9/13/08

Court asked to reject bargaining agreements

Denver Post advocates for Brotherhood of Teamsters

Frontier Airlines asked a U.S. bankruptcy court on Friday to reject its contracts between several local unions, representing 425 mechanics, cleaning crews and materials specialists. The move would lead to a loss of 130 mechanics jobs, as Frontier seeks to outsource all of its heavy maintenance work to a company in El Salvador.

Denver-based Frontier is reorganizing under Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and has reduced wages for some of its union workers.

In the latest filing Frontier requested that the court "grant an order authorizing them to reject the collective bargaining agreements" between the workers that belong to the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. The two sides have been negotiating a new contract, particularly wage concessions the union agreed to after the airline filed for bankruptcy in April.

"The teamsters are fully prepared to meet them in court," said Matthew Fazakas, president of International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 961. "Their management team went down and told our members more than three weeks ago that they were planning to subcontract the work out."

Frontier spokesman Steve Snyder said in a written statement that the motion outlines the company's "proposal to achieve several million dollars in savings each year for the next several years."

"A major part of our proposal consists of work rule changes that will allow us to outsource our heavy maintenance work, which will lead to the elimination of approximately 130 jobs," Snyder wrote. "Now that our fleet will be considerably smaller because of our previously announced capacity reduction, there will be less heavy maintenance work for employees to perform."

(denverpost.com)

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