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.
Although we are forced to play by their rules, West pilots have reason for optimism. The West pilots, represented by Jeff Freund and Marty Harper, are optimistic about the outcome of the “first” arbitration confirming APA’s right to appoint a West Merger Committee. The next several months should be quite busy for our West Merger Committee, requiring an incredible amount of effort within a compressed time schedule outlined in the PA. The timely expansion of the West Merger Committee is coupled with the PA completion.
As per the PA, the West Pilots Merger Committee sent within the time constraints of the PA, a letter requesting party status and for APA to appoint the West Pilots Class Representatives selected West Merger Committee.
The appalling idea that USAPA leadership believes it has the right to use OUR dues money after decertification goes along with the unethical delusion USAPA has had since the summer of 2007. Our legal team is and will be exploring all options available to impact USAPA’s ability after decertification to withhold returning to the pilots their unused dues or USAPA’s ability to use West Pilots’ pro-rated share of their dues against us. A letter is being sent to USAPA and its elected officials addressing these issues. Based on past behavior, USAPA plans on becoming a quasi “Kiwanis Club”, some sort of private, unincorporated association bound by the laws of the State of North Carolina to somehow further obstruct the American Airlines, APA, and West Merger committees.
Funds needed for the first arbitration and then the ISL representation is another issue that we must contend with, given that all other parties have funds that should be authorized for the West Merger Committee work, subject matter experts, advisors, arbitrators and our legal counsel. Make no mistake, our adversaries over the past seven years have expected us to fail, fold or quit over the need to fund the West Pilots’ endeavor of securing a Binding Arbitrator seniority list. This places the West Pilots at a severe disadvantage in a process that is supposed to be fair. However, as our legal team makes every effort to secure funds that should be rightfully ours, we know that the West Pilots can and will do what it takes to finish the job. We have been left to fend for ourselves over the past nine years and look forward to the day when we are neither caught between a hostile union and a complacent company.
We have shown true unity, a true quality lacking in our profession as in society as well. Be proud to be part of the unified West Pilots as we “Push” toward the finish line.
Leonidas is the funding conduit to pay for SLI representation of Jeff Freund, ongoing litigation represented by Marty Harper and the upcoming expenses of the West Merger Committee. For those that have not already signed up, we encourage you to got tohttp://www.cactuspilotcontributors.com/contribute.html and sign up for the Push for Justice Campaign.