Pilots' Group Throwing Wrench into Merger Plans: Jake Simpson of Law360 ($$) writes that a group of plaintiffs ostensibly representing former American West Airlines Inc. pilots has filed suit in an attempt to put a stop to the merger between AMR Corp. and US Airways Group Inc. The crux of the pilots' allegations is that the U.S. Airline Pilots Association (USAPA) has been refusing to implement and make use of the correct seniority list. The seniority list, stemming from an award by Arbitrator Nicolau (the "Nicolau Award") should take precedence over competing seniority lists, say the pilots.
"USAPA has never had an objectively legitimate purpose for repudiating its duty to order seniority according to the Nicolau Award," the plaintiffs said. "Indeed, there is strong legal authority to reject those reasons as a matter of law. It is highly likely that this litigation will result in judgment that USAPA has no objectively legitimate purpose for repudiating the Nicolau award."
An injunction against the merger would cause more problems for struggling AMR, which is currently in the middle of a court-assisted reorganization in New York under Chapter 11. We will keep you updated as this process moves towards a resolution.
Nurses, Deaconess Hospital Reach Settlement on ULP Charges: Jodi Hausen of the Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports that nurses at Bozeman Deaconess Hospital have settled their unfair labor practice allegations with their employer. Under the terms of the settlement, the hospital has agreed to bargain in good faith with the nurses' union. Furthermore, the Hospital has agreed to change several of its internal policies, and in particular will now allow union representatives to accompany nurses to any potentially-disciplinary meetings. The Montana Nurses Association, the union representing the local nurses' union, was pleased with the settlement.
“The association believes we reached a fair and balanced resolution to our differences with Bozeman Deaconess Hospital,” Hauschild said in an email. “We look forward to moving forward and partnering with the hospital in whatever ways we can.”
The ULP charges were brought by the nurses in January of this year, not long after negotiations had broken down between the two sides. The settlement was most likely facilitated by the signing of a new collective-bargaining agreement in late February.
WADA and NFLPA Spar Over HGH Testing: The Boston Herald is carrying a story written by Graham Dunbar of the Associated Press, who explains that the National Football League Players' Association (NFLPA), the union representing current NFL players, has again questioned the validity of the Word Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) HGH test. WADA Director General David Howman was less than impressed with the NFLPA's protestations.
"I would expect the players association to take a stance which is extremist," Howman told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. "What we've got to do is get to reality and not to a position that is an extremist position."
Interestingly, the NFL is also pushing hard to implement HGH testing, which was agreed to in principal by the NFLPA in the parties' most recent collective-bargaining agreement. However, implementation protocols have yet to be worked out. We will keep you posted.