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Four-year dispute at Pan Am ends.

Ending a prolonged dispute, Pan American World Airways and the Teamsters signed a 39-month labor contract, covering 6,800 workers (reservations and passenger service employees, cargo agents, clerical and accounting employees, stock clerks, and nurses). The agreement modified the terms and conditions of employment imposed on the workers when the carrier unilaterally implemented its final offer on February 21, 1988. This occurred after an impasse was reached in negotiations and the carrier became free, under the Railway Labor Act, to implement its final offer. (The Railway Labor Act is the Federal law that regulates labor relations in the railroad and airline industries. The act provides voluntary (but binding) arbitration as a means to resolve labor disputes after an impasse is reached in negotiations. If one or both parties reject the offer of arbitration, a 30-day cooling off period is instituted. After expiration of the 30 days, the parties are free to use "self-help' - the union to strike and the carrier to lock out its employees or to implement its final offer.)

The newly negotiated agreement calls for six semiannual 3-percent wage increases for all employees, beginning in February 1991; the restoration of an 8 - percent wage cut and an immediate wage increase of 6-percent for employees who were on the payroll on February 21, 1988; and for employees hired after February 21, 1988, an immediate 40-cent-an-hour wage increase and advancement to the next highest step on the wage progression, as well as a reduction from 15 years to 10 years in the time it would like for them to reach the top of the wage progression.

Other terms included the termination of two grievance-arbitration claims for back pay and back pension payments; restoration of vacation and sick leave benefits to their pre-1988 levels for full time employees; an agreement to permit Pan Am to fund pension liabilities for 1985-90 with stock valued at $50 million, instead of a $28 million cash payment; and an increase in holidays, from 9 each year to 10 (the pre-1988 level was 12).

Although the new contract contains several company "give backs," it did not fully restore all terms and conditions of employment to their pre-1988 levels. It did not restore the 37.5-hour work-week (currently, 40 hours) or the old pension plan that provided half pay to employees age 62 with 30 years of service. The union also did not attain some major bargaining objectives such as retroactive pay or protection for employees adversely affected by the sale or merger of the carrier. In addition, the contract did not address certain issues for part-time employees, such as sick leave, holidays, vacations, and shift differentials.
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Title Annotation:Pan American World Air Ways Inc., Developments in Industrial Relations
Author:Cimini, Michael H.
Publication:Monthly Labor Review
Date:Feb 1, 1991
Words:440
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