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UAL/CAL/CMI Mechanics Weekly Update - October 17, 2011

Division Files Opposition to UAL’s Request for CAL, CAL Micronesia mediation

On October 7, UAL management applied for mediation with the NMB for the mechanic’s agreement at sub Continental. In their request, they cited Article 1.D.4 of the agreement and Section 6 of the RLA as their basis for the application. They also applied for mediation for the CAL Micronesia mechanics agreement.

In a letter to UAL management which was also sent to the NMB as a formal objection, the Airline Division clearly outlined the facts and stated that the request for mediation was premature. In the letter, Airline Division Director David Bourne wrote:

“In this regard, we note, first, that the contract's reopener provision is triggered only in the event of a merger of airline operations. Although, as you noted in your October 7, 2011 letter, UAL and CAL have taken steps "toward the goal of merging" their airline operations into the new United, that process is not yet completed. Inasmuch as the merger of airline operations has not yet been completed, the contractual reopener provision and RLA Section 6 have not yet been appropriately triggered. Consequently, the NMB lacks jurisdiction to act on the Company's request for mediation services.

Moreover, even if the contract is indeed amendable at this time, the NMB still would not have authority to intervene. The RLA limits the NMB's authority to mediate to disputes concerning changes in rates of pay, rules or working conditions not adjusted by the parties in conference. Therefore, inasmuch as the parties have not engaged in any direct conferences/negotiations, the request for mediation services is premature and the NMB lacks authority to intervene at this time. Indeed, it is for this reason - namely, that the parties have not yet engaged in direct conferences/negotiations -- that the Company's invocation of mediation services with respect to the Continental Micronesia-IBT Mechanics contract likewise is premature.”

Recall Announcements Bring Optimism

Optimism for the future continues as more recalls are announced at sub UAL. The reopening of the HNL Ground facilities and Maintenance shops will result in 16 members being recalled. Additionally on the Monday morning Chief Stewards call it was announced that recalls would also be occurring in SFO, SEA and LAX.

Division Attends 769 Shop Stewards Training

Members of the Airline Division joined Local 769 Leaders for a CAL MX Shop Steward Seminar in MCO on Monday October 10th. The meeting was opened by Local 769 President Mike Scott who thanked the Stewards for all of their hard work and reminded them of how important the role of shop steward is. Mike also talked about the recent improvements in communications citing the weekly BA and Chief Steward conference calls for CAL, UAL and CMI.

Business Agent Tom Esposito discussed Local grievance procedures and worked with Southern Regional Training Coordinator, Iliana Flores to present the Teamster Shop Steward Training Course.

In addition Airline Division Director Captain David Bourne was present and discussed the Airline Division structure including the checks and balances that are now in place due to the addition of the Airline Division Advisory Board of Directors.

Airline Division Representative Bob Fisher fielded questions pertaining to seniority integration, the UAL MX negotiations and the upcoming amalgamation. He also answered questions about where we currently are in the process.

Airline Division Representative and TAMC Chairman Chris Moore provide a TAMC presentation which included the history of the TAMC as well as updates on Division Legislative action, License Protection the ongoing fight against the outsourcing of Airline MX. The session ended with the Stewards breaking into groups and brainstorming ideas that will continue to improve the TAMC.

Local 769 Secretary Treasurer Josh Zivilich addressed the group as well. Chief Steward Paul Becerratalked to the Stewards about the MCO Steward structure and grievance handling and BA Tom Esposito provided the closing remarks.

Payroll Issues Continue at Sub United

As reported last week and discussed again this week on both the Chief Steward and the BA calls; the change to the new payroll system continues to cause shortages to the membership. According to reports on the call this situation could take a month to be corrected. Senior leadership at the Company was notified of the problem and it was relayed that this is unacceptable. The Division was assured every effort was going to made to correct this problem immediately. In the mean time if you take vacation DAT or holidays make sure your paycheck is correct. If not get your Chief Steward involved immediately, we are asking that these issues be elevated to the Division, so your issue can be brought to the attention of Senior Leadership at the Company.

Seniority Review Committee Continues Its Work

Many discrepancies have been found with the sub United seniority list. San Francisco Labor Relations is working to correct these problems as they are found. Accuracy of all three lists, Continental, Continental Micronesia, and United, needs to be ensured prior to tackling the integration of those lists.   

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