USA: SkyWest Pilots fighting for their federal right to organize

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California issued a preliminary injunction upholding SkyWest Airlines pilots’ federal rights to discuss and learn more about the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA) and the benefits of union representation, and finding that the company had unlawfully interfered with those rights. The SkyWest Pilots ALPA Organizing Committee is working with ALPA to gain union representation for SkyWest pilots.The preliminary injunction allows SkyWest pilots to continue to wear ALPA lanyards, talk about ALPA openly, and distribute ALPA-related materials on non-work time in non-work areas such as the crew lounge and bulletin boards—all rights which the company has sought throughout this process to deny.The Court concluded that the Organizing Committee had made a strong showing that SkyWest management has unlawfully interfered with the federal right of SkyWest pilots to organize. In its opinion, the Court also addressed SkyWest’s funding of its in-house pilot organization. Although the Court declined to order SkyWest to cease funding immediately, it did indicate that management’s 100 percent funding of the organization almost certainly violates the Railway Labor Act.Formed in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilots union, representing more than 60,000 pilots and crewmembers at 41 airlines in the U.S. and Canada.Source: ALPA press release #07.036

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