May 25, 2007
Judge’s Order Affirms SkyWest Airlines Pilots’ Right to Organize
San Francisco, CA — On May 22, 2007, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, the SkyWest Pilots ALPA Organizing Committee filed suit against SkyWest Airlines, Inc. to prevent the carrier from interfering with SkyWest pilots’ right to organize under the Railway Labor Act. The Organizing Committee is working with the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA) to gain union representation for SkyWest pilots.
“I applaud the members of the SkyWest Pilots ALPA Organizing Committee for their courage in demanding their federal rights to freely discuss and learn more about ALPA and the benefits of union representation,” said ALPA President Captain John Prater. “Under the rules governing union organizing, SkyWest pilots are entitled to distribute and receive information from ALPA and its supporters on exactly the same terms and conditions that they have received information from management and their in-house pilot committee. ALPA stands behind the Organizing Committee’s desire to discuss with their colleagues ALPA’s possible role in their professional futures,” he added.
The same day the lawsuit was filed, the Court issued a temporary restraining order requiring SkyWest to allow Organizing Committee members and their supporters to express their support for ALPA and the organizing campaign by wearing ALPA insignia on lanyards or pins and to distribute ALPA materials in non-work areas such as crew lounges and bulletin boards. The temporary restraining order also required SkyWest to provide members of the Organizing Committee with access to the same channels of internal communication to the pilot group that are now and have been available to the internal pilots committee funded completely by management.
Yesterday, May 24, 2007, the SkyWest Pilots ALPA Organizing Committee fought back a challenge from SkyWest Airlines on the right of SkyWest pilots to communicate freely about the organizing campaign without interference from or discrimination by the company. Despite an opportunity to present its case to the judge, SkyWest Airlines was unable to persuade the Court that the temporary restraining order should not remain in effect.
Following the hearing, the Court issued a revised order continuing the protections which enable SkyWest pilots to freely express their views about the organizing campaign. This order will remain in effect until the hearing on the SkyWest Pilots ALPA Organizing Committee’s request for a preliminary injunction. That hearing has been set for Thursday, May 31, 2007 at 9:00 a.m. (PDT).
More than 2,600 pilots fly for the St. George, Utah-based SkyWest Airlines, Inc., serving 19.5 million passengers in 140 cities in the U.S. and Canada.
Formed in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilots union. As of June 1, 2007, ALPA will represent more than 60,000 pilots and crewmembers at 41 airlines in the U.S. and Canada.
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ALPA Contacts: Barbara Gottshalk, Pete Janhunen, 703-481-4440 or firstname.lastname@example.org