January 17, 2002
Roger H. Briton, Esq.
Counsel Raytheon Travel Air
Jackson, Lewis, Schnitzler & Krupman
1000 Woodbury Rd., Ste. 402
Woodbury, NY 11797
Mr. Gerard F. Gasperino
141 Spring Street
Lexington, MA 02421
Mr. Dan Dymarkowski
Director Labor Relations
Raytheon Aircraft Company
P.O. Box 85
Wichita, KS 67201-0085
Mr. Ray Benning, Director
National Airline Division
International Brotherhood of Teamsters
6242 Westchester Parkway, Suite 250
Los Angeles, CA 90045-4820
Roland P. Wilder, Jr., Esq.
Baptiste & Wilder, P.C.
1150 Connecticut Ave., NW. Suite 500
Washington, DC 20036
Mr. Don Treichler
International Brotherhood of Teamsters
7306 School House Lane
Roseville, CA 95747
Re: Raytheon Travel Air
NMB Case No. R-6853
This responds to Raytheon Travel Air's (RTA or Carrier) request for the National Mediation Board (Board) to conduct an investigation to review the single carrier issues which may arise over RTA's proposed joint venture with Flight Options, Inc. (FO). RTA also requests that the Board postpone the ballot count in this case, during the single carrier investigation.
The International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT or Organization) filed an application in this case on November 6, 2001. On November 29, 2001, the Board authorized a mail ballot election. On November 30, 2001, the Board notified the participants that ballots would be mailed on December 14, 2001, and the ballot count was scheduled for January 17, 2002.
On December 20, 2001, the Carrier notified the Investigator that RTA and FO entered into an agreement to establish a joint venture to form Flight Options, LLC. According to a news release provided by the Carrier, the "transaction is expected to be finalized by the end of the first quarter 2002." The Carrier asked that pursuant to the Board's Representation Manual (Manual) Section 5.1, the Board review the single carrier issues arising from the merger; postpone the ballot count pending resolution of the single carrier status; and any further representation proceedings be conducted on a single carrier basis.
The Carrier argued that the proposed merger presents issues of first impression for the Board to consider. The Board's June 1, 2001, revision to its merger procedures, the Carrier argued, changed the process "diametrically" and has a significant impact on this case, where the proposed merger is scheduled to take place during or shortly after the election. RTA states that if a union has sole discretion to initiate a single carrier investigation, and it elects not to do so, "the new single carrier appears to be left with a certification - and, with it, possible bargaining obligations - covering a fragment of its craft or class."
On January 8, 2002, the IBT responded, opposing the Carrier's requests. The IBT asserts that the Board can not conduct a single carrier investigation unless it is at the request of the employees involved in the dispute. Railway Labor Executives' Assoc. v. NMB, 29 F.3d 655 (D.C. Cir. 1994). In addition, the IBT states that there are no "extraordinary circumstances" present in
this case to merit postponement of the count. Wings West Airlines, 15 NMB 283 (1988); Trans World Airlines, 13 NMB 146 (1986).
On January 9, 2002, RTA responded to the IBT's submission. RTA stated that the merger implementation is expected to be complete by February 15, 2002.
This is not a case of first impression for the Board. The Board has long held that the Act deals with the present status and present interest of employees. Wings West, above; Trans World Airlines, above; Airborne Express, Inc., 9 NMB 54 (1981); Chicago & North Western Railway Co., 4 NMB 240 (1965). RTA and FO are presently operating as two separate carriers. Consequently, RTA's request that the Board conduct a single carrier investigation on the proposed merged entity is denied.
The Carrier's request that the Board postpone the pending election is also denied. The count will take place as scheduled on January 17, 2002, at 2 p.m. EST.
Stephen E. Crable
Chief of Staff