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FAA Union Files Class Action Age Discrimination Suit Against Agency

Feb 10, 2005 | The National Association of Air Traffic Specialists announced Wednesday that it has filed a class action complaint against the Federal Aviation Administration on charges of age discrimination.

The complaint identifies 1,935 air traffic controllers it claims were adversely affected by the FAA’s recent decision to contract out flight service to Lockheed Martin. The complaint is on file with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for the next 30 days, and then will be filed in U. S. District Court.

The FAA recently announced it had awarded a 10-year, $1.9 billion contract to Lockheed Martin to provide general aviation flight services currently performed by about 2,500 agency employees.

The union cited as one of its arguments the fact that agency officials announced one of the primary reasons for its decision to outsource flight service was because of the presence of a largely "retirement eligible workforce."

"We have been forced into a legal battle over our Federal jobs and retirement benefits that our members have worked for and earned and are now being denied," said NAATS President Kate Breen. "The FAA’s vision to save money at the expense of its employees’ livelihood is despicable and cannot be allowed."

According to The Washington Post, FAA spokesman Greg Martin said the agency's legal staff "has reviewed the document and believes the filing is not supported by the facts."

According to The Post, Lockheed Martin has promised to offer jobs to all of the displaced FAA employees, with no loss in salary and comparable benefits.

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