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
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.