Wed, Sep 07, 2005
After more than two months in "indefinite recess" the National
Mediation Board has called UPS and the Independent Pilots
Association back to Washington, D.C. for two days of intensive
negotiations. Talks are scheduled for Thursday and Friday,
September 15 and 16.
This announcement of resumption of talks comes on the heels of
the IPA's nearly unanimous (99% to 1% with 97.7% participation)
final strike authorization vote, which was announced last
This vote empowers the IPA's
five-pilot executive board to request release from mediation and/or
call a strike at the end of a 30-day cooling off period should
either option be deemed necessary by the union's leadership.
"We had planned to announce our request for release from
mediation last week along with the result of our strike vote.
However, given the unprecedented tragedy along the U.S. Gulf Coast
we decided to hold off on that request," said Capt. Tom Nicholson,
President of the IPA. He went on to say, "The IPA is supporting the
Katrina relief effort by maintaining a database of our members who
are willing to fly aid missions into Alabama, Mississippi and
Louisiana without pay. Currently, more than 500 IPA crewmembers
have stepped up and volunteered to man these flights."
Under federal law, the NMB retains the ability to release the
parties at any time. A release would commence a 30 day cooling off
period, after which the Company could lock out its pilot employees,
or the union could strike. The NMB recently issued releases in the
Northwest Airline mechanic dispute, and more recently, the Polar
Air cargo pilot contract talks.
Talks between IPA and UPS will be held at the National Mediation
Board in Washington, D.C. Negotiations between UPS and IPA opened
in October 2002; mediated negotiations between the two sides began
last August in Cincinnati.
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