We would like to remind you that there will be a “meet and greet” session with our attorneys from Polsinelli Shughart, this Friday, November 2nd at the Crown Plaza, 4300 E. Washington St. from 9AM to Noon. All West pilots and their significant others are welcome. The Hotel has a shuttle service to and from the airport, or you can take the Light Rail bus from Terminal 4 and walk across Washington street.
The attorneys will address your questions and concerns regarding the recent ruling by Judge Silver in the company’s Declaratory Judgment case, including the filings made last night by the Company (which you can read here). Additionally, Marty and Andy will have plenty of editorial comments to make about where we are at today and how a merger with American enters into the equation. Since we are so close to the meet and greet, we will defer comment on the Company’s latest filings in this update. What we will say for now is that under Rule 4 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a Rule 60 Motion resets the time to appeal if the Motion is filed within 28 days of the Judgment (Document 193). Here, the Company’s Rule 60 Motion was filed within 28 days of the Judgment, so now we have to wait for Judge Silver to rule on the Rule 60 Motion, and then the 30 day appeal clock will start to run anew.
One thing we do want to comment on is this week’s CLT update. Predictably, the CLT reps take narrow snippets from Document 193 and then inflate their way to “facts” which are really just unsubstantiated opinions. The crux of what Judge Silver is thinking is found in the transcripts from the October 2nd hearing (and here is the complete thought; no snippets will be found in a Leonidas Update):
“I will tell you, as everybody in this courtroom knows, I wanted this [Airways Dec Action] resolved today. I didn’t –maybe the exception makes the rule with the Ninth Circuit. I definitely didn’t care for that decision [majority opinion in Addington appeal]. But it’s the only one I didn’t care for forever, but we’re here. We’re stuck with it [majority opinion in Addington appeal] and I’ve tried.” (Oct 2nd, 2012 Transcript, p.20, references in parenthesis added for clarity).
The “forever” comment brought laughter in the courtroom, as she leaned forward, pretending that the 9th Circuit was listening. We at Leonidas agree with Judge Silver’s lamentations; all of us are “stuck” with Judge Tashima’s shortsightedness. The Company’s Declaratory Action case underscores why the Ninth Circuit’s Addington decision just doesn’t make sense, but regardless, that is the law for now until the Ninth revisits the issue. The unfortunate aspect for all of us is that USAPA continues to this day to ignore what every federal judge has tried to tell them; from Judge Wake’s clear explanation of the facts and the law to Judge Tashima’s warning to USAPA of creating a “painfully ripe” DFR for the West, to the latest from Judge Silver:
“An impartial arbitrator’s decision regarding an appropriate method of seniority integration is powerful evidence of a fair result. Discarding the Nicolau Award places USAPA on dangerous ground.” Document 193, pg. 7.
Her warning to USAPA could not be clearer, yet true to form, it’s consciously ignored by the East leadership.
One last note: in response to Gary Hummel’s latest President’s Message in which he states: “The fact that the West Pilot Class continues to refuse to discuss any seniority proposal other than the Nicolau Award is regrettable . . . “ This is a blatant misstatement; with the elimination of East and West MECs, USAPA forever eliminated the possibility of compromise. They consciously and deliberately eliminated the East-West distinction in order to eliminate the separate ratification provision with the Transition Agreement. Eliminating separate ratification was necessary to affect their DOH cram-down. Now, there is only one Class and Craft, and one bargaining agent for all. Engaging individual pilots in discussions on any contractual term, whether they are based in PHX, CLT, PHL or DCA, is tantamount to USAPA negotiating with itself. Welcome, President Hummel, to the mess USAPA created.
We look forward to seeing each and every one of you at Friday’s meet and greet. DOH has gone nowhere because the overwhelming majority of West pilots have stood together. This unity is as alive today as it was four years ago when all of this started. Your commitment to fund the defense of the AWA Pilots’ seniority rights is the reason USAPA’s fantasy of imposing DOH on the West has been thwarted. The Nicolau is not a matter of “if,” but “when.” Have a safe and spooky Halloween. See you on Friday.
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