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Attorney Katz examines the integration of seniority rights in U.S. airline mergers and the complexity of the decisions facing arbitrators.

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Post-Merger Seniority Writes in the Airline Industry II. Mergers in the Airline Industry

A panel discussion of the history of airline mergers and the technology now being used to assist arbitrators to make decisions on seniority lists.

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The author notes that the first obligation of a labor union is to the group rights of its members, and that those interests may be contrary to a disabled member’s rights under the ADA. In Goodman v. Lukens, the Supreme Court said that if a union failed to grieve a race discrimination claim, it might …

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A summary of the effects of the Civil Rights Act of 1991, and observation that the Act will have little effect on arbitration under CBAs, whereas the ADA will impose requirements at odds with the National Labor Relations Act and, correspondingly, common CBA provisions. The Court’s distinctions between Gilmer and Gardner-Denver are examined. Representatives of …

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A review of research on the relationship – between seniority and job performance – after reinstatement in discharge cases. The arbitral rationale for treating seniority as a mitigating factor in discharge cases is examined.

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The court’s power in the interpretation and enforcement of CBAs is far greater than that of arbitrators. The judges on our panel have little difficulty in accepting the narrow scope of review prescribed by the Steelworkers Trilogy. A recurring issue is how to balance the statutorily mandated right of exclusive representation by the union with …

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Merging seniority lists

An examination of the criteria for merging seniority lists. The following criteria are examined: (1) the surviving-group principle; (2) length-of-service principle; (3) follow-the-work principle; (4) the absolute-rank principle; (5) the ratio-rank principle.

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Do contract rights vest?

An examination of the circumstances under which certain rights created under a collective bargaining agreement “vest” or “survive” the expiration of the agreement. The author draws a distinction between monetary rights that have accrued and have been earned and non-monetary rights exercisable only in futuro. The author concludes that monetary rights such as vacation pay, …

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Employee job rights versus employer job control: The arbitrator’s choice

An analysis of the notion that an employee’s right to his job is a property right. An analogy is drawn between the CBA and the Constitution, the arbitrator and the Supreme Court. Several theories of construction, including the balancing of management rights with seniority rights, are identified and explored.

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Jay Kramer (NY Labor Rels Bd) asserts that seniority is a contractual grant rather than common-law right, and therefore must be considered in the context of the CBA. Arbitrator Hill, as well, sees seniority as a right arising under the CBA, and expresses the consensus of the participants that management determines ability, subject to arbitral …

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