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Labor relations and arbitration post – 9/11:The US Airways experience

Panelists representing the management of US Airways, the pilots union, the CWA (representing employees at the ticket counters, gates and in reservations), and flight attendants discuss the effects on contract negotiations and employee relations of 9/11 and the subsequent filing for bankruptcy of the airline.

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Arbitrator Das describes the implementation of a restructuring (force reduction) agreement between Northwestern Steel & Wire Company and the Steelworkers Union, for which agreement he served as arbitrator. He observes that a combination of internal committees and arbitration can be effective in resolving restructuring disputes.

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Downsizing, in response to competition and automation, often results in reallocation of remaining jobs; reclassifications; revised job duties, wage rates and job schedules; and subcontracting. The authors address, respectively, the arbitrator’s role when the CBA is silent, and the constructive results when labor and management both participate in restructuring and subcontracting arrangements.

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