Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Will the DPA sue?

Today the DPA put out several indications that they might take Delta or ALPA to court. They further make thinly disguised threats that they will not be responsible for "the actions of Delta Pilots who are determined to resist discriminatory policies" whatever that may entail.

We also like this line "We will, nevertheless, continue to focus on minimizing the impact on Flight Operations daily business."

DPA is challenging the unfair labor practices of Delta Airlines in allowing ALPA to use Company resources to actively campaign against DPA. Highlighting the cozy relationship between ALPA and Delta, these unfair practices are grounds for action in Federal Court. DPA members need to understand that their right to organize is being interfered with and respond accordingly. Our campaign goals are in sight and we will continue growing despite this heavy bias toward ALPA.


Read more at DPA Challenges ALPA's Misuse of V-Files

Thursday, August 25, 2011

DCA, PHX and Seham Ally To Topple USAPA Leadership

No comment needed:

Fellow Pilots,

The above headline may appear too fantastic to believe but it is in fact what is happening as you read this. It is very easy to understand why PHX, and the Company too for that matter, would like to see Cleary and Mowery unseated but because of this very fact it is beyond reason how any east representative can fail to recognize how such an act would play to our opponents’ greatest wishes. Seham’s motivation is age old and quite simple - money.

To understand how this came together some history is in order. Seham, from the onset, has been USAPA’s go-to legal counsel. For a variety of reasons USAPA, under the guidance of President Cleary and Vice President Mowery, has enlisted the help of {Firm} Odwyre. This firm has taken center stage in the status quo litigation that has just concluded. Seeing this has caused Seham to undoubtedly question his shelf life here and whether his firm’s coffers are going to suffer as a result.

That’s where the high drama enters the picture. USAPA Vice President Randy Mowery has been involved in a long term committed relationship with a former Seham employee. When this relationship began taking root, some eighteen months ago, Mowery, Cleary and this former employee took the matter to Seham and Scott Petersen (Seham partner) for their consideration, in the interest of transparency and due diligence to the union. Both Seham and Petersen unequivocally stated that there was no conflict of interest where this relationship was concerned and no issue on the matter was raised until recently - coincident with Odwyer’s rise to increasing influence.

Suddenly, Seham has changed his answer and now claims that a great impropriety has taken place which can not go unaddressed. First it is important to understand that this is the exact opposite of what he and Petersen told the parties and what they have endorsed for the last eighteen months. Second, it should be recognized that Seham’s claims are completely baseless, both under the law and as a matter of simple common sense. Finally, it is vital to understand that if Seham’s stated concerns were legitimate then he never would have expressly condoned the matter when it was initially brought to his attention let alone for the last eighteen months.

The math here is simple. Seham sees his business slipping away and has aligned himself with Cleary’s and Mowery’s political opposition in the slimiest form of “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” politics. All of this is going to be revealed at the August 25 BPR meeting at USAPA headquarters in CLT. DCA and PHX are going to give Seham the venue he seeks to assure that his cash flow is not eroded by Odwyre and they in return will have the opportunity to aid the advancement of their chosen candidates into USAPA’s leadership - both efforts facilitated by trying to cripple Cleary and Mowrey.

All you have to know if you are trying to get to the bottom of which side to be on is that the Company and AOL are foaming at the mouth at the prospect of seeing the unseating of the leadership that is responsible for the unrelenting effort that is frustrating their attempts to profit at your expense.

Pick up your phones and call your reps. Get to CLT tomorrow August 25 and catch the Best Western Sterling van to USAPA HQ for the meeting. These malcontents need to hear loud and clear from you to knock it the hell off NOW! It may be the most important thing you ever do for your career.

Friday, August 19, 2011

ALPA Found GUILTY in TWA Case

The DPA lawyer uses the "Expert Report of Lee Seeham" as "evidence" against ALPA. The interesting fact is that the court refused to let Seeham testify. Why didn't the court let Seeham testify against ALPA?

They further assert:

potential financial damages that could exceed the $1.2 Billion requested by the harmed TWA pilots.

We get a look at the other side from a briefing given to the MEC in it's regular meeting this week:

Mr. Cohen briefed the MEC on recent legal developments in a lawsuit against the Association, commonly referred to as Brady v. ALPA.

The lawsuit arose out of American‘s purchase of TWA assets when TWA was in bankruptcy and facing the real possibility of going out of business. The TWA MEC was very supportive of the transaction because it meant jobs at a strong carrier for TWA pilots. The TWA MEC voted to waive the pilots‘ contractual right to a seniority arbitration because it was demanded by American management as a condition for going forward with the transaction. Later, after the seniority lists were integrated, a group of former TWA pilots who had gone to American, including former MEC members, alleged that the waiver decision was forced on them by ALPA. ALPA has argued that there is no evidence to support this "conspiracy theory" and that all of ALPA‘s actions were geared toward supporting the MEC‘s own decisions to make sure the transaction went forward so that the TWA pilots would get jobs at American.

The lawsuit was filed in 2002 and went to trial in June of this year. It took so long to get to this point for several reasons. First, the lawsuit was dismissed by the district court on statute of limitations grounds and then returned to the district court when the Court of Appeals reversed the dismissal. Second, the plaintiffs hired and fired several sets of lawyers. Third, there was delay caused by dissension among the plaintiffs which resulted in an individual being removed as a named plaintiff.

The trial lasted about six weeks and a verdict was issued on July 13. The jury found that: (1) ALPA had violated its duty of fair representation; (2) As a result of this violation, "some" TWA pilots were harmed in an unspecified way.

There has been some very misleading publicity, especially from some legal professionals who make their living attempting to represent independent pilot groups. Contrary to assertions, the verdict is one step along the way of a long legal process that has a long way to go. ALPA‘s lawyers have filed a number of motions. They believe that the verdict is not supported by the evidence and is contrary to the applicable law. Additionally, there has been no process for determination of damages. Any such process would not even start until after ALPA‘s motions are ruled upon. At that time, the judge would order a period of discovery (document production and depositions) to be followed by another trial with respect to plaintiffs‘ damage claims. At that time, the issues to be determined would include whether and to what extent damages may be ordered and for whom—or at all. Any dollar amounts or descriptions of the amount of damages are pure unsupported, speculation.

Assuming the damage trial were to draw to a conclusion, ALPA would have the right to appeal to the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Even if damages were assessed, ALPA has substantial insurance coverage, precisely for this type of situation.

Finally, ALPA has never assessed its membership to pay for litigation, awards, verdicts or settlements. There is no reason to assume that it would do so in this case.

We will make the popcorn!