Court Denies Mesaba Unions' Right to Strike - Pilots
Mesaba pilots have put
forth a statement in which they state that they "are infuriated by
the Bankruptcy Court's decision to strip them of their legal right
to strike if Mesaba management imposes terms of pay and working
conditions that would put Mesaba below industry standards. The
court's decision, which is a complete departure from
well-established legal precedent, will be appealed
"The court's decision today exposes just why the United States
-- the home of democracy -- is on the Human Rights watch list. In
no country in the developed world have basic workers' freedoms been
so completely undermined," said Captain Duane E. Woerth (right),
"With its decision, the Bankruptcy Court is trampling on the
basic rights of workers and the foundation upon which this nation
was built. ALPA will spare no effort or resource to reverse this
decision and protect our pilots' fundamental rights."
"We will not stand for this injustice," Captain Tom Wychor,
chairman of the ALPA unit at Mesaba said. "Under the law, if your
contract gets rejected, you don't have to perform under that
contract. No bankruptcy court has recognized any exception under
the statutes until today."
Mesaba pilots had planned to strike if management imposed its
terms, in an effort to compel management to negotiate a consensual
agreement. "We will follow the order by the court today, but we
will aggressively appeal the edict," Wychor assured.
"Mesaba pilots will not be 'shackled to their aircraft' by this
court decision," Wychor said. "Management cannot force people to
work under imposed terms. Our professionals will work elsewhere,
and to that end we have scheduled a job fair. The turnover rate at
Mesaba is already a liability to Mesaba's future success -- and if
they choose to impose now, it will be the airline's undoing."
The Air Line Pilots Association, along with Mesaba Labor
Coalition partners, the Association of Flight Attendants -- CWA,
and the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association, implore Mesaba
management to stay the imposition of terms and come to consensus
with its unions.
"Even in the face of this appalling verdict, we are ready and
willing to continue to negotiate with Mesaba management on a deal
because that is the only way this airline will survive," said