In the Matter of the
AIR LINE PILOTS ASSOCIATION, INTERNATIONAL
alleging a representation dispute
pursuant to Section 2, Ninth,
involving employees of
MESA AIRLINES, INC.
29 NMB No. 71
CASE NO. R-6898
July 1, 2002
This determination addresses an application filed by the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA). ALPA requests the National Mediation Board (Board) to investigate whether Mesa Airlines, Inc. (Mesa), Air Midwest, Inc. (Air Midwest), and CCAir, Inc. (CCAir), collectively the Carriers, are operating as a single transportation system. The Carriers are wholly-owned subsidiaries of Mesa Air Group, Inc. (MAG). During the investigation, ALPA broadened its application to include MAG's recently created, wholly-owned subsidiary, Freedom Airlines, Inc. (Freedom).
The weight of the evidence establishes that Mesa, Air Midwest and CCAir constitute a single transportation system. In addition, the Board finds that Freedom has not begun revenue flying. Therefore, ALPA's application as to Mesa, Air Midwest, and CCAir is granted, but the Board's consideration of the inclusion of Freedom in the single transportation system is not yet ripe.
On December 10, 2001, ALPA filed an application alleging a representation dispute involving the Flight Deck Crewmembers at Mesa, Air Midwest and CCAir. ALPA's application asserts that the Carriers constitute a single transportation system controlled by MAG. The application was assigned NMB File No. CR-6741.
ALPA represents Flight Deck Crewmembers at CCAir (R-5689). CCAir, Inc. (d/b/a Piedmont Commuter Airlines), 14 NMB 190 (1987). ALPA also represents the Flight Deck Crewmembers on Mesa (R-6319) and Air Midwest (R-5713). Mesa Airlines, Inc., 22 NMB 4 (1994); Air Midwest, Inc., 14 NMB 333 (1987).
The Board assigned Sean J. Rogers to investigate.
On December 11, 2001, the Board requested the Carriers to provide information and respond to certain questions concerning their operations. On December 14, 2001, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) filed an appearance in the case. In addition, the IBT notified the Board that it was the certified bargaining agent of the Mechanics and Related Employees and the Store Clerks crafts or classes at CCAir.
On January 9, 2002, MAG and CCAir responded separately to the Board's December 11, 2001, questions.(1) On January 29 and 30, 2002, ALPA responded to the Carriers' submissions. On January 30, 2002, IBT responded opposing ALPA's application.
On February 11, 2002, CCAir and MAG replied separately to ALPA's response. On February 25, 2002, ALPA replied to the Carriers' reply.
On May 8, 2002, ALPA notified the Board of its intention to submit "further filings . . . with respect to CCAir's control by Mesa Air Group, as well as [a] threatened new alter ego operation, Freedom Air." On May 17, 2002, ALPA asked that the Board broaden its investigation to include Freedom as part of the single transportation system controlled by MAG.
On May 20, 2002, CCAir requested the opportunity to respond to ALPA's May 17, 2002, submission. On May 21, 2002, the Investigator posed several questions to the Carriers concerning Freedom's organization and operations. On May 24, 2002, MAG and CCAir responded to ALPA's submission and the Investigator's questions. However, MAG did not respond to the Investigator's May 21, 2002, questions concerning Freedom.(2) Finally, on May 31, 2002, ALPA replied to the Carriers' responses.
Whether, for representation purposes under the RLA, Mesa, Air Midwest, and CCAir constitute a single transportation system for the Flight Deck Crewmembers craft or class?
ALPA contends as follows:
MAG, a publicly traded corporation, owns Mesa and Air Midwest and acquired CCAir in June 1999. Mesa includes the divisions Mountain West Airlines, Air Midwest, FloridaGulf, and Desert Sun Airlines. ALPA represents Mesa's and Air Midwest's Flight Deck Crewmembers pursuant to Board certifications and under a single collective bargaining agreement. MAG's corporate officers, including Jonathan Ornstein, MAG Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chairman of the Board of Directors, manage Mesa and Air Midwest. While CCAir has its own corporate officers including Carter Leake, President, in reality, MAG corporate officers control many CCAir operational and labor relations decisions. MAG also controls operational and labor relations decisions at Mesa and Air Midwest.
