UAL Teamsters Attend Safety Roundtable

The UAL Teamsters Flight and Ground Safety committees attended the Integrated and TechOps Safety Roundtable, or (I)SRT, in Chicago on Wednesday this past week. The ISRT gathers all the operational divisions together to review information collected through the various reporting programs like ASAP, CASS, and LOSA. The goal is to insure that upper management has a clear view of the hazards and the risks those hazards present to the operation. Also discussed was what is being done to mitigate those risks from becoming an incident or accident.

PT Thomas (ORD-FSC), Joe Foley (ORD-GSC) along with Chris Moore, and Ralph Ortiz attended the TechOps SRT. The company indicated its desire to start an Injury Trend Workshop where employees’ records would be review when there were two or more injuries within two years. An OSHA letter indicating that company run incentive programs or disciplinary acts would be a disincentive to injury reporting and should not be allowed was introduced by Ralph Ortiz. IBT Flight Safety Committee Chair John Fischbach brought up an issue on how safety information collected by the company would flow through the different CBA safety programs.

Atlas Dispatchers Discussions Continue

Negotiations for the first contract for Atlas Air Worldwide dispatchers continued this past week in New York. The Company, having been presented with a proposal on Article 3 (Compensation) in November offered a counter proposal on Tuesday. While the parties are still apart, the company showed their willingness to consider several new concepts that vary from current practice. As negotiations came to a close last week, a next round of negotiations was agreed to, beginning on June 6th, with the Company committing to continue that next round of negotiations will continue until an agreement is reached.

ExpressJet Negotiations Continue

Contract negotiations resumed on May 15th in Atlanta and while there are no new tentative agreements reached during the week, it was a productive week. Face to face dialogue and passing of formal proposals resulted in substantial progress on Section 6 (Reduction in Force and Recall) and Section 7 (Hours of Service). Progress was also made on Section 16 (Moving Expenses).

The Company also made a proposal on Section 10 (Leaves of Absence). Although previously tentatively agreed to, the union committee is also working on a response to this proposal.

We will resume on Tuesday, May 22nd in Washington D.C. at the offices of the National Mediation Board.

CMI Agreement Ratified, Path Now Clear to Begin SCBA for UAL/CAL/CMI

The final stand alone CBA was ratified on May 11th when the CMI (Continental-Micronesia) mechanics approved the new agreement with an overwhelming acceptance rate. This action now allows the next step in the process of combining all three contracts into a single collective agreement for the United Airlines mechanics and related members. Additionally, the Union will submit a petition for “Single Carrier Status” to the National Mediation Board now that all three subsidiaries have ratified their Collective Bargaining Agreements. “Single Carrier Status” will not affect the current status of members or their CBA’s.

As our negotiations were coming to a close this past week, union negotiators and the company scheduled the next round of negotiations for June 6th. The Company has advised the union of their commitment that the next round of negotiations will continue until the agreements are concluded.

Airline Industry News

Governmental and Regulatory

The Federal Aviation Administration says it plans to review its decision to exclude cargo pilots from pilot-fatigue rules…Investigators found lax supervision at an air traffic control tower in Ronkonkoma, N.Y., after a whistle-blower reported safety violations. Controllers would watch movies on their laptops or take naps during slow periods after midnight…A judge has ruled that AMR Corp., the parent company of American Airlines, can alter agreements with nonunion employees during bankruptcy.

Airlines and Labor

Alaska Air Group, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, and Virgin America have each secured a spot at Virginia's Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport to launch daily flights, two of them to West Coast airports...Daniel Akins, an airline-industry economist, has testified in bankruptcy court that a US Airways merger with AMR Corp. is "inevitable."

Scott Kirby, president of US Airways, says a merger with AMR Corp. would resolve pilot seniority issues at US Airways.

A $200 million cargo facility at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago is slated to open next year -- and is forecast to bring 11,000 jobs with it.

Southwest Airlines has deferring delivery of 30 Boeing 737-800 aircraft until 2017-2018 as it struggles to hit its profit targets.

Delta Air Lines and its pilots union have reached a contract accord seven months before the deadline, a rare feat in the airline industry…Boeing is considering raising production on the 787…Five of seven work groups in the Transport Workers Union accepted an American Airlines contract with union workers…

European aircraft manufacturer Airbus has accused U.S. rival Boeing "of trying to start a price war," this feature says…EADS, the parent company of Airbus, said the company took a $203 million charge in the first quarter for fixing problems with A380 wings. Airbus delivered four A380s in the quarter, and has 71 A380s in service.

AMR Corp., the parent company of American Airlines, said it would consider merger options while in bankruptcy…Boeing will move maintenance work from Kansas to Texas…AMR also could outsource more work after bankruptcy….UPS is lining up financing for its acquisition of TNT Express.

The union representing the pilots of Continental and United Airlines has called for a vote on striking the carrier.