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Republic airlines file federal suit against pilots union

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Three airlines operated by Indianapolis-based Republic Airways Holdings Inc. are suing a pilots union over a website they say is damaging their reputation and hindering efforts to hire pilots.

Chautauqua Airlines Inc., Republic Airlines Inc. and Shuttle America Inc. want a federal judge to issue a permanent injunction forcing the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 357 to take the website down. The airlines charge in their lawsuit filed March 28 that the site, www.RAHContractNow.org, makes several false statements meant to scare away prospective pilots.

Republic Airways and the union have been locked in contract negotiations since 2007, as pilots continue to work without a new agreement. Pilots complain they haven’t had a pay raise in more than four years, and they want better scheduling and seniority rights.

In December 2010, the union withdrew its negotiating proposals and tentative agreements, and negotiations started over again. The airlines and the union have been in mediation under the oversight of the National Mediation Board since June 2011.

Due to a shortage of pilots, the airlines said in their suit that they’ve recently begun recruiting new ones amid a competitive market. But the union launched the website to disrupt the recruiting efforts, the airlines charged.

“As a result of these inaccurate statements,” the airlines said, “Republic has had an increase in the number of pilots who have not called back for interviews and dropped out of the application process.”

A spokeswoman for the union said it could not comment on pending litigation.

The airlines said the website falsely states that in the event of a strike they will fire probationary pilots. The airlines further charge that the union is issuing a veiled threat to prospective pilots by stating on the site that accepting jobs with the airlines would undermine the union’s efforts to disrupt their operations.

“Pilots who read this will reasonably conclude that the union may retaliate against them if they accept employment with plaintiffs,” the airlines’ complaint said.

They said it takes about three months to recruit and train a pilot. If the airlines are unable to recruit enough pilots now, they argued, service will be interrupted. The airlines charge that the union is violating state and federal labor laws, and also allege that it is committing breach of contract and defamation. In addition to the injunction, they seek monetary damages.

The three airlines filed the suit in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana in Indianapolis.•

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This story originally ran in the March 29, 2012 IBJ Daily. The Indianapolis Business Journal is a sister publication of IL.

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  1. Such things are no more elections than those in the late, unlamented Soviet Union.

  2. It appears the police and prosecutors are allowed to change the rules halfway through the game to suit themselves. I am surprised that the congress has not yet eliminated the right to a trial in cases involving any type of forensic evidence. That would suit their foolish law and order police state views. I say we eliminate the statute of limitations for crimes committed by members of congress and other government employees. Of course they would never do that. They are all corrupt cowards!!!

  3. Poor Judge Brown probably thought that by slavishly serving the godz of the age her violations of 18th century concepts like due process and the rule of law would be overlooked. Mayhaps she was merely a Judge ahead of her time?

  4. in a lawyer discipline case Judge Brown, now removed, was presiding over a hearing about a lawyer accused of the supposedly heinous ethical violation of saying the words "Illegal immigrant." (IN re Barker) http://www.in.gov/judiciary/files/order-discipline-2013-55S00-1008-DI-429.pdf .... I wonder if when we compare the egregious violations of due process by Judge Brown, to her chiding of another lawyer for politically incorrectness, if there are any conclusions to be drawn about what kind of person, what kind of judge, what kind of apparatchik, is busy implementing the agenda of political correctness and making off-limits legit advocacy about an adverse party in a suit whose illegal alien status is relevant? I am just asking the question, the reader can make own conclsuion. Oh wait-- did I use the wrong adjective-- let me rephrase that, um undocumented alien?

  5. of course the bigger questions of whether or not the people want to pay for ANY bussing is off limits, due to the Supreme Court protecting the people from DEMOCRACY. Several decades hence from desegregation and bussing plans and we STILL need to be taking all this taxpayer money to combat mostly-imagined "discrimination" in the most obviously failed social program of the postwar period.

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