Labor relations, operations, aircraft allocations, and routes for all MAG subsidiaries are centrally coordinated and controlled by MAG officers "with instruction frequently coming personally from Mr. Ornstein."
MAG's centrally coordinated and controlled labor relations is evident because Ornstein's approval is required for CCAir's collective bargaining agreements and, he has personally participated in CCAir negotiations with ALPA. Collective bargaining agreements between ALPA and CCAir have been rejected by MAG. During collective bargaining meetings, CCAir management has asserted that there is only one profit and loss statement among all MAG subsidiaries. MAG has offered opportunities for CCAir Flight Deck Crewmembers "to flow through to Mesa Airlines if the pilots accepted" the Mesa contract.
In another example of centrally coordinated and controlled labor relations, ALPA has been negotiating with CCAir concerning regional jets (RJs) being added to the CCAir fleet. In a letter signed by Ornstein, CCAir offered to guarantee that 50 percent of all RJs MAG purchased would be assigned to CCAir, provided ALPA ratified and executed the 2002 Collective Bargaining Agreement. In another instance CCAir offered ALPA an agreement that would entitle CCAir pilots to "preferential hiring opportunities" at Mesa.
Centrally coordinated and controlled operations by MAG are present because all of CCAir and most of Mesa and Air Midwest revenue flights are based on code share agreements with US Airways, Inc. and US Airways Express. Consequently, Mesa's, Air Midwest's and CCAir's Flight Deck Crewmembers fly US Airways' and US Airways Express' planes with the same livery and interior, wear the same uniforms, and adhere to the same appearance and grooming standards. All the Carriers' Flight Deck Crewmembers share the same crew room with US Airways Express crews. At times, the Carriers' Flight Deck Crewmembers fly interchangeably to fulfill MAG's code share agreement obligations. Recently, Mesa's and Air Midwest's pilots performed revenue flying which was served by "the CCAir Jetstream operation." Mesa, Air Midwest, and CCAir Flight Deck Crewmembers all have access to the same "employees only" restricted MAG website for information about Carrier operations.
While Freedom has not started operations, it will be treated by MAG "as an integral and interchangeable part of the MAG system." Freedom, Mesa, Air Midwest, and CCAir have interlocking and close working relationships and share many directors and officers. Freedom's labor relations and operations
will be controlled by MAG. Freedom was created to siphon off work opportunities from Mesa, Air Midwest, and CCAir to a non-unionized carrier and thereby "whipsaw" represented MAG Flight Deck Crewmembers "through the use of multiple corporate shells." Freedom is another MAG effort to "extort concessions" from ALPA and to undermine the representation rights of Mesa's, Air Midwest's, and CCAir's Flight Deck Crewmembers through corporate maneuvering.
For all these reasons, ALPA asserts that the wholly-owned MAG subsidiaries, Mesa, Air Midwest, CCAir, and Freedom, constitute a single transportation system for labor relations purposes and the Flight Deck Crewmembers should be certified as a single craft or class.
MAG responded on behalf of its subsidiaries, Mesa and Air Midwest, as follows:
While Mesa, Air Midwest, and CCAir are wholly-owned subsidiaries of MAG, common ownership is insufficient for the Board to find that the Carriers constitute a single transportation system. Each carrier is an independent business with separate operations and management with differing titles and structures.
MAG's plans to integrate the operations of Mesa and Air Midwest are only partially implemented, and at this time, there is no basis for a finding of a single transportation system as to these two carriers. CCAir is not integrated in any way with Mesa and Air Midwest.
All three Carriers have code share agreements with US Airways and, consequently, the three Carriers have common aircraft livery, uniforms, appearance standards, and other similarities. CCAir flies exclusively under a code share agreement with US Airways. However, each Carrier's relationship with US Airways is separate. In addition, Mesa and Air Midwest have some flight operations using their own aircraft, livery, uniforms, and schedules.
