Today, the IBT signed the interest arbitration protocol agreement with the company. The protocol agreement is a simple document that addresses structural issues relating to the conduct for the upcoming arbitration.
Let me address the process and pertinent facts we have been through to get to this point and what needs to happen going forward:
- We need an arbitrator to comply with the CBA’s timeline, something that was dictated by Judge Cooper from the US District Court Washington, DC, last year.
- With the timeline below in mind, I approached the company negotiators in early October to select an arbitrator. They delayed this selection for over a month and then punted it over to their anti-labor Los Angeles law firm.
- This law firm demanded a ‘Protocol Agreement’ for arbitration, despite the fact that it is not required by the CBA ‘process’ or the court order.
- To this day, the company’s lawyers have refused to select an arbitrator until we have a signed protocol agreement.
- After months of delay, the protocol agreement has been finally signed by the IBT and the company (see below).
- The protocol agreement has nothing that is airline or local union specific. What is in the document affects the Atlas and Southern pilots in completely the same manner. In fact, there is nothing that is controversial in the document.
- Today, we have engaged the company on the selection and scheduling of an arbitrator. I will let you know how they respond because, as you can see, they have been in no hurry to say the least to select an arbitrator.
- All the while, time grows short to select an experienced arbitrator, as their schedules fill up quickly.