Press Release #01.28
March 30, 2001
Two Years of Negotiations for United Express ALPA Pilots at Air Wisconsin Bring More Informational Picketing, Frustrations
Appleton, WI The pilots of Air Wisconsin Airlines, a United Express carrier that provides exclusive service to many Colorado ski resorts and Midwestern communities, particularly Chicago's O'Hare Airport, will conduct informational picketing on Monday, April 2 in Appleton, Wisconsin where the corporate headquarters for the airline is located. Air Wisconsins 600 pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA), currently are working under a concessionary agreement that dates back to 1994, and became amendable in July 1999.
Negotiations with airline management began in April 1999, and last September, the parties jointly enlisted the assistance of the National Mediation Board (NMB) with the goal of signing a new contract before the busy ski season in the west opened on December 15, 2000. "We were hopeful that management would make good on its promise to close these negotiations by the end of last year," said Captain Carl Fleming, chairman of the Air Wisconsin unit of ALPA. "Well, that deadline has passed, and the months of 2001 are quickly slipping by as the pilots of Air Wisconsin enter our third year without a new contract."
This is the second informational picket conducted by the pilots, but the first specifically targeted at the airlines corporate headquarters. Fleming added, "Our message to our management is stop stalling and start negotiating. We worked with management throughout the profitable ski season, yet all the pilots have seen and continue to see are delays, delays, delays."
The remaining open issues of the contract include the weightier economic issues such as job protections and security (scope), compensation, retirement, and insurance. According to Fleming, "In 1994, when Air Wisconsin was purchased by our current owner, Appleton-based CJT Holdings, Inc., from United Airlines Corp., the pilots, and other airline employees were asked to invest millions of dollars to save Air Wisconsin by signing concessionary contracts. Today, Air Wisconsin has regained its status as the most profitable United Express carrier in the country. When times were tough, we saved our airline; now Air Wisconsin is doing very well and the fact that management continues to use every tactic to prolong our concessionary contract is unconscionable."
Informational Picketing will be conducted at Appleton's Outagamie County Airport on Monday, April 2nd, from 10am to 6pm.
The worlds oldest and largest professional pilots union, ALPA represents 59,000 Airline Pilots at 49 carriers in the U.S. and Canada.
ALPA Contact: Captain Greg Hall at 303-725-4826 or Stacy Platone at 703-481-4440.