MAG reviews the profit and loss statements of these subsidiaries separately. MAG's investment decisions are separately based on the profitability projections of each subsidiary. Currently, CCAir's management recognizes its financial loss trends must be reversed. CCAir has independently sought to modify its contract with ALPA to reduce labor costs. MAG has made business decisions on investing in CCAir as the parent corporation, but the decisions have been based on the need for CCAir to grow independently. The decisions have not been based on MAG's ownership or because a single transportation system exists. MAG management never entered into negotiations with CCAir or ALPA, nor did it offer to integrate CCAir with Mesa.
Freedom is not within the scope of Railway Labor Act (RLA) or the Board's jurisdiction because Freedom is not yet engaged in flight operations. Since ALPA's allegations concerning Freedom are outside the Board's jurisdiction and irrelevant to this proceeding, MAG will not respond to the Board's request for information on Freedom's operations. Until Freedom begins flight operations, ALPA's claim that Freedom is part of a single transportation system with Mesa, Air Midwest, and CCAir, is premature. Furthermore, all ALPA's claims are in the nature of "unfair labor practice" claims and the Board does not have jurisdiction to consider these claims.
For all these reasons, ALPA's application for a Board determination that a single transportation system exist among Mesa, Air Midwest, CCAir, and Freedom should be denied.
CCAir contends as follows:
There is no basis for finding that Mesa, Air Midwest, and CCAir constitute a single transportation system. CCAir's operations and labor relations have not been combined with Mesa or Air Midwest, and CCAir does not hold itself out to the public or government as a single transportation system with either carrier. ALPA's claim is based only on the fact that Mesa, Air Midwest, and CCAir are owned by MAG and that the three Carriers fly under code share agreements with US Airways Express, although Mesa and Air Midwest also fly under their own corporate names.
The Board has never found common ownership, in and of itself, a sufficient basis to conclude two or more carriers are a single transportation system exists. The Board requires evidence of substantial integration of operations. There is no substantial integration of CCAir's operations with Mesa's or Air Midwest's operations. CCAir performs its own hiring, training, human resources, and labor relations functions. CCAir's key management personnel are employed only by CCAir.
ALPA's evidence regarding common uniforms, marketing, and insignia is based only on the three Carriers' code share agreements with US Airways Express. The claim "glosses over the fact that . . . Mesa Airlines and Air Midwest perform other flying" under their own corporate names. Furthermore, CCAir does not hold itself out to the public or government as a single transportation system with Mesa or Air Midwest.
In addition, ALPA's claims concerning Freedom do not support ALPA's application for a single transportation system among Mesa, Air Midwest, and CCAir either. There are numerous meaningful differences among the four Carriers. For example, there is no interlocking management between Freedom and CCAir
and no current or former CCAir employee is part of the Freedom's management. In addition, ALPA makes no allegation that CCAir will be providing resources or support to Freedom, or that Freedom will provide resources or support to CCAir.
CCAir and its employees were not part of any meetings concerning plans to create Freedom. CCAir employees were not invited to MAG's meeting. "No one at CCAir was involved in the creation of Freedom, and there is no scheme to use Freedom to take any work or job opportunities form CCAir." MAG has had no correspondence with CCAir Flight Deck Crewmembers concerning Freedom. CCAir's Flight Deck Crewmembers have not been encouraged to seek jobs with Freedom. Moreover, such assertions do not support ALPA's single transportation system claim. There is simply no interrelationship between Freedom and CCAir.
ALPA's claims concerning Freedom are insufficient to establish a single carrier system with CCAir and merely assert claims of anti-union animus. The Board has no jurisdiction to adjudicate these "unfair labor practice" claims.
For these reasons, ALPA's application should be denied
FINDINGS OF LAW
Determination of the issues in this case is governed by the RLA, as amended, 45 U.S.C. §§ 151-188. Accordingly, the Board finds as follows:
Mesa, Air Midwest, and CCAir are common carriers as defined in 45 U.S.C. § 181.
ALPA is a labor organization as provided by 45 U.S.C. § 152, Ninth.
