The long and ugly contract dispute between the pilots of Indianapolis-based Republic Airways and company management turned still uglier this week, as the Teamsters-represented group voted “no confidence” in COO Wayne Heller and his senior leadership team.
Vancouver-based Avcorp won a $24.7 million award yesterday from Cessna Aircraft due to damages suffered as a result of the Wichita aircraft manufacturer’s transitioning contracted production work from Avcorp. The two parties could not come to terms in mediation and negotiations after the December 2010 announcement about the transition of Avcorp’s production work to Cessna, so the matter was referred to binding arbitration. The arbitrator ruled in favor of Avcorp and all counterclaims from Cessna were denied.
Bombardier Learjet and the union negotiating committee representing its striking production-line workers entered into federal mediation yesterday, the union said. The strike at the Wichita aircraft manufacturer is now in its fifth week, and the two sides haven’t talked since the union rejected the proposed contract and voted to strike on October 6. The biggest roadblock was cost increases in medical insurance for workers.
After 20 months, North Olmsted, Ohio-based CommutAir and its 135 pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, have asked for a federal mediator to help them reach terms on their first contract. The sides have worked on a deal since February 2009, but they remain far apart on economic issues, including pay rates, according to ALPA.
The Teamsters-represented pilots of Seattle-based Horizon Air ratified a new five-year labor contract in late November, officially ending some four years of negotiations, the airline announced last month. Nearly 77 percent of Horizon’s 613 pilots voted, and some 59 percent of those voted in favor of the agreement.
The pilots of US Airways Express carrier Piedmont Airlines have applied for mediation from the National Mediation Board after 11 months of what they characterize as nearly fruitless contract talks with the company. The ALPA-represented pilots claim that management “stalling” has resulted in the sides reaching a consensus on only two sections of the proposed contract.
Pinnacle Airlines CEO Phil Trenary last month placed the responsibility with his pilots for moving forward with contract talks after the ALPA-represented group failed to ratify an agreement to amend their labor contract this fall. The sides had negotiated for some four-and-a-half years before the group’s Master Executive Council (MEC) this summer approved a tentative contract, which the pilots voted down.
IBT 1108, the union representing Flight Options pilots, on October 19 said 90 percent of those voting in a strike-authorization vote approved a strike if they are released for self help. Union officials and Flight Options management were to meet late last month for the final round of National Mediation Board-led negotiations on an initial contract.
Pinnacle Airlines and its pilots must head back to the bargaining table now that the airline’s ALPA-represented crewmembers failed to ratify tentative contract language fashioned after more than four years of bargaining. Pinnacle management offered pay raises, a signing bonus, job-security enhancements and work-rule improvements, incentives deemed insufficient by some 58 percent of the voting pilots.
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