During the recent hearing in Judge Silver's courtroom, the parties involved in the Declaratory Judgment case argued to clarify the framework of the courts process to determine the company’s legal rights. By the end of the nearly hour-long hearing, Judge Silver envisioned an approach that would maximize judicial efficiency. As the company and West Class offered in their pre-hearing briefs, Judge Silver seeks to end the ineluctable controversy as a matter of law through Summary Judgment.
In the days following the December 1st proceeding, many conversations still struggle to grasp the subtleties involved in adjudicating this conflict to a final court resolution utilizing the Federal Declaratory Relief Act. To aid in filtering some of the noise, we will illuminate only the salient points of this litigation:
• The Declaratory Judgment is an action that allows the company to determine its legal rights and obligations regarding Section 22 - Seniority.
• Established law affords the company and union the right to negotiate all contracts, including the Transition Agreement, within the limits of law.
• The court will only allow a limited view of the factual history of this dispute to establish the company's liability in negotiating a potentially unlawful seniority position.
• “Declaratory Relief” is specifically designed for issues "not yet ripe for adjudication." Therefore, this case does not interfere with Ninth Circuit's decision on the ripeness of the union's DFR.
To summarize, the DJ will attempt to determine the company's contract obligations under the Transition Agreement to clarify liability as the company and USAPA move, ever so slowly, to complete a joint contract that (based on a previous court determination), was clearly a violation of the union’s DFR. It could be further clarified by stating that there are always limits to the power embodied in various rights granted by law, whether one is President of a country, a corporation or a labor union. With this reality in mind, and to the exasperation of many pilots, USAPA continues an untenable position as exemplified by the profligacy of union resources in the attempt to convert the will of the majority into unlawful action.
In recent times, USAPA’s insuperable obstacle has met with a renewed alliance of sorts from certain company managers. Information will be forthcoming that will provide a dagger-slash glimpse into the irrational and malevolent heart of the organization, that in the past, we have diligently and piously strived to maintain and improve. We have abandoned our virginitas simplicitas view long ago, but for some odd reason disparate treatment continues to abound. The union continues its attempt to infect the pilot group with the contagion of an ever-present fear, and the company continues to reward this insolent behavior with heterogeneous treatment of the parties involved. It is obvious that our “imprisonment” is being exploited for political expediency, and until the perverted ambitions of a few unyielding characters are brought into check, we will continue our difficulties ad absurdum.
All parties are hereby placed on notice that attempting to trample rights to free speech will not be tolerated.
Our longstanding efforts to assert all pilots’ lawful right to seniority, decided through an arbitration, is unique in the history of labor. This is emphasized by our rare defendant-class certification among other eccentricities. Considering the recent legal arguments of the December 1st hearing, we are on the fast track to a final clarification of the rights and responsibilities of all parties.
We continue to applaud the efforts of all pilots seeking a greater understanding of the DJ case as it continues to unfold. We will continue our efforts to provide truthful commentary without the prolixity found in many USAPA communications, especially certain non-Phoenix domicile updates. As a reminder all legal documents can be found on cactuspilot.com.
The sacrifices made by many pilots, in both financial contributions and volunteerism, have given us the opportunity to rest over the recent holiday season and focus on the most important aspect of our lives; the health and vitality of our families.
Enjoy a prosperous and healthy 2012.