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Mon, Jun 06, 2005

Judge Rules In Favor Of Alaska Airlines

Ramp Workers Still Laid Off

US District Judge Ricardo Martinez did not reinstate 472 union ramp workers who were laid off from Alaska Airlines in Seattle. After arguments from both sides, he ultimately said that he did not have jurisdiction over the dispute but that the airline was within its rights to replace the workers with subcontractors.

Machinists union lawyer David Campbell argued that Alaska Airlines violated the federal Railway Labor Act by replacing the workers with subcontractors instead of maintaining the status quo during negotiations. He urged the judge to issue an order to reinstate the workers.

Alaska Airlines lawyer Chris Hollinger said the company was trying to cut costs and was allowed to replace the workers under the previous contracts.

Five hours of deliberations later, Martinez agreed with the airline.

The IAM says they are prepared to resume negotiations with the airline, but will ask the National Mediation Board to release them from mediation if the airline won't return to the table. This starts the clock on a 30-day countdown that could lead to a strike of the remaining IAM Employees.

FMI: www.alaskaairlines.org, www.iam143.org

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