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US Pilots Union Staff In Dispute With Employer

source:Mike author:jancy time:2009-04-01  

The world's largest airline pilots' union is getting a taste of its own medicine as workers in one in its divisions have filed a complaint of unfair practices against their bosses, the workers' union said on Monday.

It's an unusual twist in the organised labour movement, pitting unionised staff against its employer -- which itself is a powerful union.

The parties in the dispute are the Air Line Pilots Association Professional and Administrative Employees (UALPAPAE) and the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), which represents pilots at United Airlines and other carriers.

"When it comes to its pilot members, ALPA is a major champion of the pilots' rights to fair labour practices," said Jay Wells, president of United's unit of UALPAPAE. "But when it comes to the well-being and welfare of its own staff, ALPA management seems to adopt a different set of labour union principles."

The in-house professional employees' union, which represents 170 staffers that include lawyers and lobbyists, has complained to the National Labor Relations Board that ALPA management failed to meet its obligation to disclose information requested about ALPA's plan to lay off 10 professional employees of this year.

ALPA's contract with its professional employees expires on Tuesday, and the two sides are in talks on a new deal.

The ironic complaint is not without precedent. In 2006, the union representing professional employees of ALPA's Delta Air Lines unit went on strike over a contract. That unit's contract is set to expire April 30.


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