PHI's union pilots still
aren't back at work. The company and the union remain at odds
despite a vote by the pilots to return to work.
The Office and Professional Employees International Union,
representing PHI's striking pilots, won a victory of sorts Monday
following a two-hour telephone conference with a district court
judge. Judge Rebecca Doherty convinced both the union and the
company to meet under court-supervised mediation.
Last month, the union accused the company of dragging its feet
in reinstating striking pilots who agreed to return to work.
According to union lawyers, the Railway and Labor Act requires an
employer to immediately reinstate striking employees who agree to
end a strike. The company said it would reinstate those pilots in
due course after reviewing all the information.
The union claims the company began reinstating pilots at the
bottom of the seniority list and required them to sign a pledge not
to strike again. It filed an injunction with
the courts to force the company to take back its pilots immediately
and without condition.
The two sides will now meet under the supervision of US
magistrate Judge C. Michael Hill on December 14. The union agreed
to suspend all legal action during mediation.
The two sides hope to end a battle begun in September. PHI's
union pilots began a strike saying two years of negotiations had
failed to produce a work contract.