May 31, 2001
As Contract Talks Near Impasse, ALPA Sets Aside $1 Million for Pilots at Ryan International Airlines to Prepare for Self-Help
WASHINGTON, D.C.--- The Executive Council of the Air Line Pilots Association, International, set aside $1 million from the union's Major Contingency Fund (MCF) to finance strategic planning and communications programs for the pilots of Ryan International Airlines, who fly passenger charters for vacation packages and sports teams as well as cargo flights, including the current U.S. Express and Priority mail contract.
Pilots at Ryan International, who joined ALPA in August 1998, have been in negotiations with management for their first contract for almost two years. ALPA filed for mediation last November; however, as of June 2001, the parties have only agreed to a total of 17 sections of the 30 that will comprise the contract.
Captain Bruce Trager, chairman of the Ryan International pilots unit of ALPA noted the significance of the allocation, stating: "When Ryan International pilots joined ALPA almost three years ago, we knew we would receive unparalleled support and resources from our union brothers and sisters as we negotiated our first pilot contract. Today, the allegiance and solidarity of unionism in the piloting professional is alive and well for Ryan International pilots as we enter the final stages of negotiations."
"Our one goal throughout these two years has been to negotiate a fair contract. However, it is apparent that now we must prepare, financially and mentally, for the alternative since our management continues to avoid responsibility to its employees and customers," added Captain Trager.
While many issues remain unresolved, two of the primary sticking points in negotiations pertain to sick pay and job security. Currently, Ryan pilots do not receive any pay for sick days, a minimum employee benefit expected by any working American. Furthermore, Ryan management refuses to recognize seniority, which is a basic tenet of unionism that provides protections for job security, career advancement, and pay.
Ryan International pilots fly a variety of passenger and cargo airplanes that seat more than 150 passengers each and transport express and priority packages for the U.S. Postal Service to more than 30 destinations daily.
Celebrating 70 years, ALPA is the oldest and largest professional pilot union, representing 66,000 crewmembers at 49 airlines in the U.S. and Canada.
ALPA Contact: Stacy Platone (703) 481.4440