45 U.S.C. § 152, Fourth, gives employees subject to its provisions, "the right to organize and bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing. The majority of any craft or class of employees shall have the right to determine who shall be the representative of the craft or class for the purposes of this chapter."
45 U.S.C. § 152, Ninth, provides that the Board has the duty to investigate representation disputes and to designate who may participate as eligible voters in the event an election is required. In determining the choice of the majority of employees, the Board is "authorized to take a secret ballot of the employees involved, or to utilize any other appropriate method of ascertaining the names of their duly designated and authorized representatives . . . by the employees without interference, influence, or coercion exercised by the carrier."
STATEMENTS OF FACT
Mesa Air Group, Inc. (MAG)
MAG is a publicly traded corporation which wholly owns Mesa, Air Midwest, CCAir, and Freedom. MAG's website describes the corporation as follows:
The Mesa Airlines certificate is comprised of the America West, Mesa Airlines, and US Airways Express and the Frontier Airlines divisions. Divisional vice presidents are responsible for all customer service, code share relations, marketing, community relations and government relations associated with their respective code sharing relationships.
In addition, Mesa Air Group has two other FAA certificates. The Air Midwest certificate includes flight operations and maintenance for US Airways Express. Air Midwest operates under the direction of Greg Stephens, President. Additionally, we have added CCAir. CCAir also includes flight operations and maintenance for US airways Express on the East Coast. CCAIR operates under the direction of Carter Leake, President.
MAG's website also states:
Mesa Air Group operates under three airline liveries, including its own Mesa Airlines, as well as under code sharing agreements with America West Express, US Airways Express and Frontier JetExpress. Click on a logo to find out more about each airline, where we fly, and where to get more information.
All of Mesa Air Group divisions operate under code share agreements with the exception of Mesa Airlines in Albuquerque.
Mesa Air Group prefers to maintain complete ownership of its airlines, so all of its agreements are marketing partnerships. Mesa maintains aircraft ownership, manages most of the airports' stations in each city and staffs the personnel for these airlines.
Aircraft for Mesa's, Air Midwest's, and CCAir's flight operations are obtained through the parent company, MAG. Fleet purchases are determined or heavily influenced by the revenue flights MAG's subsidiaries perform under code share agreements with US Airways Express. The evidence establishes that after MAG purchases new aircraft, the assignments of these aircraft, among Mesa, Air Midwest, or CCAir, are centralized business decisions made by MAG.
MAG's Fleet Fact Sheet
MAG's Fleet Fact Sheet (Fact Sheet) is displayed on the corporation's website. The Fact Sheet displays information concerning the numbers of MAG's aircraft, certificates, cities served, employees, available seat miles, revenue passenger miles, passengers, and daily departures. The numbers in each category are displayed separately for each Carrier and then totaled to present an overall MAG corporate sum.
MAG's Regional Jet Guarantee
to CCAir Flight Deck Crew Members
On or about April 15, 2002, Brian L. Billups, ALPA Master Executive Council Chairperson, F. Carter Leake, President, CCAir, and Ornstein, MAG Chief Executive Officer, discussed regional jet guarantee for CCAir's Flight Deck Crewmembers. CCAir prepared a letter proposing an agreement as follows:
[O]nce the 2002 Collective Bargaining Agreement between . . . [CCAir and ALPA] . . . is ratified and executed, MAG will guarantee that CCAir will receive at least fifty percent (50%) of all additional regional jet flying/aircraft (i.e. in excess of US Airways' existing contractual obligations for 32 jets) awarded to Mesa Air Group by US Airways up to a maximum of thirty-five (35) aircraft.
The CCAir proposal is entitled "Letter of Agreement 07-02 Incremental Regional Jet Guarantee." The letter is signed by Ornstein in his capacity as "Chairman, Chief Executive Officer Mesa Air Group."
