The TWU’s Legal Department provides legal service and negotiating support for its AA members through several nationally prominent law firms, including Cohen, Weiss, and Simon in New York, O’Donnell, Schwartz, and Anderson in Washington D.C., and Phillips and Richard in Miami. These firms perform a wide range of airline work for our members, ranging from the License Protection Program, counsel in all FAA and NTSB enforcement actions, assistance in negotiation and mediation, proceedings before the National Mediation Board regarding issues governed by the Railway Labor Act, and representation of the TWU and TWU members in arbitrations under its collective bargaining agreements. Each of these firms also have substantial experience representing unions whose agreements become subject to bankruptcy proceedings, including practitioners who are nationally recognized advocates in this forum. There are a number of other firms across the country which have also been identified over many years with TWU in cities in which we have large membership presence such as Dallas, Chicago, and Los Angeles, and which the union frequently calls upon to represent it in litigation or other legal matters.
TWU General Counsel coordinates the work described above and also directly participates in providing legal advice on crucial matters, such as choice of contract language, and pension and health and welfare law. The TWU, both because of the nature of the employment of our members and also because of the ever widening group of laws and regulations which impact the work and lives of transportation employees, has greatly increased the use of our legal department and the outside firms which support it. For better or worse, we anticipate the membership’s need for legal resources will increase in the present environment and our Legal Department is preparing accordingly.