Recently an Order was issued regarding a Motion for Joinder and Permanent Injunction by Arizona Federal District Court Judge Roslyn O. Silver in the Addington III case based on the 9th Circuit Judgment issued on June 26, 2015 finding that USAPA breached its Duty of Fair Representation (DFR) to the West Pilot Class.
While the West Pilots sought to exercise our rights to a broad injunction to include the recently formed East Pilot Merger Committee, the Court felt otherwise based on the evidence that was available at the time. The West Pilots chose not to seek discovery as that would have the potential effect of further delaying the SLI process already slowed by various USAPA and the East Pilots actions in their attempts to evade a long-standing obligation to honor the 2007 Nicolau Arbitration Award.
Our desire to seek a broad injunction was diminished when the American Airlines Pilot Seniority Integration Committee (AAPSIC), representative of over 10,000 American pilots, made a equitable argument in favor of using the Nicolau Award integration methodology for the US Airways pilots. In the AAPSIC September 19, 2015 proposal to the arbitration board the American Committee states,
The Ninth Circuit’s holding, that the denial of the Nicolau Award in Paragraph 10.h. of the MOU breached USAPA’s duty of fair representation, is effectively the tie-breaker on this [East/West] question. With the Ninth Circuit’s affirmation of the West Pilots’ reasonable expectation of the Nicolau Award, the AASPIC acknowledges it as the starting point for ranking the East and West Pilots on the ISL. As part of the ISL, the US Airways Pilots (East and West) should be ordered based on the Nicolau Award.
Additionally, the Court joined the Allied Pilots Association as a defendant, and issued a stern warning to the new East Merger Committee by stating, “Members of the new committee working in concert with USAPA who advocate something other than the Nicolau Award will be subject to contempt sanctions. The new committee members and their counsel must decide, at their substantial peril, whether they are subject to the injunction.”
In closing, we want to thank all of the West pilots who have tirelessly supported this legal effort for over the past eight years. You should be very pleased and proud as our collective persistence and resolve have been rewarded. Now seniority is right back to the arbitration venue from which it started. We are going into the arbitration with a conclusive determination from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that firmly repudiates the East pilots’ discriminatory actions through their USAPA “stalking horse.” The litigation team is very excited to pass the torch to the very capable West Pilot Merger Committee, led by attorney Jeff Freund and Captain Russ Payne.
One final note: the litigation against the officers of USAPA will continue unabated and we will continue to report developments from Judge Conrad’s court.