Assignment of Flight Deck Crewmembers
and Bidding Among the Carriers
The record contains Mesa's and Air Midwest's documents requesting voluntary bids from these two Carriers' pilots for 120-day temporary duty assignments to Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT). The record contains other Mesa and Air Midwest documents publishing the resulting voluntary bid awards and involuntary assignments to CLT. The documents establish that Mesa's and Air Midwest's pilots are being assigned temporarily to CLT US Airways Express code share flights formerly assigned to CCAir pilots. When the voluntary bidding does not produce enough pilots for the code share flights, junior Mesa's and Air Midwest's Flight Deck Crewmembers are being involuntarily assigned to CLT by management.
"Letter of Agreement 06-02 Preferential Hiring"
In the document entitled "Letter of Agreement 06-02 Preferential Hiring," signed by Michael Lotz, President, Mesa, to CCAir's pilots and ALPA, Lotz offers preferential hiring by Mesa to CCAir's pilots.
The letter provides that after a CCAir pilot is offered a Mesa position, the pilot will resign or retire from CCAir. Under certain circumstances, when CCAir's operational needs require the pilot's service, CCAir may delay the pilot's resignation or retirement and the ensuing Mesa hiring for up to 120-days. If CCAir ceases revenue operations or files for bankruptcy, the pilot is entitled to preferential hiring for any Mesa vacancy.
MAG's website invites prospective employees for any of its subsidiaries, Mesa, Air Midwest, or CCAir to apply for employment directly to MAG.
Centralized Communication Among
Mesa, Air Midwest and CCAir Employees
and the General Public
Since 1998, Ornstein, as MAG CEO, or an alternate MAG corporate officer, has recorded a weekly message to the Carriers' employees on the "CEO Hotline" or the "Mesa Airlines News Update." These pre-recorded telephone messages can be accessed by the Carriers' employees and the public.
The CEO's messages describe the business operations of the Carriers in a collective and summary fashion. Summaries of significant statistical data and business information are presented for Mesa, Air Midwest, and CCAir.
MAG's "Employees Only Website"
The MAG website includes an area restricted to MAG employees only. The record establishes that the Carriers' employees have access to this restricted area using confidential employee identifiers provided to the employees by Mesa, Air Midwest, or CCAir.
CCAir is a wholly owned subsidiary of MAG, acquired in June 1999. All CCAir revenue flying is pursuant to code share agreements with US Airways Express. CCAir's corporate headquarters, principal hub and only domicile is Charlotte, NC.
CCAir Flight Deck Crewmembers wear US Airways Express uniforms and are required to adhere to US Airways "Impressions of Excellence" policy manuals on appearance and grooming. They are subject to US Airways Express' work rules. They fly aircraft with US Airways Express' livery. The flights are scheduled by US Airways Express.
Mesa Airlines, Inc. and Air Midwest, Inc.
Mesa, founded by MAG, and Air Midwest, acquired in July 1991, are MAG's wholly-owned subsidiaries. Mesa and Air Midwest perform a substantial number of revenue flying pursuant to code share agreements with US Airways Express. Mesa flies out of the US Airways Express hubs in Charlotte, Philadelphia, New York (LaGuardia) and Washington (Reagan National). Air Midwest flies out of the US Airways Express hubs in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Kansas City, MO and Tampa. Mesa also has code share agreements with America West Airlines, Inc. Mesa also flies under its own corporate name out of Albuquerque, NM.
Like CCAir, when Mesa's and Air Midwest's Flight Deck Crewmembers fly US Airways Express code share flights, they wear US Airways Express uniforms and are required to adhere to US Airways "Impressions of Excellence" policy manuals on appearance and grooming. They are subject to US Airways Express work rules. They fly aircraft with US Airways Express livery. The flights are scheduled by US Airways Express.
Freedom Air, Inc.
