March 24, 2021
The State of our Union is strong (watch here) in the United States and Canada. ALPA’s stability during even these most difficult times only means our union is working harder to deliver on our pilot-partisan agenda in Washington and Ottawa.
Today, ALPA released a new U.S. policy priorities white paper, “Battling the Pandemic, Rebuilding our Economy, and Connecting the World.” Starting with additional actions needed to defeat COVID-19, we offer sensible policy recommendations for U.S. government leaders to ensure safe air transportation, protect aviation workers and labor rights, and expand opportunities so that the airline industry draws from and reflects the diverse communities we serve.
To amplify this message, ALPA pilots and staff are collaborating in our “Aviation Policy Week”—a special five-day effort to make clear why our recommendations on critical issues ranging from COVID-19 and climate change to fair competition and flight and duty time are so important for passengers and cargo shippers. More than 80 pilot advocates, representing a range of ALPA pilot groups, held 26 virtual “Meet and Greets” with the newest Members of Congress this week. To reinforce ALPA’s unified message, I sent a letter (U.S. House) to every U.S. lawmaker and held a virtual news briefing with leading journalists who cover our industry, including those from Bloomberg, CNN, the New York Times, and the Washington Post. ALPA’s Aviation Policy Week outreach will culminate with a special spotlight on our policy recommendations for all-cargo operations.
ALPA’s energy is just as focused in Canada, as we intensify our call for the government to provide targeted relief for the Canadian aviation sector and its workers. Economic recovery in Canada depends on aviation, and our union has laid out a compelling case to #SaveCanadianAviation through Calls to Action, a multimedia appeal, and advertisements in various Canadian media outlets. At the same time, ALPA Canada President Tim Perry has underscored, in a powerful opinion piece as well as news media interviews, how the lack of government action has left so many of our pilots in limbo. Our union is supporting our Canadian pilots facing uncertainty, and whether you live in the United States or Canada you can take action to show that ALPA pilots stand together.
Meanwhile, we’re keeping close watch on what appears to be a troubling upsurge in antiworker, antiunion behavior by some airline managements. Now as always, our pilots are supporting workers’ rights to organize at every level, including by calling on Congress to adopt the Protecting the Right to Organize Act (H.R. 842). While the legislation does not apply directly to ALPA pilots, its potential to give workers a fair opportunity for union representation and penalize companies for attempting to intimidate employees during organizing drives makes passage of this law a key focus for the entire union movement.
During Aviation Policy Week and every week, your union needs you to stay informed and involved. One of the best ways is by using the ALPA app—and you can get started right now.
Thank you for everything you do to further the work of our union. As you fly the line or participate in a Call to Action, you represent the face, force, and future of ALPA.
Capt. Joe DePete