It has been a few days since our transitional Tentative Agreement (TA) was voted down. We know that our ITMs have been anxiously waiting to hear what our next steps are. As promised, we have reached out to Virgin America (VX) Leadership to request meetings to discuss negotiations. We also asked that Alaska (AS) Management be included, if necessary, to reach a new agreement that addresses every issue our ITMs want.
Today, we received a letter from Barbara Russell, Director of Teammate Relations with the answers to some of our questions. The letter can be viewed below. Ms. Russell has stated that VX Leadership is focusing on the merger process. She also clearly states that AS Management is fully focused on post closure plans to merge the two operations, and that they are not party to the negotiations between VX and TWU.
Ms. Russell did offer to schedule a one-day meeting after Thanksgiving to discuss plans for VX, AS, and TWU to discuss transition issues and expectations for next year.
As stated in the letter, due to the failure to ratify a Transitional Agreement, VX ITMs will continue to work under current work rules, “as written or amended during the transition” until sometime in 2018 when the parties hope to complete the merger. It was our hope to provide work rule improvements, raises, ratified seniority list, and protections through the transitional TA, but it does take two parties to negotiate, and VX clearly feels that they have met their obligation to bargain in good faith. They now need to focus their current resources on the merger.
The TWU will continue to represent VX ITMs until we are all members of AFA and fall under their contract. We will continue to let you know of any additional information, as we receive it. If you have any questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your TWU VX Negotiating Committee
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