Freedom was organized as a Nevada corporation on December 3, 2001. On December 18, 2001, Freedom filed an application with the Department of Transportation (DOT) requesting a certificate authorizing it to provide interstate scheduled air transportation of persons, property, and mail. The evidence establishes that Freedom has numerous interlocking directors and officers, current and former, with MAG, Mesa, and Air Midwest, including, for example:
Jonathan Ornstein, MAG and Mesa Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, is on Freedom's Board of Directors;
Michael Lotz, MAG President and Chief Operating Officer, is on Freedom's Board of Directors;
George Lippemeier served as MAG Vice President, Safety and Security, and is Freedom's President and General Counsel;
David Biel, served as Mesa CRJ Maintenance Program Manager, and is Freedom's Chief Inspector/Director of Quality Assurance;
Jeff Poeschi, served as MAG's Vice President of Finance, and is Freedom's Treasurer;
Kevin Rowe, formerly Air Midwest Chief Pilot, and a Mesa Instructor Pilot (he will remain on the Mesa/Air Midwest seniority list), is Freedom's Chief Pilot; and
Steve Tillotson served as Mesa Chief Pilot and Instructor (he will remain on the Mesa/Air Midwest seniority list), and is Freedom's Director of Operations.
DOT's March 6, 2002, order, acting on Freedom's application, states that MAG:
[I]s critical to Freedom Airlines' viability, we intend to condition the effectiveness of this applicant's certificate authority on its continued existence as a wholly owned subsidiary of [MAG].
Since mid-March, MAG's and Freedom's management officials have been meeting with Mesa's and Air Midwest's pilots describing the planned operations of Freedom. Francis Carter Leake, President, CCAir, attended a portion of one meeting. He claims he did not attend in his official capacity as CCAir President, but took Lotz to the presentation. Leake says, when Lotz started the meeting, Leake stepped out to make a phone call.
Central Control of Labor Relations
Integrated Labor Relations at Mesa and Air Midwest
Mesa and Air Midwest have a single collective bargaining agreement with ALPA for the Flight Deck Crewmembers craft or class. This agreement became effective on December 2, 1996, and was amendable on December 1, 2001. The agreement is now the subject of renegotiation between Mesa and Air Midwest and ALPA. Negotiations with Flight Deck Crewmembers at both carriers and contract administration is centrally coordinated by MAG. The evidence establishes that Mesa's and Air Midwest's labor relations functions are integrated.
MAG's Coordinated and Centralized Labor Relations
The record establishes that Ornstein has directed the recent negotiations with ALPA at CCAir. For example, Ornstein has made personal phone calls to members of ALPA's negotiating committees and discussed critical issues and interests MAG and ALPA have presented during bargaining. The record also establishes that Ornstein has personally led collective bargaining with ALPA representatives.
In another example, in an early 2001 meeting in Telluride, CO, with ALPA's CCAir negotiating committee, Ornstein explained and discussed management proposals including training, crew scheduling, flight schedules, and fleet assignments. Other MAG and Mesa management officials and operating officers attended this meeting to assist Ornstein with his presentation.
The evidence establishes that CCAir's management does not operate independently of MAG, especially as to labor relations matters. Ornstein as MAG's CEO establishes a central, coordinated labor relations approach across the three Carriers. His bargaining leverage is derived from MAG's overall corporate power and the individual Carrier's operational and financial resources. MAG's central corporate power and the Carrier's resources have been the fulcrums to achieve the MAG's bargaining goals with ALPA at CCAir.
The Board's Authority
The provisions of 45 U.S.C. § 152, Ninth, authorize the Board to investigate disputes arising among a carrier's employees over representation and to certify the duly authorized representative of such employees. The Board has exclusive jurisdiction over representation questions under the RLA. Switchmen's Union v. NMB, 320 U.S. 297 (1943); General Comm. of Adjustment v. M.K.T. R.R., 320 U.S. 323 (1943). In Air Line Pilots Ass'n, Int'l v. Texas Int'l Airlines, 656 F.2d 16, 22 (2d Cir. 1981), the court stated, "the NMB is empowered to . . . decide representation disputes arising out of corporate restructurings."
Single Transportation System
The Board finds a single transportation system only when there is substantial integration of operations, financial control, and labor and personnel functions. American Airlines and Reno Air, 26 NMB 467 (1999); AirTran Airways and AirTran Airlines, 25 NMB 429 (1998); Precision Valley Aviation, Inc., d/b/a Precision Airlines/Valley Flying Serv., Inc., d/b/a Northeast Express Regional Airlines, 20 NMB 619 (1993); Air Wisconsin, Inc./Aspen Airways, Inc., 18 NMB 336 (1991).
