Initial Meeting Between AFA Joint Negotiating Committee and TWU Negotiating Committee
Members of your Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) joined the Transport Workers Union (TWU) Virgin America Negotiating Committee for a casual dinnertime “meet and greet” on Tuesday night in Burlingame, California. The JNC members present were MEC President Jeffrey Peterson, Jen Wise MacColl and Lindsey Steele. Council 18 LAX President Tim Green accompanied the JNC as an additional representative of the MEC. Tim participated because he is LEC president of the only Alaska Airlines Flight Attendant domicile that overlaps with Virgin America’s operation: Los Angeles. The entire MEC did not attend because we believe it was best to keep the number of participants limited for this first unofficial meeting. However, the full MEC very much looks forward to additional opportunities to get to know the Virgin America Inflight Team Mates (ITMs) in the future.
The TWU Virgin America (VX) Negotiating Committee was negotiating in San Francisco this week as they continue their efforts to reach a first contract. The TWU VX Negotiating Committee is TWU International Vice President Thom McDaniel, Negotiating Team Members Armando Fierros, Aladrian Hillmon, Daniel “DJ” Martinez, Jansen Nichols, Danielle Pappert, Jeremy Schoggins and Didi Sindelar. The JNC and Tim found their team to be professional, intelligent and committed. They also very much appreciated their willingness to meet up after a long day of negotiations with Virgin American management! There is nothing else significant to report from this informal dinnertime meeting except to say that the parties used the occasion to get better acquainted.
Recap of merger-related information so far
The MEC and JNC have heard frustration from the membership that there is not enough information about the acquisition of Virgin America by Alaska Air Group and the intent to merge Alaska Airlines and Virgin America under a single operating certificate (“the merger”). In case you missed any of the several previous membership releases about the merger, you can find them archived here: http://afaalaska.org/merger. Keep in mind the merger is still very much in the extremely early stages, so there are few developments at this time.
Following the merger announcement in early April, we have selected our Merger Representatives for seniority integration and our Joint Negotiating Committee for joint contract negotiations in addition to following the other provisions in Section X [Merger Policy…] of the AFA Constitution & Bylaws. Consequently, AFA is very well positioned to move forward with the process as soon as all parties (AFA, TWU, Alaska Airlines management and Virgin America management) are willing and able to do so. However, there is not likely to be any further progress until the transaction receives official regulatory approval, which is expected in late September or early October. In the meantime, keep up the good work in welcoming our soon-to-be brothers and sisters at Virgin America by striking up a conversation if the opportunity presents itself.
There have been no formal discussions about what joint contract negotiations would look like. TWU VX has not yet achieved a first contract, so any details about joint contractual provisions would be pure speculation and are almost certainly rumor. AFA is committed to being transparent with you about any merger developments.
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If you have any questions at this time, contact your LEC president.
Your MEC – Jeffrey Peterson, Brian Palmer, Yvette Satterlee, Lisa Pinkston, Laura Masserant, Cathy Gwynn, Tim Green and Brice McGee
Your JNC – MEC President Jeffrey Peterson, Jennifer Wise MacColl, Lindsey Steele and AFA Senior Staff Negotiator Paula Mastrangelo
Your Merger Representatives – Sandra Morrow and Marie Maxwell