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March 03, 2014

American, US Airways pilots union' dispute over seniority integration moves into the court as USAPA files lawsuit

US Airways' pilots union took its seniority integration grievance to federal court late last week, filing a lawsuit against American Airlines, US Airways and American's pilots union.

In the lawsuit, the US Airline Pilots Association said the parties could not agree on a process to determine the seniority integration of the two pilot groups and that it should be determined by a federal arbiter.

"USAPA seeks declaratory and injunctive relief in the parties' dispute concerning the integration of seniority lists between the pilots of American and the pilots of US Airways under the McCaskill-Bond Amendment," the lawsuit said.

McCaskill-Bond is a federal law that was passed by Congress in 2007 in response to how American’s union integrated the former TWA pilots and flight attendants. In that merger, the TWA employees were placed towards the bottom of the seniority lists and were subsequently furloughed during an economic downturn.

According to the filing, the Allied Pilots Association, which represents American pilots, and the two airlines filed grievances with the NMB in late February, saying that McCaskill-Bond did not apply to the dispute.

"The defendants have conclusively asserted a position that they are not obligated to comply with Section 13(a) in resolving the seniority list integration dispute," the suit said.

American declined to comment on the lawsuit.

-Andrea Ahles

 

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