CONTINENTAL/UNITED MERGER’S REAL STUMBLING BLOCK IS THE 50 SEAT RULECONTINENTAL/UNITED MERGER’S REAL STUMBLING BLOCK IS THE 50 SEAT RULE

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By admin November 22, 2010 20:58

CONTINENTAL/UNITED MERGER’S REAL STUMBLING BLOCK IS THE 50 SEAT RULECONTINENTAL/UNITED MERGER’S REAL STUMBLING BLOCK IS THE 50 SEAT RULE

Flight crew will start “informational picketing” today against what they see as efforts by management to expand the use of regional partners for commuter flights, a move the pilots’ union said violates their existing labor contract with Continental Airlines.

United Continental Holdings Inc. (UAL), the parent of the merged carrier formed is trying to forge new collective bargaining agreements with unions representing staff across the group.

While talks with management continue, flight crew representatives said the merged airline was violating the Continental pact by seeking to put its “CO” code on services flown from its Houston and Newark hubs that have been outsourced. Continental has one of the industry’s most restrictive pilots’ deals, effectively barring it from operating regional jets with more than 50 seats unless the same are flown by Continental crew, while United is able to outsource flying of larger 70-seat aircraft. It is clear that the group, while remaining within the United regulatory sphere is planning to go well beyond the restrictions of the Continental agreements.

“We have no reservations about using the full range of legal methods available to bring resolution to this issue and ultimately prevent the outsourcing that we strongly believe violates the Continental pilots’ contract,” said Jay Pierce, chairman of the Continental pilots unit of Air Line Pilots Association, which represents flight crew at both carriers. “We would hope management isn’t attempting to circumvent the bargaining process,” said Pierce in a statement.

“It is no secret that the issues of scope and outsourcing are paramount in our current negotiations for a joint collective bargaining agreement that will eventually cover both Continental and United pilots,” said Wendy Morse, chairman of the union’s United unit.

Continental pilots need to get their head out of the clouds before they are grounded.

admin
By admin November 22, 2010 20:58
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