August 13, 2001
ALPA Pilots Authorize Small Jet Negotiations at US Airways
PITTSBURGH--The US Airways Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) Master Executive Council, which represents US Airways 6,100 pilots, authorized the continuation of small jet negotiations with US Airways management today, reestablishing the process that both parties agreed to in February 2000, but was derailed by managements 15-month devotion to a May 23, 2000, failed merger agreement with United.
"If adequate job security is available to our pilots, then a significant number of additional small jets will be available to US Airways," said Captain Chris Beebe, Chairman of the US Airways ALPA Master Executive Council.
ALPA and US Airways management addressed the small jet issue in 1999 and 2000, and reached an interim agreement in February 2000 that allowed US Airways to utilize an additional 35 small jets under US Airways code, doubling the 35 small jets already allowed by the 1998 pilot contract. US Airways pilots do not operate these aircraft. They are operated by affiliate carriers utilizing their independent pilot workforces. The restrictions in the US Airways pilot contract protect US Airways mainline pilot jobs from being outsourced to these independent carriers.
"Job security for US Airways pilots is paramount. The US Airways pilots will negotiate to authorize additional small jets under the Companys code and colors in exchange for real job security and real long-term growth of US Airways and the US Airways pilot workforce," said Captain Beebe.
The February 2000 Interim Small Jet Agreement was ratified by the US Airways pilot membership in April 2000 and called for negotiations to quickly begin on a larger, more comprehensive small jet agreement. However, in May 2000, management became singularly focused on the United/US Airways merger proposal
and did not attempt to seriously pursue a larger small jet agreement with ALPA until after the termination of the United/US Airways merger on July 27, 2001, at which time they announced an unattainable timeline for ALPA to resolve the small jet issue.
After this 15-month period, US Airways management demanded in a July 30, 2001, letter to all employees that ALPA quickly agree to allow US Airways to utilize an unspecified number of small jets to resolve US Airways competitive concerns on this issue. In a separate letter to MEC Chairman Captain Chris Beebe, management declared the time for negotiations to be over and sought an ALPA resolution to the issue by today, August 13, 2001. ALPA immediately reminded management that due-diligence and representational responsibility make it impossible to alter the pilots working agreement without proper procedure and negotiations.
"The negotiating process requires an equal commitment from management to negotiate in good faith and a willingness to address US Airways pilots job security needs," said Captain Beebe. "We are willing to work with management to resolve the small jet issue if they are sincere in the objective of enhancing our companys competitive position in order to further our long-term growth into a global carrier of choice."
ALPA, founded in 1931, is the nations oldest and largest pilots union. It represents 67,000 airline pilots at 47 airlines in the U.S. and Canada. Visit the ALPA Web site at http://cf.alpa.org.
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ALPA CONTACT: Roy Freundlich
US Airways Pilots Master Executive Council
(610) 513-5390; (412) 264-5600