May 12, 2001
Comair Pilots Reject Settlement Offer
CINCINNATI, OH -- Following the lopsided defeat of the National Mediation Board's proposed settlement offer by Comair pilots, leaders of the pilot group will continue discussions on further negotiations, and the future course of the pilot group's efforts to achieve a fair contract. The three-day phone ballot resulted in 99 votes in favor and 1,042 votes against the NMB's offer.
"Once again, Comair pilots have demonstrated that they will insist on a fair contract," stated Capt. J.C. Lawson, chairman of the Comair pilots' Master Executive Council, a unit of the Air Line Pilots Association. "Our members received this settlement offer looking for a reason to say 'yes.' Unfortunately, the vote results announced this evening tell us loudly and clearly that the offer did not serve the needs of Comair pilots and their families."
"Comair management continued to insist publicly that its offer was fabulous," continued Lawson, "and an offer no one could turn down. But if it was that good, how could pilots fail to recognize its merits? And why did they vote it down by such a large margin? It was because of inadequate work rules that could result in dangerous levels of fatigue. Because it lacked a retirement plan adequate for career pilots at a career airlineone that would allow them to retire with dignity. And because it failed to offer reasonable limitations on medical premiums.
"Comair pilots remain committed to resolving this dispute," stated Lawson, "but we cannot do it alone. We remain ready to meet with management for further negotiations. For the sake of our airline I hope it chooses to do so quickly. Management's choice is critical for the future of our airline, its employees, and our community."
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Comair pilots have been in contract negotiations since June 1998, in mediation since July 1999, and on strike since March 26, 2001.
Formed in 1931, ALPA is the worlds oldest and largest pilots union, representing 59,000 airline pilots at 49 carriers in the United States and Canada. Its Web site is at http://cf.alpa.org.
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ALPA CONTACT: Capt. Paul Lackie (859) 282-2534