom.[/P][/DIR][/BLOCKQUOTE][/FONT]
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