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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”

 

 

The SLI arbitration panel received the Ninth Circuit opinion shortly after it was published. Following full review of the court order, the arbitration Panel asked the attorneys from each committee to meet on Monday, June 29 "for an off the record conference to discuss these developments and consider the appropriate way(s) to proceed", in lieu of holding opening arguments as originally scheduled. Subsequently, the Panel expanded the conference to include a client representative from each Committee, the Company and APA. The Panel has made clear the limits of this conference: "None of the attending Parties in that meeting will be asked to advocate any substantive ISL position or waive any legal rights to other recourse. Our purpose simply is to become as fully informed as possible of the views of all Parties to our proceeding, before we address [USAPA's] pending motion to suspend the presently scheduled hearing dates." Finally, the Panel made it clear that, for the moment at least, the previously scheduled hearing dates remain in place: "All other scheduled hearing dates remain in place until further notice from the Panel, pending the outcome of those discussions and any necessary rulings by the Panel." At this time, that is the only substantive change to the SLI hearing schedule, however, it is possible that other changes may follow Monday's meeting. We remain committed to minimizing disruptions to the SLI process while also ensuring that the Ninth Circuit mandate is honored and that the results of this SLI proceeding are promptly implemented. We will notify you of any new developments just as soon as we know them.

 

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