Pilots Sue Their Union And Employer

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About 230 MidAtlantic Airways pilots are suing three airlines and their union for $400 million claiming they were duped into believing that MidAtlantic was its own (lower-paying) entity when it was, in fact, part of (higher-paying) US Airways. In fact, MidAtlantic hired some of the 1,800 pilots that had been laid off by US Airways. "As it turns out, there was no MidAtlantic," Michael Haber, the New York lawyer representing the pilots, told the Allegheny Times. "It was never anything except a name. These people were tricked into believing they worked for an entity that never existed." The suit claims MidAtlantic was operated under the same government certificate as US Airways. It also claims the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) was complicit in the scam. The pilots claim ALPA and US Airways camouflaged the fact that MidAtlantic was not a separate airline and negotiated wage and benefits packages for the regional carrier that were substantially less than what employees would receive as employees of US Airways. MidAtlantic was recently sold to Republic Airlines, which is also named in the suit, as is America West and Republic's investment company, Wexford Capital. US Airways released a statement saying the sale to Republic was done with the agreement of the union but neither ALPA nor Republic commented to the Times.