May. 08, 2016
As authorized by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, please find here the “Notice of Settlement Agreement and Fairness Hearing” and its supporting documents issued with respect to the proposed settlement of various USAPA-related lawsuits.
A copy of the Notice and supporting documents have also been mailed by US mail to all class members.
Legal Update – Arbitration Re: Merger Expenses
May. 03, 2016
On April 27, 2016 Arbitrator Richard I. Bloch issued his Decision and Award in the above-referenced dispute. In short, Arbitrator Bloch concluded that paragraph 7 of the MOU “requires the Company to reimburse USAPA or the USAPA Merger Committee for seniority list related expenses incurred during involvement in the seniority-integration process.” Award at p. 9.
By way of background, it will be recalled that this arbitration was brought by the Company in August 2015 pursuant to the MOU dispute resolution procedure in response to USAPA’s demand for reimbursement for monies spent by USAPA (via the USAPA Merger Committee) prior to June 29, 2015, that is, while USAPA was the merger representative on behalf of former US Airways pilots. The MOU provision in question was Paragraph 7, which provides, in relevant part, that: “ … New American Airlines and US Airways shall reimburse the merger representatives involved in the seniority integration process in an aggregate not to exceed $4 million.” USAPA’s contention, with which Arbitrator Bloch ultimately agreed, was that the main issue to be decided was the meaning of the phrase “involved in the seniority integration process” and that USAPA was a merger representative involved in the SLI process and entitled to reimbursement under Paragraph 7 until its withdrawal permanent withdrawal from the process. It was unchallenged at the arbitration that USAPA had spent more than $1.3 million in merger related expenses as of June 29, 2015, and Arbitrator Bloch ruled that USAPA was entitled to reimbursement for said expenses notwithstanding the Merger Committee’s withdrawal from the process on June 29, 2015.
Two further points should be noted. First, the Company and APA intend to ask Arbitrator Bloch to reconsider his Decision and Award and they will soon file papers in that regard. In addition, the Company and APA may also initiate court proceedings to get out from under the Arbitrator’s ruling.
Second, as per the MOU, the Company’s obligation to reimburse the merger representatives is not later than 30 days after presentation of an integrated seniority list to the Company that complies with the provisions of Paragraph 10 of the MOU.
USAPA Global Settlement Update
May. 03, 2016
As you may know, USAPA has entered into a settlement agreement (which, by its express terms, was subject to Court approval) with West Pilots over all pending litigation, including the claims and third-party claims arising from the Bollmeier actions and the attorneys’ fees claim in Phoenix. These various claims, third-party claims, and counter-claims have been consolidated into a single settlement package. The preliminary settlement agreement was completed on February 5, 2016, and submitted to the Federal Court in the Western District of North Carolina for consideration and approval.
The Court reviewed all of the materials submitted by the parties supporting the Joint Motion, and the Court granted the motion on April 22, 2016. The Court (1) preliminarily approved the settlement; (2) accepted and approved two settlement classes (an East class and a West class) and approved counsel for each class; (3) provided a timetable of events for notices to be distributed to all affected pilots and comments/objections to be submitted; and (4) scheduled a Fairness Hearing on August 30, 2016, at 9:30 a.m., in the U.S. District Court, Western District of North Carolina in Charlotte, NC.
The pertinent legal papers and rulings are on the USAPA website and open to all. A USAPA username and password are not needed to view these public documents which are displayed prominently on the USAPA home page. Pursuant to the Notice of Settlement and Fairness Hearing, any comments or objections to the Settlement Agreement must be submitted by July 11, 2016.
Additionally, each Pilot, East and West, who is a class member in this settlement will also receive the required documents by US mail. The Notice of Settlement and Fairness Hearing also provides the following notice:
DO NOT CONTACT THE COURT WITH QUESTIONS, OBJECTIONS, COMMENTS, AND/OR ANY OTHER CORRESPONDENCE REGARDING THE SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT OR THE RELATED PROCEEDINGS. THE COURT WILL NOT RECEIVE OR RESPOND TO ANY SUCH COMMUNICATIONS.
