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Leonidas Update October 21, 2014

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As mentioned in our previous update, on September 16, 2014 USAPA filed a Complaint for Declatory Judgement with the Superior Court of North Carolina, naming Leonidas and West pilot Roger Velez as Defendants. USAPA is asking the court for declarations stating that:

1. “The National Officers' decision to defer dissolution upon USAPA's loss of NMB certification was within their constitutional authority and consistent with the USAPA Constitution and Bylaws” 

2. “The National Officers' decision to defer distribution of assets to its members upon USAPA's loss of NMB certification was within their constitutional authority and consistent with the Constitution and Bylaws”

On October 16, 2014, our legal counsel filed a “Notice of Removal” in the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, asking to have the case moved to Federal Court based on diversity grounds, since neither defendant nor any of the managers of Leonidas are North Carolina residents as well as on federal law question issues, since issues pertaining to the Railway Labor Act (RLA) and the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA) are triggered by the complaint. You can read the document here.Some of you might remember this District Court as the venue that heard the Cactus 18 RICO lawsuit initiated by USAPA in 2008.  

We expect USAPA to file a “motion to remand” soon, asking the case to be remanded back to state court. While waiting for USAPA to do so, our counsel will be filing responsive pleadings on behalf of both defendants in Federal Court this week. The pleadings being filed are technical documents under the various rules of procedure and should be considered routine. Until USAPA files its motion to demand and has it granted, the Federal Court has jurisdiction over the matter. Today, it assigned Judge Robert J. Conrad, Jr. to the case. This is the same Judge that presided over the Company’s injunction lawsuit against USAPA for their illegal work action in 2011. Judge Conrad denied USAPA's Motion to Vacate the Permanent Injunction in June of this year. 

In our appeal of Addington II, the responsive pleadings from both Airways and USAPA are due in the 9th Circuit next week, Barring any schedule changes, our response to these pleadings will be due in late November. All documents will be available soon after being filed in the legal library on the cactuspilot.com website.

As we deal with yet another USAPA attempt to delay the smooth completion of the merger, and move toward the start of the Preliminary Arbitration hearing in December we realize that many of you have questions. We are happy to announce another “Meet and Greet” on November 3 from 3PM to 6PM at the Crown Plaza, 4300 E Washington St, Phoenix, AZ 85034 where both legal counsel and merger counsel will be in attendance. We have arranged for free parking and there is shuttle van service from the airport. Additional information will be forthcoming soon.

After 8 years, we are nearing the final battle. This is no time to let our guard down. We might be part of the New American and members of the APA, but we are as alone today as we were in 2008. Your support and determination is what has gotten us to this point, and your support and determination is what will get us across the finish line. If you haven’t done so, please go to www.thepushforjustice.com and sign up.

Thank you for your ongoing support. 

Sincerely, 

Leonidas, LLC 

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Leonidas Update September 22, 2014

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014, USAPA was terminated as the Collective Bargaining Agent (CBA) for the US Airways pilots – West and East, and the APA was certified as the exclusive bargaining agent for all New American pilots. Within hours of this announcement, USAPA filed yet another lawsuit (click here) against West pilots and in particular, Roger Velez who was officially “served” on Saturday. 

USAPA left the world of certified collective bargaining agents exactly as it arrived - by filing a lawsuit against West Pilots. This is the fifth time USAPA has brought a lawsuit against West pilots in a little over six years. In May of 2008, less than six weeks after it was certified by the NMB, USAPA sued 24 “named” West pilots and 100 “John/Jane Doe” West pilots under the Federal RICO statute (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act). This lawsuit was promptly dismissed “with prejudice.” Undeterred, USAPA then appealed and the dismissal ruling was upheld. Subsequently, USAPA initiated another lawsuit (accompanied by a smear and misinformation campaign) against three West pilots for alleged identity theft. This lawsuit (and related efforts to have any and every state Attorney Generals take action on USAPA's behalf) did not progress, as the allegations were clearly baseless and aimed at illegally silencing dissent within USAPA. Later, USAPA filed another lawsuit in American’s bankruptcy court in an attempt to stop West pilots from pursing their seniority rights. This lawsuit was promptly dismissed as well. Now, USAPA has expressly named Roger Velez, the Certified West Pilot class, and Leonidas, LLC in another lawsuit asking the court to determine USAPA’s responsibility for dues disgorgement to all USAPA Members. 

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Leonidas Update September 12, 2014

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September 4th APA, American Airlines and USAPA produced the Protocol Agreement to set the rules that will govern the seniority single list integration. The company and our future union, APA, agreed to this Protocol, despite admonitions from Judge Silver expressing concerns over USAPA’s ability to truly represent the West pilots. APA and American Airlines should exercise extreme caution when dealing with USAPA, since their word or agreements cannot be trusted. 

The Protocol Agreement, PA, recognizes USAPA’s merger committee even after USAPA is decertified. Meanwhile, West pilots are forced to arbitrate whether or not we will have our own merger committee representation. The Protocol Agreement itself is evidence that USAPA’s interests are diametrically opposed to ours. The events of the last eight years highlight the distinction between legal and ethics. There is no other way to describe a system that provides cover for USAPA to collect dues from the very group they attempt to oppress. There is a level of disappointment however when USAPA is aided by management and our future collective bargaining agent. 

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Leonidas Update September 16, 2014

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Today, the NMB certified the Allied Pilots Association as the exclusive bargaining agent for all flight deck crewmembers of US Airways. You can read the NMB determination here. Effective immediately, USAPA no longer has the legal status of a collective bargaining agent. 

USAPA is still in possession of a substantial amount of dues monies, collected from US Airways pilots for the purpose of collective bargaining - a purpose which they cannot fulfill anymore. A demand letter was sent on Friday September 12th to USAPA officers and counsel which notices USAPA for the remittance of all funds in excess to concluding USAPA's business as a exclusive bargaining agent required under the law. You can read the demand letter here

Additionally, a Litigation Hold Letter was sent to USAPA attorney Brian O’Dwyer for the retention of all USAPA records. 

Finally, we encourage all West pilots to apply for membership to our new collective bargaining agent. The APA has a convenient online application, which you can access here

Thank you all for your continued support. 

Sincerely, 

Leonidas, LLC 

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West Pilots Class Rep Update

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As we are certain you know, mediated negotiations called for by the NMB to achieve a SLI Process Agreement have been ongoing between APA, New American, and USAPA in Washington, D.C. since August 5. Noticeably absent in the process has been any representative advocating for the unique interests of the West pilots.


Today, the USAPA BPR, over the objections of the Phoenix Reps, ratified the tentative agreement resulting from those mediated negotiations, subject to reaching modification of the Agreement with APA and the Company on one matter not related to our principal issue: the status of a Committee representing West pilots. We assume that the parties will resolve that issue, one way or another, in relatively short order. If so, more details about the Agreement will surely appear in the days ahead.

By the terms of the Agreement it is plainly evident that USAPA has once again demonstrated that they only intend to represent East US Airways’ pilot seniority interests. One only has to read the inaccurate and inflammatory September 3, 2014 USAPA Merger Committee update , and compare that with the actual language of the Protocol Agreement to understand the depth USAPA will go to deny West representation in the coming SLI. The West pilots must be afforded the same status, rights, and privileges as the other two pilot groups specified in the MOU. This was one of the key factors leading to our support of the MOU and merger with American Airlines in the first place.