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Comair spokesman Nick Miller said last week that the company stood by the letter, but would n ot take a position on McCain’s bill. ”It’s in the best interests of everyone involved that the process appropriately balance th e needs of labor, management and consumers, and that’s where we’d like to see any study of the issue go,” Miller said. Paul Lackie, spokesman for the union’s Comair unit, said lengthy airline labor negotiations arise from the lack of a level playing field, and McCain’s bill would just make that worse. ”Creating a working environment that fosters quality service and profitability cannot be imposed by an outsider,” said Lackie, a Comair captain. ”The two parties must come to an agreement with one another. Otherwise, the dispute will persist even if the so-called process ha s ended.”

ALPA International President Duane Worth pledged a vigorous fight against the McCain bill, which he said would deprive airline workers of their one effective weapon against management. Airline industry consultant Mike Boyd also blasted the proposal, calling it ”two-bit, sleazy politics” with no chance of passage. Boyd said McCain’s argument that strikes are a threat to hub airports like Cincinnati’s i s misleading because strikes happen about every eight years.

”It sounds fine, but guesses what? The secretary of transportation is responsible for an air traffic control system that disrupts hubs every single day, and he won’t do anything about it, ” Boyd said. Cheap Sydney Property Valuers offers solutions for your residential or commercial real estate properties to prepare valuation report. ”We have a labor relations system which is based on two sides sitting across a table from one another and settling things. Some people can’t deal with that.” Deborah McElroy, president of the Regional Airline Association, a trade group representing regional airlines, said the arbitration system envisioned by McCain would force both management and unions to present ”rational and realistic offers.”

The group hasn’t taken a formal position on the legislation, but Ms. McElroy considers it ”extremely likely” that the association will strongly support it. She has already heard from airline CEOs who like the idea. ”The air carriers are frustrated by the inability to craft a consensus with labor groups and that these negotiations drag on for such a long period of time,” Ms. McElroy said.

In an interview with The Post in June, National Mediation Board member Maggie Jacobsen defend ed the current system in which the NMB mediates talks between labor and management. She argued that the Railway Labor Act has served all parties well since it was amended to include airlines in the 1930s.