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PILOTS SUE WESTAIR: UNION SEEKS INJUNCTION AGAINST VIOLATIONS OF RAILWAY LABOR ACT

 SEATTLE, Aug. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- The Air Line Pilots Association issued the following:
 The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) today filed a lawsuit in federal court against WestAir Commuter Airlines, Inc., for pursuing a concerted and unlawful scheme to violate various provisions of the Railway Labor Act (RLA). The suit charges that WestAir, a subsidiary of Mesa Airlines Inc., is trying to destroy ALPA as the exclusive collective bargaining representative of the pilots at the company.
 In attempting to break the union the company has conducted an organized campaign of discrimination against union pilots and officials and interfered with the collective bargaining process of the RLA, according to the suit. The company has intentionally discriminated among its pilots based solely on their support for ALPA. WestAir has suspended and discharged pilots for no reason other than union activity. Additionally, they have reduced medical benefits and suspended the travel privileges of union officials.
 The lawsuit also charges WestAir with failing to negotiate in good faith changes in the pilots' contract which becomes amenable in September of 1993. The company has intentionally frustrated the process by denying ALPA officials release from duty to attend negotiating sessions. The suit sites WestAir President Jonathan Ornstein's public refusal to negotiate with particular members of the negotiating committee, as well as his attempts to unilaterally impose separate work rules for different groups of pilots.
 Under the RLA, parties are required to maintain a status quo working agreement and refrain from unilaterally altering established terms and conditions of a contract until all bargaining provisions of the act are exhausted. The current agreement between the union and company was entered into on Oct. 24, 1990. It acknowledges ALPA as the certified representative for all of the pilots on the property and exclusively authorizes the union to negotiate agreements with the company covering rates of pay, as well as rules and working conditions for the pilots at WestAir.
 The suit goes on to state that while ALPA has made every effort to settle this dispute, the company has violated, continues to violate and intends to further violate the collective bargaining requirement of the RLA.
 In seeking relief, ALPA has asked the court for a permanent injunction prohibiting WestAir from deviating from the existing collective bargaining agreement without either negotiating a new contract with the union or fully exhausting the bargaining procedures of the RLA; from engaging in negotiations that are not entered in good faith with ALPA as the collective bargaining representative of the West Air pilots; and from taking action meant to undermine ALPA's status as the representative of the pilots, including acts of discrimination against union officials. The suit also seeks equitable relief, back pay and/or damages to remedy losses caused by WestAir's violations of the RLA.
 -0- 8/3/93
 /CONTACT: David Mallino of the Air Line Pilots Association, 202-797-4060/


CO: Air Line Pilots Association; WestAir Commuter Airlines, Inc. ST: Washington IN: AIR SU:

IH-TW -- DC028 -- 9065 08/03/93 16:41 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 3, 1993
Words:497
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