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US Airways Pilots to Seek New Union

They want to remove the Air Line Pilots Association as their bargaining agent.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Dissident pilots at

US Airways


say they will file this month for a union election that would remove the Air Line Pilots Association as their bargaining agents.

Most of the 3,200 pilots from the former US Airways strongly oppose a seniority-integration ruling, made under ALPA merger policy, that followed the 2005 merger of America West with US Airways. The ruling generally favors the 1,800 America West pilots.

The proposed new union, the US Airline Pilots Association, said it has sufficient written pilot requests to force an election. "USAPA's efforts will result in the expeditious removal of ALPA from the lives of US Airways pilots," said President Stephen Bradford, in a prepared statement.

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To call a union election, the National Mediation Board requires signed cards from more than half of the members of a bargaining unit. USAPA leaders declined to specify how many signatures they have.

Negotiations for a new pilot contract are scheduled for this month, but pilots from the former US Airways have declined to participate until their wages are brought to the level of the America West pilots.

On Monday, ALPA President John Praeter wrote to leaders of the US Airways ALPA chapter, urging them to participate in the negotiations. Additionally, Praeter condemned the chapter, noting that its leaders have "failed to adopt a single resolution or send a single communication speaking out against this raid" by USAPA.

ALPA has turned over the seniority list to US Airways, which must now determine how and when to implement it. In a recent interview with

, CEO Doug Parker said there is no timetable for implementation, and acknowledged that a contract with immediate implementation could not be ratified.