For US Airways Pilots Union, the Final Chapter Describes a Sad Ending

The union was formed in 2008 following the 2005 merger of US Airways and America West. The majority “east” pilots voted out the Air Line Pilots Association, which had represented them for 50 years; minority America West pilots were dragged along. At the time, east pilots, who were disproportionately penalized by the 2007 Nicolau ruling, thought USAPA’s creation could prevent its implementation.
They were wrong. USAPA could not save them. Its existence defied an agreement to respect the principle of binding arbitration. Hard to live in a world where binding arbitration is not binding.
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At the same time, they were right. Arbitrator George Nicolau’s ruling treated about 1,000 east pilots unfairly. They fought for one principle — fairness — even as they opposed another.

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