After the IAM’s request for a proffer of arbitration last month, IAM District 142 and ExpressJet Airlines have agreed to continue joint contract negotiations the week of April 25th in Atlanta, GA.
IAM representatives and ExpressJet management this week discussed the present status of negotiations and both parties agreed that formal face to face negotiations should proceed while the National Mediation Board (NMB) decides whether to grant a proffer of arbitration.
We are encouraged by ExpressJet management’s desire to get back to the bargaining table and negotiate in good faith. We are solely focused on resuming these negotiations and bringing back a fair agreement that recognizes the value and contributions of IAM-represented ExpressJet Flight Attendants. We should not wait for the NMB. IAM-represented Flight Attendants have waited long enough for a joint agreement.
The NMB is currently considering the IAM’s request for a proffer of arbitration. The proffer—or offer—can be refused by either party and is a legally mandated step in contract negotiations under the Railway Labor Act (RLA). If both sides accept the proffer—or offer—of arbitration, then a neutral arbitrator would have the power to impose contractual terms based on both parties’ proposals. If the proffer of arbitration is denied by either party, then a 30-day countdown would commence leading to the exercise of “self-help” by either party—strike and/or lockout—if no agreement is reached in the interim.
Again, based on the Company’s stated willingness to bargain seriously, we are hopeful that we can conclude these negotiations with an agreement that IAM ExpressJet Flight Attendants can be proud of. That would benefit both the Flight Attendants and ExpressJet.