US Airways set for machinist talks

US Airways and
the International Association of Machinists have announced that they
would begin National Mediation Board (NMB)-facilitated talks next week for
final transition agreements covering more than 10,000 fleet service employees
and mechanics at US Airways.“Both the IAM and the company have worked very hard, and are vitally
interested in reaching final transition agreements that make sense for our
fleet service employees, our mechanics and the company,” said Scott Kirby, US
Airways’ president.  “We’re pleased to join together with the IAM to move this
process along amicably and with the help of an independent third party.”

  The airline and the IAM jointly approached the NMB earlier this week.  The
Board assigned senior mediator Linda Puchala, who will work with the company
and the union on separate agreements covering fleet service employees and the
company’s mechanics.

  The first of the facilitated sessions is set for next Wednesday in
Washington, DC.

  In facilitated talks, the NMB assigns a Board mediator who works with both
parties in an advisory role, helping the parties find common areas of
agreement and reach solutions.  The facilitator does not work in an official
capacity with the NMB, and his or her decisions are not binding on either
party.  Nor are these the more formal “Section 6” proceedings, which can lead
under NMB procedures to a cooling-off period or self-help.  This is a
voluntary mediation process, outside of Section 6, aimed at reaching fleet
service and mechanics’ agreements at the table.

  IAM represents almost 11,000 employees in two districts at US Airways.
District 141 represents about 7,700 fleet service employees at both pre-merger
US Airways and pre-merger America West.  District 142 represents about 2,900
mechanics at the airlines.


  Both groups of employees have been working under the terms of their
existing labor agreements as IAM and the company continue negotiations for
final transition agreements.