UALPAPAE: NLRB Sides with Staff Union Against Union Employer

Dépèche transmise le 23 juillet 2009 par Business Wire

UALPAPAE: NLRB Sides with Staff Union Against Union Employer

UALPAPAE: NLRB Sides with Staff Union Against Union Employer

HERNDON, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--UALPAPAE Unit 1, the unionized employees of the world’s largest pilots union, the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), scored another hit this week when, for the second time this month, the National Labor Relations Board’s general counsel supported their assertion that ALPA management has engaged in unfair labor practices.

The Union of ALPA Professional and Administrative Employees (UALPAPAE) Unit 1 complained to the NLRB that ALPA management did not reach a lawful impasse before unilaterally imposing its “last and best” offer on May 7, 2009, after a mutually agreeable contract could not be reached during the negotiations process.

“This is another big victory for us,” said Don McClure, UALPAPAE Unit 1 president, “and should be a huge embarrassment for ALPA. We battle this egregious managerial behavior on behalf of our pilots every single day, and that ALPA would resort to such tactics is astonishing and reprehensible.”

The Unit 1 employees’ contract expired on March 31, 2009, without an agreement, and after mediated negotiations subsequently failed, staff members have been working under rules and conditions that management imposed in May. Despite their current situation, Unit I members see this victory as an impetus for coming to fair and equitable terms with management.

“We are extremely pleased that the general counsel recognized and upheld our right to fair labor practices by taking this action,” McClure said. “ALPA has a nearly 80-year history of vigorously defending pilots’ right to collective bargaining with their airline managements under the Railway Labor Act, and we would expect no less from the leaders of this organization.”

The NLRB general counsel agreed with the union’s claim that ALPA management failed to fulfill its collective bargaining obligations in violation of Sections 8(a)(1) and (5) of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) by unilaterally declaring an impasse in the negotiations and arbitrarily imposing new work rules.

ALPA has been telling its elected pilot reps that issuance of a complaint by the NLRB is a ‘routine’ part of processing unfair labor practice charges. However, the Board's 2008 Annual Report states that, out of more than 22,000 unfair labor practice charges filed, only 9.4% resulted in issuance of a complaint. UALPAPAE is now two for two.

The general counsel will recommend that the remedy for ALPA’s recent violation be reinstatement of the Unit I contract’s prior terms and conditions and back pay for anyone adversely affected by the imposed terms. The general counsel will either issue a second complaint against ALPA or amend the first complaint filed earlier this month. In that decision, the general counsel also sided with the union in its claim that ALPA engaged in unfair labor practices when it laid off Unit 1 employees without first offering the in-house union the opportunity to negotiate.

This action taken by the NLRB is the first step in processing the UALPAPAE Unit 1 unfair labor practice charges, which were filed against ALPA management earlier this year. ALPA will be required to respond to the NLRB’s most recent allegation once the formal complaint is issued.

The nearly 60-year-old Unit 1 of UALPAPAE represents 170 employees, including labor lawyers, economic analysts, retirement and benefits specialists, aviation safety engineers, and communications practitioners at ALPA. ALPA is the world’s largest pilots union, representing nearly 54,000 pilots at 36 airlines in the United States and Canada.

Business Wire

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