Harry Bernstein's May 20 column, "Airlines Devise a New Way to Bust Unions," requires USAir to set the record straight.
Contrary to Bernstein's intimations, the agreements reached between PSA and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters do not leave the PSA employees without protection.
Indeed, USAir Group voluntarily extended to all PSA employees, Teamster and non-Teamster, union and non-union, traditional merger protections. This includes fair and equitable seniority integration, generous pay and benefit guarantees and all other protections formerly provided in mergers by government regulations.
USAir Group has committed to do the same for all eligible Piedmont employees in connection with that proposed transaction. These are the same protections that were once provided by the Civil Aeronautics Board and that Bernstein concedes made so-called successor clauses unnecessary.
The successor clauses referred to in Bernstein's column do not advance the interests of the employees. Instead, these provisions are designed to advance the union's parochial interest at the cost of depriving the employees of the right to select a bargaining representative through a free and government-supervised election.
We sought to remove these clauses because they would have been applicable to groups of USAir employees who had never chosen to be represented by the Teamsters. Further, we believe the clauses in question are inconsistent with the procedures of the Railway Labor Act, and a federal court has agreed with our interpretation.
We at USAir have a long tradition of harmonious relations with our employees and the labor organizations they have selected. We are proud of that accomplishment. We provide one of the best pay and benefit packages in the industry today.
Through the acquisitions of PSA and Piedmont, we are also taking steps to create an airline that can compete effectively against the industry giants and thus will have a promising future in a deregulated climate.
EDWIN I. COLODNY