Special Executive Board Announcement:
Parties to Meet to Discuss Merger Process; Scope Grievance Filed.
March 27, 2014
Fellow Flight Options Pilots,
On Thursday, March 27th, Local 1108 filed a grievance alleging multiple violations of Section 1 of our Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) and related Letters of Agreement (LOAs). The violations have occurred and are continuing to occur in connection with the consolidation of Flight Options and Flexjet’s operations. The Union filed the grievance at this time to preserve our right to use the grievance and arbitration process in defense of pilots rights under the CBA while we simultaneously meet with the Company in a good faith attempt to resolve all issues related to the consolidation of the two carriers.
The alleged violations listed in our grievance are very serious in nature, continue unabated as of the date of this Special Announcement and substantially and irreparably harm the pilot group. The violations include consolidating certain Flight Options and Flexjet functions prior to exhausting the mandatory fence negotiation and arbitration procedures set forth in the CBA and reducing positions and slowing growth at Flight Options through subcontracting. The Union’s grievance seeks comprehensive remedies for all of these violations. We reserved the right to append additional violations to the grievance and seek additional remedies based on the information we discover through the grievance and System Board of Adjustment process. The Union is also prepared to pursue all other legal options and remedies that are necessary to protect and restore your rights in the negotiation process and before the System Board of Adjustment. A copy of the Union’s grievance is attached for your review.
As stated above, the Union prefers to negotiate a complete resolution to all issues related to the consolidation of Flight Options and Flexjet. Consistent with that goal, the Union and the Company are scheduled to meet on April 3 and April 4 in Cleveland. We will attempt to reach an agreement covering fair and necessary remedies, and a pathway forward that serves the interests of all stakeholders. We are prepared to begin “fence” negotiations as required by Section 1.5 of the CBA. The relevant fence provision, which is referenced in our grievance, has the effect of protecting the interests of both Flight Options pilots and Flexjet pilots pending the completion of the operational merger. For example, except as the parties might otherwise agree in a fence agreement, the operations of the two carriers must be kept separate until a representative of the post-merger, combined pilot group is selected through the National Mediation Board’s (NMB) representation procedures, the seniority lists of the two pilot groups are integrated and a collective bargaining agreement covering the combined pilot group is negotiated and takes effect. In sum, a fence agreement protects pilot jobs while these complex integration issues are addressed and resolved. Fence and related agreements between the parties can also address issues of particular concern to management, including but not limited to the timing of initiating and concluding the CBA procedures, NMB representational processes and fair treatment of pilots.
As should be very clear from this message, Local 1108 is working very hard on multiple fronts to protect the interests of pilots in this process. Those aren’t just words. Our actions prove it. That being said, a union is only as strong as its membership. Now is the time for strength and unity in our ranks. No distractions. No tolerance for those who would try to divide us during this important hour in our history. The Executive Board and your MEC have your back. We know you’ve got ours covered, too. We will update you after the meetings with management.