June 12, 2001
Nearly 97% of ALPA Pilots at United Express Carrier, Air Wisconsin Airlines, Say OK to Strike
DENVER Pilots at Air Wisconsin Airlines, a United Express carrier, announced today that 96.6% of their members said they would strike in the event negotiations with management do not result in a contract.
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 have been trying to negotiate a new contract with management for two years. Negotiations are now being conducted under the auspices of the National Mediation Board, who may release the parties into a 30-day "cooling-off" period once an impasse is declared. If an agreement is not reached during those 30 days, the pilots overwhelming response to the unions request for a strike authorization shows the Air Wisconsin pilot group is unified in its resolve to obtain a fair contract and is prepared to take the necessary steps to achieve this goal.
The strike vote results were announced this afternoon by the chairman of the pilots Strike Committee, Capt. Mitch Madison, at the unions strike office in Denver. "The pilots at Air Wisconsin have spoken, and our message is loud and clear 97% said we will strike to achieve the long overdue, fair contract that our management promised us over seven years ago," stated Capt. Madison. "The Strike Committee has worked and will continue to work day and night to prepare Air Wisconsin pilots for the worst and hope for the best as we send our negotiators back to the table at the end of the month with unparalleled support from the rank and file through this strike vote."
Captain Carl Fleming, chairman of the Air Wisconsin pilots unit of ALPA expressed his commitment to the pilots and the flying public stating: "We are tremendously proud of the unity demonstrated by our pilots by this strike vote, yet we remain committed to our original goal since talks began two years ago: to negotiate a fair contract recognizing the financial and professional contributions our pilots have made to this airline. A strike is not the route of choice for us, but it may be the road our management forces us to take."
Air Wisconsin operates as a United Express carrier, providing exclusive service to many Colorado ski resorts and midwestern communities as well as Chicago's O'Hare and Denver International Airports.
Celebrating its 70th anniversary, ALPA is the worlds oldest and largest pilots union, representing 66,000 members at 47 airlines in the U.S. and Canada. Visit the ALPA Website at cf.alpa.org.
ALPA Contact: Stacy Platone (703) 481-4440