Pilots Sick, 30 Flights Canceled by US Airways

Article excerpt

US Airways canceled 30 flights on Friday because 110 pilots called in sick, or six times more than normal, said the airline. Most flights affected were shuttles, and none involved Pittsburgh service, said spokeswoman Andrea Rader. On a given day, 15 to 20 of US Airways' 4,600 pilots call in sick, she said. "There's no evidence of a build-up of sick calls for (Saturday). We haven't canceled any more flights," she said. Generally, pilots in the East are irked about an arbitrators' ruling in May with seniority and pay formulas that favor less-experienced pilots in the West, home to US Airways' 2005 merger partner, America West. After two years of talks, the airline and the Air Line Pilots Association are far from a unified contract for the two groups. But ALPA's executive council on Thursday found "no basis" to set aside the arbitrator's ruling. A union rift led some pilots to try to decertify ALPA as bargaining agent, in favor of a newly created US Airline Pilots Association. Both unions distanced themselves from the so-called "No Fly Day" and urged pilots not to participate in the job action.

FedEx changing Calif. plan

FedEx Corp. is hoping to convince single-route contractors in California to either sell their businesses or acquire more routes. Such a move could force the company to pay as much as $33 million in severance costs, according to the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. Eliminating single-route drivers comes about one month after the California Court of Appeals reaffirmed a lower court ruling that said drivers for FedEx unit FedEx Ground, which the company considered independent contractors, were company employees. FedEx Ground isn't bound to offer independent contractors the same benefits as its employees. The independent contractor model has been part of FedEx Ground's philosophy since it was founded in Moon in 1985 as Roadway Package System. FedEx Ground has about 4,000 employees and contractors in the Pittsburgh area.

Wholey business sold

Specialty foods distributor Lipari Foods Inc., of Warren, Mich., is acquiring Wholey Wholesale -- the local seafood, meat and poultry supplier to Pittsburgh and Cleveland area supermarkets and restaurants. …