The following are indicia of a single transportation system:
[W]hether a combined schedule is published; how the carrier advertises its services; whether reservation systems are combined; whether tickets are issued on one carrier's stock; if signs, logos and other publicly visible indicia have been changed to indicate only one carrier's existence; whether personnel with public contact were held out as employees of one carrier; and whether the process of repainting planes and other equipment, to eliminate indications of separate existence, has been progressed.
Other factors investigated by the Board seek to determine if the carriers have combined their operations from a managerial and labor relations perspective. Here, the Board investigates whether labor relations and personnel functions are handled by one carrier; whether there are a common management, common corporate officers and interlocking Boards of Directors; whether there is a combined workforce; and whether separate identities are maintained for corporate and other purposes.
Trans World Airlines/Ozark Airlines, 14 NMB 218 (1987).
The Board also reviews whether the systems are held out to the public as a single carrier. Id.
Mesa, Air Midwest, and CCAir
MAG's corporate identity is manifested on its website. On the website, MAG's code sharing agreements are explained to the public. The public image that MAG presents is of a single transportation system comprised of its Mesa, Air Midwest, and CCAir subsidiaries. The aircraft, routes, schedules, passenger count, revenue miles, passenger miles, and employees are displayed in collective totals as MAG's Fleet Fact Sheet.
The Board finds that in nearly every significant facet of MAG's public image, the Carriers are held out as a single transportation system.
Despite MAG's claims, the record establishes that ultimate financial control of each Carrier is centralized in MAG. In addition, MAG centrally coordinates investment decisions, and distributes resources, both financial and operational, among the three Carriers. The evidence establishes that MAG uses its corporate position and the individual resources of each Carrier in collective bargaining negotiations with ALPA. The Board finds that the Carrier's labor relations program is centrally controlled and coordinated by MAG.
MAG and CCAir argue that ALPA's application should be dismissed based on the Board's recent determination in Allegheny Airlines/Piedmont/Potomac Air/PSA Airlines, 29 NMB 160 (2002) (Allegheny). In Allegheny, the Board found that a single transportation system did not exist among the carriers. In contrast to the Allegheny record, this record establishes that MAG exercises centralized control and coordination of the labor relations programs among the Carriers. In addition, there is a single collective bargaining agreement for the Flight Deck Crewmembers craft or class at Mesa and Air Midwest which has been in effect since December 23, 1996. Furthermore, the MAG's conduct during the current negotiations with ALPA and CCAir establish that all three Carriers are treated by MAG in a centrally coordinated manner.
The evidence establishes that Freedom has not begun revenue flying and is not yet a carrier under the RLA. The Board finds that the consideration of Freedom in the single transportation system is not ripe at this time. If Freedom commences operations as a carrier, ALPA may file an application asserting Freedom is part of the single transportation system.
The Board finds that for representation purposes under the RLA, Mesa, Air Midwest, and CCAir constitute a single transportation system for the Flight Deck Crewmembers craft or class. ALPA's application in File No. CR-6741 is converted to NMB Case No. R-6898 and closed.
By direction of the NATIONAL MEDIATION BOARD.
Chief of Staff
(see attached list)
Joseph L. Manson, III, Esq.
Marcus Migliore, Esq.
Suzanne L. Kalfus, Esq.
Roland Wilder, Jr., Esq.
Joshua McInerney, Esq.
Edward J. Gilmartin, Esq.
Richard P. Wrede, Esq.
Brian S. Gillman
1. MAG responded for the two subsidiaries, Air Midwest and Mesa, but not for the third subsidiary, CCAir, which has been separately represented throughout the investigation.
2. MAG stated in a footnote:
ALPA's allegations concerning Freedom are outside the Board's jurisdiction and irrelevant to this proceeding, we will not be responding to the issues raised in Board's May 21, 2002 letter.