INDIANAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 1, 2011-- The U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled yesterday (Wednesday, Nov. 30) in a case involving the integration of seniority lists of former Midwest Airlines flight attendants and those of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT). The IBT represents flight attendants of regional carriers Chautauqua Airlines, Republic Airlines and Shuttle America, all wholly owned subsidiaries of Republic Airways Holdings.
The appeals court overturned a decision by a federal district court, which had agreed that the IBT was not required to integrate the Midwest flight attendants into their seniority list, which contains flight attendants of Republic’s regional carriers, when Midwest routes were acquired by Republic Airways Holdings in 2009. Federal law requires airlines to integrate employee seniority lists when two carriers merge. The issue at dispute centered on the fact that Republic did not merge with Midwest and shortly after the transaction Midwest was shut down.
Because there was no merger or consolidation, the IBT took the position that it was not obligated to negotiate on seniority integration. Former Midwest flight attendants filed suit in district court to force integration. The district court ruled in favor of the IBT, after which the case was appealed. The appellate court has reversed that decision. It remains unclear whether the IBT will seek to appeal that decision.
“Republic Airways Holdings is a party to this action only because we are the employer,” said Republic Vice President of Labor Relations Ron Henson. “We have always been willing to participate in integration of Midwest and Republic flight attendant seniority. In fact, Republic actively supported and participated in seniority integration with other former Midwest and Republic employee groups – including pilots, customer service agents and mechanics. This was and is a dispute between the two unions as to whether seniority integration, using the statutory standard of ’fair and equitable‘ integration, was required by law."
Henson also pointed out that since Republic was willing to accept the court’s decision deciding the issue, whether it was in favor of IBT or the former Midwest flight attendants, the Company made no arguments to the court supporting either position.
Republic Airways Holdings (NASDAQ:RJET), based in Indianapolis, Indiana, is an airline holding company that owns Chautauqua Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Republic Airlines and Shuttle America. The airlines offer scheduled passenger service on approximately 1,500 flights daily to 129 cities in 41 states, Canada, Costa Rica, and Mexico under branded operations at Frontier, and through fixed-fee airline services agreements with five major U.S. airlines. The fixed-fee flights are operated under an airline partner brand, such as AmericanConnection, Continental Express, Delta Connection, United Express and US Airways Express. The airlines currently employ approximately 11,000 aviation professionals and operate 275 jet aircraft.
Source: Republic Airways Holdings
Republic Airways Holdings