Advocates for Labor and Progressive Institutions

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Arbitration Board Integrates United and Continental Pilots’ Seniority Lists

September 2013

In the culmination to a multi-year process, a three-member arbitration board entered an Award integrating the seniority lists of pilots represented by the United Air Lines and Continental Airlines Master Executive Councils (“MECs”) of the Air Line Pilots Association (“ALPA”). 

The arbitration board largely adopted the proposal of the United MEC Merger Committee, which was represented by Bredhoff & Kaiser, as to how the seniority lists should be integrated.  The Award integrates more than 12,000 airline pilots, the largest number of pilots in any integration to date.  The Award also adopts an innovative hybrid methodology developed by the United MEC Merger Committee and provides important guidance regarding the proper interpretation of ALPA’s recently revised Merger Policy.  Bredhoff & Kaiser has represented pilot groups in several recent airline mergers, including the Southwest/AirTran seniority integration in 2010, the Delta/Northwest integration in 2008, and the America West/US Airways integration in 2007.