I encourage you to become familiar with these documents on the USAPA website, and particularly the terms of the settlement agreement itself.
Feb. 04, 2016
As you may be aware, East and West pilot representatives met last week in North Carolina to seek a global settlement that would end all current litigation. It may have been reported that the parties were unable to reach an agreement, which at this point is not entirely correct. The settlement talks are ongoing, as the language defining the entire scope and obligations of the parties is being crafted for final review of a possible agreement.
At this time there has not been any action by USAPA regarding a final decision on the matter.
We will keep you updated as the process continues.
Sep. 30, 2015
Please note the following changes:
- The USAPA Offices are only available by appointment.
- The USAPA telephone numbers have changed, and the only number for USAPA-specific questions is 704-972-7198.
- If you have a Contract, Pay Claim or Scheduling question, please contact the APA Hotline at 1-800-323-1470, Prompt 3. (8 AM – Midnight ET)
USAPA Assets for Sale
Sep. 16, 2015
Specific USAPA assets, including furniture, some electronics, and office items are now up for sale to USAPA members. Closed Bids will be accepted until 1700 EST on Tuesday, September 22, 2015. For the full list of items up for bid, click here.
All bids must be emailed to email@example.com, with the corresponding number listed next to the item on which you are bidding. Winning bid members will be notified via email shortly after the close of bidding. All items must be paid for by certified cashier’s check for the nonrefundable balance by the winning bidder, and removed from the USAPA office, by 1700 EST on Monday, September 28, 2015.
USAPA Update: USAPA Car for Sale
Sep. 11, 2015
The tan USAPA car is for sale. Closed Bids will be accepted by USAPA members until 23:59 on Friday, September, 18, 2015, with a minimum bid of $8,000. Terms of the sale are: Certified cashier’s check for the nonrefundable balance by winning bidder must be in the USAPA office by 1700 Friday, September 25, 2015. Winner is responsible for pick up.
The car is a 2009 Ford Taurus SE 4 Door Sedan with 27,003 miles in good condition.
All bids must be marked "USAPA CAR" and emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Aug. 27, 2015
Today, United States District Judge Conrad issued a preliminary injunction in the consolidated Bollmeier / DJ Action matter pending in the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, Charlotte Division. Judge Conrad’s order grants, in part, the Bollmeier plaintiffs’ request that USAPA be enjoined from certain activities. At the hearing on June 30th the Judge instructed the parties to meet and confer to determine proposed temporary restraints upon which they could agree. In light of the Ninth Circuit’s ruling USAPA agreed that it would not spend any more money on merger or seniority related matters and that it would not dissolve without prior written notice to the Plaintiffs and approval by the court. The Bollmeier Plaintiffs sought a much broader set of temporary and preliminary restraints, however, including requests for the Court to enjoin USAPA from expending any funds for any reason, enjoining it from sharing any merger committee “work product”, and an “independent” accounting for all funds expended. Judge Conrad declined the Bollmeier Plaintiffs’ request for very broad restraints, specifically noting that the injunction he issued “would not make it impossible for USAPA to continue to operate” (Doc. 75, at 11).
While we are, of course, disappointed that the Court did not dismiss the case at this juncture, we are gratified that it did not grant Plaintiffs the sweeping injunctive relief that they sought. Rather, the Court granted the injunction along the lines of the restraint USAPA had indicated it viewed as consistent with the Ninth Circuit’s ruling and USAPA’s withdrawal from the McCaskill-Bond seniority list integration process.
Jul. 07, 2015
Regrettably, USAPA Vice President Kirk Atkinson has resigned effective July 3, 2015. The current national officers were elected effective April 18, 2015 and serve a three (3) year term, so the following provision of the USAPA Constitution Article III, Section 7 [C] applies:
In the event of a vacancy in the offices of Vice President, Secretary Treasurer or Executive Vice President, in which the unexpired term is more than (12) months, an election shall be held to fill the vacancy.
Ballot Certification has been notified and will schedule the nomination and election process.