MidAtlantic Pilots Sue Airlines, ALPA

 - October 18, 2006, 10:39 AM

Noted New York attorney Michael Haber has filed a $400 million class-action lawsuit on behalf of 230 MidAtlantic Airways pilots against ALPA, US Airways, America West, Republic Airways and Republic’s owner, Wexford Capital. The suit charges that the union and the airlines conspired to dupe furloughed US Airways pilots into accepting lower pay and benefits by portraying MidAtlantic as a separate entity, leading them to think they would retain their rights to recall by US Airways. It also charges that ALPA leadership improperly approved agreements the members had not ratified. The sale of MidAtlantic’s Embraer 170s to Republic over the summer has left the fate of hundreds of employees in the hands of a federal arbitrator, expected to decide this month whether the transaction constituted merely an asset sale or a so-called change of control, in which case Republic must hire all of MidAtlantic’s pilots rather than only half of them as prescribed by Republic’s “Jets for Jobs” protocol.