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Airline developments.

After intensive bargaining sessions conducted by a National Mediation Board mediator, USAir and the Air Line Pilots Association settled on a new 3year contract, covering 6,170 pilots, including 2,700 who had been flying for Piedmont Airlines before the merger between the two air carriers. The Air Line Pilots union previously had represented pilots at both airlines under separate contracts. Terms of die new agreement, retroactive to September 1, 1988, call for a two-tiered wage system similar to that at Northwest Airlines. Salaries for pilots on the A-scale (those with more than 5 years' service) were increased 2 percent in 1988, 2.5 percent in 1989, and 2 percent in 1990. For pilots on the B-scale (those with 5 years or fewer of service), rates were set at 70 percent of the original single-tiered wage system (previously, about 54 percent).

Other terms include the switch to a managed care health insurance system; the extension of an optional lump-sum retirement benefit and joint survivor's benefits to all pilots; placement of limitations on the amount of flying time that can be transferred from USAir to an "alter ego" or subsidiary carrier; extension of loss-of-license insurance to all pilots; and a change in work rules to allow training to go beyond midnight.

Elsewhere, in the air transportation industry, pilots (flight deck crew members) at die United Parcel Service Co.'s (UPS) air express hub in Louisville, KY, repudiated the incumbent union, the Teamsters, in a representation election conducted by the National Mediation Board. The Teamsters had been voluntarily recognized by UPS in August 1987, when the company's air express service was started. Of the 811 pilots eligible to vote, 757 voted for a newly formed independent union, the Independent Pilots Association.

In another representation dispute, the National Mediation Board found do America West Airlines, a Phoenix-based air carrier, violated its employees' right to "freedom of choice" in selecting a representative under the Railway Labor Act in an election for about 1,200 flight attendants. The Board held that the carrier's action during the election campaign contaminated the laboratory conditions" necessary for a fair election. According to the Board, America West "improperly interfered with, influenced, and coerced its flight attendants in their freedom of choice by the totality' of its conduct" by announcing and implementing certain work rule changes, by implementing increases in layover benefits, and by distributing profit-sharing bonuses during the election campaign. As a remedy for the airline's actions, the Board ordered a re-run election among the flight attendants and distributed special notices to afl employees, as well as ballot materials, informing eligible voters of the carrier's past actions and the employees' right to select a representative without America West's influence or interference.
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Title Annotation:USAir Inc., Air Line Pilots Association settle contract
Author:Cimini, Michael H.
Publication:Monthly Labor Review
Date:Apr 1, 1990
Words:452
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