June 14, 2001
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JOINT STATEMENT OF COMAIR AND ALPA
Comair officials and ALPA pilots reach tentative contract accord; Pilots' ratification vote to determine outcome of strike
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Comair officials and leaders of the Comair pilots' union, the Air Line Pilots Association, today announced a tentative contract agreement that, pending an expedited ratification vote among the Comair pilots, could bring an end to their labor strike, now in its 81st day. The agreement came in the last of a three-day negotiating session overseen by the National Mediation Board and prompted by U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta, who had brought the parties together and consulted with them in his Washington, D.C. office June 8.
"Our negotiating committee and elected leaders endorse this agreement, recommending that our members adopt it because we believe it satisfies the pilots' fundamental requirements," said Captain J.C. Lawson, chairman of the ALPA unit at Comair.
"This is good news for our customers, the communities we serve and our employees," said Comair president Randy Rademacher. "We saw this latest negotiating session as an opportunity to bridge the remaining gap between the company and its pilots, and we're very pleased to have arrived at terms that the union representatives could embrace."
The Comair pilots' ratification process will involve an expedited schedule of informational meetings followed by a telephone ballot. "Appropriately, from the beginning of this bargaining process, our pilots have had the final say regarding their contract requirements. As their representatives, we're relying on their judgment to make the right decision on this tentative agreement," Lawson said.
"We encourage every Comair pilot to attend one of these road shows, as this tentative agreement differs substantially from the other settlement proposals on which they've voted previously," Lawson continued. "The union representatives' endorsement of this tentative agreement is indicative of these differences."
Looking ahead to a possible resolution of the strike, Rademacher stated, "We're eager to redirect all of our energies toward our customers, and rebuilding our relationship with them." Details of plans for reinstatement of operations will be announced by the company following the pilots' ratification vote.
The company and union representatives jointly thanked Secretary Mineta, National Mediation Board Member Maggie Jacobsen and Senior Mediator Patricia Sims, and local community, business and political leaders for their roles in facilitating this tentative agreement.
The parties have already begun putting together joint teams working on ways to facilitate the return to operations and the healing process among the employees.
Comair Contact: Comair Corporate Communications, (859) 767-1500
ALPA Contact: Captain Paul Lackie, (859) 282-2534