Air Transport World

Breaking up is hard to do.(Waypoints)(US Airways Inc.)

No good can ever come from a group of employees picketing company headquarters with a 30-ft. faux rat in tow to symbolize management's approach to labor relations. But the rat, hauled out in February by the US Airways Labor Coalition, was a harbinger of worse things to come for harmony at the Phoenix-based airline.

In early April, a majority of US Airways pilots took out their frustration on their own union, the Air Line Pilots Assn., in a landmark vote to decertify it as the collective bargaining agent for the nearly 5,000 pilots at the carrier. Arguably it was the worst defection since American Airlines pilots left ALPA in the 1960s and, some suggest, illustrates the challenges Delta Air Lines will face in integrating the pilot workforces of DL and Northwest Airlines. …

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