Your AFA Alaska Master Executive Council (MEC) met today in Seattle to discuss the impending acquisition of Virgin America by Alaska Air Group (AAG) and the planned merger with Alaska Airlines. Your union leaders know that everybody has many questions about the implications of this new direction for Alaska Airlines and its parent AAG. Be aware that the respective Board of Directors at both companies as well as the appropriate regulatory agencies must approve the acquisition and merger, which will take time. We are at the very beginning of this transaction.
The MEC held a conference call with our International President Sara Nelson and members of staff at AFA headquarters in Washington, DC. Please be assured that AFA Alaska has the full support and resources of our union at the highest levels. We are here to represent you through the entire process, which is likely to last many months and almost certainly a year or two, and you will receive updates all along the way.
What is the difference between a merger and an acquisition?
At the most basic level, an acquisition is a purchase. Alaska Air Group, the parent or holding company of Alaska Airlines (AS), is acquiring Virgin America (VX). AAG executive management is planning to operate AS and VX under one certificate, so we’re also talking about a merger between the two carriers. In this case, it is both an acquisition (VX by AAG) and a merger (between AS and VX). After all the transactions have been completed, employees of Virgin America and Alaska Airlines will all be working for the same carrier.
What are the next steps in the process?
Start becoming familiar with the relevant AFA Alaska Collective Bargaining Agreement language, specifically in Section 4 – Status of Agreement. Also check out Section X – Merger Policy and Related Employee Protective Provisions in the AFA-CWA Constitution & Bylaws (C&B).
The MEC will be posting a call tomorrow morning for two Merger Representatives pursuant to the AFA-CWA Merger Policy. As outlined in the AFA-CWA C&B Section X.C.1, the Merger Representatives “shall have the complete and full authority to act for and in behalf of the flight attendants of their respective airlines for the purpose of compiling necessary employment data and a single flight attendant seniority list.” Obviously, seniority is an extremely important factor in a merger, so the MEC would like to hit the ground running.
Consequently, there will be a very tight turnaround on expressions of interest for these positions. Applications should be submitted by close of business (5PM Pacific Time) this coming Friday. More information will be in the full posting tomorrow.
* * *
If you have any questions, contact your Local Executive Council president.
Until the next update in the near future…
Your MEC – Jeffrey Peterson, Brian Palmer, Yvette Satterlee, Lisa Pinkston, Laura Masserant, Cathy Gwynn, Sandra Morrow, Stephen Couckuyt; and LEC Presidents-elect Tim Green and Brice McGee