Wed, Sep 28, 2011
Cites Safety Concerns As Reason To Push Back Issuance Of
The United Master Executive
Council of the Air Line Pilots Association filed for injunctive
relief in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New
York in Brooklyn on Monday to postpone United Airlines'
implementation of the latest phase of revised operating procedures
associated with the merger between United and Continental
Saying they are concerned that the current level and timeline of
training associated with the Company's bid for a Single Operating
Certificate (SOC) from the FAA is inadequate, the pilots asked the
federal court to issue a stay on the September 30 deadline for
pilots to complete the second phase of training and begin new
procedures to allow ALPA and United management to either reach a
mutually accepted resolution on the training requirements or to
resolve the dispute through arbitration prior to implementation of
the new procedures scheduled to occur on September 30.
"The safe transport of our passengers has always been the top
priority for the pilots of United Airlines. The Air Line Pilots
Association was founded on safety, we have set the standard for
aviation safety throughout the years, and we are committed to
maintaining that record at the new United Airlines," said Captain
Wendy Morse, Chairman of the United MEC. "To maintain that level of
safety, all our pilots must be properly trained prior to any
implementation of new procedures."
"The Company is implementing unrealistic deadlines and requiring
only distance computer based training that we believe is inadequate
to maintain the level of safety our passengers expect from United
and its pilots," Morse added. "For these reasons, we are asking the
court to issue a stay on the September 30 deadline so we can work
with the Company to come up with a realistic, practical schedule
and workable procedures for training or enable the arbitration
board to decide the issues while it still has jurisdiction to grant
meaningful relief -- before management proceeds unilaterally.
Ensuring the safe transport of our passengers should be of greater
concern to United management than prematurely acquiring a Single
Operating Certificate from the FAA that does little until an
Integrated Seniority List is achieved."
A spokesperson for United calls the filing "shameful." Julie
King said in a statement that the case is "an effort to influence
negotiations for a joint collective bargaining agreement under the
false guise of safety." All training procedures, she said, are
approved by the FAA. Morse said the training guidelines and
contract negotiations are completely separate issues.
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