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America West Merger Committee Update June 30, 2015

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Following a morning of closed, off-the-record discussions between the SLI arbitration panel and the remaining parties to the process, the arbitration panel convened oral arguments this afternoon to decide the following questions:

 

1. Whether APA should engage in best efforts to establish a new merger committee to represent legacy U.S. Airways East pilots ("East Merger Committee")?

 

2. Whether a new East Merger Committee, if any, should be deemed bound by the Ninth Circuit's decision in Addington?

 

3. What shall be the revised schedule for the ISL hearing (including, without limitation, the schedule for establishing a new East Merger Committee, if any).

 

Our position is that the arbitration panel has no authority to answer question one and two. However, should the panel decide to answer those questions, our position is quite simple and unremarkable: we believe that the process should continue to move forward per the written agreement of the parties, and there is well settled law providing that arbitration proceedings continue unabated in the event one of the parties voluntarily withdraws. We encourage you to read the transcripts and briefs requested by the panel (which will be submitted by midnight tomorrow night, July 1, and will be posted on this site) to become fully informed of our position, as well as the positions of the other parties (American Airlines, Allied Pilots Association, and AAPSIC). The panel will render a written decision on these questions no later than midnight Monday, July 6.

 

At this time, the remaining July hearing dates, commencing Monday July 13, as well as the September and October hearing dates remain intact. The arbitration panel has also reserved the first two weeks in January on their schedules in the event additional hearing dates are needed.

 

We will continue to keep you updated as events continue to transpire.

 

Thank you for your continued support.

 

Sincerely,

 

The West Merger Committee

David Braid          Mark Burman        Johan de Vicq

Eric Ferguson       Jeff O'Connell       Russ Payne

Jim Van Sickle      Mitch Vasin          Roger Velez

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America West Merger Committee Update June 29, 2015

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As you're aware, earlier today the arbitration panel met with the attorneys and chairman from each committee, in closed session, in lieu of holding opening arguments as originally scheduled. The panel put all the parties under a strict confidentiality order, such that we cannot discuss the details of the meeting. However, portions of today's meeting did take place on record, and we will publish those transcripts just as soon as they come available. The meeting will reconvene tomorrow morning, Tuesday, June 30, in closed session, and predominantly off the record.

 

We reiterate our view that we are committed to minimizing disruptions to the SLI process while also ensuring that the Ninth Circuit mandate is honored. We will promptly notify you of any new developments.

 

Thank you for your continued support.

 

Sincerely,

 

The West Merger Committee

David Braid          Mark Burman        Johan de Vicq

Eric Ferguson       Jeff O'Connell       Russ Payne

 

Jim Van Sickle      Mitch Vasin          Roger Velez

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America West Merger Committee Update June 26, 2015

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In this final update before the commencement of the seniority arbitration proceedings, we have three items to discuss with you.

 

PRE-HEARING BRIEFS AND SENIORITY INTEGRATION PROPOSALS

 

As you are aware, on Friday June 19, all three merger committees exchanged and submitted to the arbitration panel pre-hearing briefs, exhibits, and proposed seniority lists. The pre-hearing briefs, proposed seniority lists, and witness lists are posted at the following locations:

 

http://www.west-merger-committee.com

https://public.alliedpilots.org/apa/

Home/SeniorityIntegration.aspx

 

While we know that it is difficult to refrain from reacting to some of these proposals, it is important that we all be reminded that we are very much on familiar ground here. Each proposal will be vetted by a 3-member arbitration panel after 12-16 days of witness testimony and exhibits, and history has consistently shown that unreasonable positions rarely, if ever, survive that degree of objective scrutiny. We therefore encourage all pilots to remain engaged in the process, and refrain from allowing it to become a matter of fruitless, and potentially divisive debate with folks with whom we will be sharing cockpits in the near future. History has also shown the extraordinarily detrimental effects of allowing seniority integration to spill outside the confines of the agreed-to process.

 

OBJECTIVE OVERVIEW OF THE POSITIONS

 

We thought it might be helpful to provide you an objective summary of each committees proposal. The purpose of this summary is to provide you with a general overview of the main arguments presented by each committee, so that you have a bit more focus on the issues as you follow along the arbitration proceedings. It is not our purpose here to mischaracterize any positions, or otherwise promote or diminish any of the positions; simply to explain them as we understand them.

 

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America West Merger Committee Update June 28, 2015

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As you're aware, on Friday June 26, the Ninth Circuit issued a published decision in the latest Addington lawsuit against USAPA, holding USAPA liable for breaching its duty of fair representation to the West pilots. As a primary remedy, the court ordered as follows:

 

"We thus remand this case with instructions to the district court to enter an order enjoining USAPA from participating in the McCaskill-Bond seniority integration proceedings, including any seniority-related discussions leading up to those proceedings, except to the extent that USAPA advocates the Nicolau Award. This remedy adequately accounts for our uncertainty over whether the Nicolau Award would have been implemented because it allows for the possibility that the SLI arbitration panel might not ultimately use the Nicolau Award in its final integration of the US Airways and American Airlines Pilots. It also limits USAPA's participation in the seniority integration proceedings, but does not prohibit USAPA from advocating the seniority position of the East and West Pilots, collectively, as against the American Airlines pilots. Nor is USAPA barred from participating, to the extent it is otherwise permitted, in negotiations regarding other labor matters. At the same time, our injunction has the benefit of alleviating the West Pilots' hardship of fighting on two fronts and ensuring that the East Pilots cannot exploit the benefits of USAPA's breach any longer”

 

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America West Merger Committee Update June 12, 2015

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We have three items to update you about this evening.

 

THE LMRDA DUES DISGORGEMENT CASE

 

USAPA is presently making the unbelievable claim in federal court that it still holds representational responsibilities on behalf of the America West pilots, including for purposes seniority integration. USAPA is taking this position despite the Preliminary Arbitration decision, and also despite the fact that USAPA is no longer a certified bargaining agent. It is therefore imperative that all America West pilots immediately review the most recent update from Leonidas LLC and take the action recommended therein:

 

www.cactuspilot.com 

 

The ability to successfully fund your merger committee is affected by this litigation. We need all America West pilots to send an email to USAPA as described in the Leonidas update. Please also contact other America West pilots you know and ensure that they too have taken the recommended action.

 

PUBLICATION OF SENIORITY PROPOSALS

 

One week from today, Friday, June 19, the three merger committees will exchange the following information with one another:

1. Pre-hearing Statements of Position, including proposed seniority list integration methodology, and proposed integrated seniority list with accompanying Conditions and Restrictions.

2. Lists of proposed witnesses for the Parties' cases in chief.

3. Proposed Exhibits for Witnesses the Parties' intend to call in their cases in chief.

This information will also be posted at the following web locations:

 

http://www.west-merger-committee.com 

https://public.alliedpilots.org/apa/

Home/SeniorityIntegration.aspx

 

During the arbitration hearings, these websites will also contain the daily hearing transcripts in addition to all exhibits and written submissions used in the hearings.