In an e-mail to pilots, the USAPA merger committee wrote that the ruling "clears the way for your USAPA merger committee to fully engage with APA in the required process for the seniority list integration.
"The USAPA merger committee is now, and always has been, committed to representing all US Airways pilots fairly," the e-mail said. "We are not interested in any proposal that elevates or provides a windfall to only a segment of the pilot population at the expense of another."
In the section of her ruling on the duty of fair representation claim, Judge Silver said it is impossible to say that duty has been breached, even though "USAPA's actions are sufficiently disturbing to make this a very close call."
A key paragraph in the merger agreement, which is a memorandum of understanding between the two unions and American, appears to impede enactment of the Nicolau ruling. But that paragraph may have been part of the effort to negotiate the merger agreement, which also provides significantly increased compensation for both east and west pilots, Silver said. As a result, she said, inclusion of the paragraph in the merger agreement cannot be said to represent a breach of USAPA's duty of fair representation.
Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.
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