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News Release

Release #02.013
February 14, 2002

ATA Pilots To Demonstrate Frustration With Slow Negotiations By Informational Picketing

CHICAGO – American Trans Air cockpit crewmembers, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, International, will conduct informational picketing in full uniform at Chicago’s Midway Airport in front of their airline’s ticket counter Friday and Saturday, February 15 and 16. The pilots will be demonstrating their increasing frustration with protracted contract negotiations, which they feel have been drawn out due to management’s delaying tactics.

ATA cockpit crewmembers and management began negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement May 2000. After 19 months of talks, the parties entered federal mediation December 2001.

"ATA management actions clearly show that they are unwilling to reach a timely conclusion," said Captain Kevin Friel, chairman of ATA ALPA unit. "Pilots and flight engineers have, in good faith, maintained their professionalism during these trying times and allowed our negotiating team to speak for us. By picketing, ATA crewmembers are visibly supporting our negotiators and letting management know that we are committed to attaining a fair contract in a reasonable amount of time. But our patience," said Friel, "along with the ‘reasonable’ amount of time, is depleting fast."

ATA pilots and flight engineers are seeking an equitable contract that complements the company’s strategy for growth yet ensures a viable piloting career commensurate with the pilot group’s significant training, experience and professionalism.

Friel said, "ATA is growing like a skyrocket, but management seems intent on making pilots bear the cost of that growth by suppressing our economic standard and curbing our quality of life. This is not acceptable. We know what we are worth, and we know the contribution we make to the growth and profitability of this airline. We are simply asking for fair recognition of our contributions."

Below are details of the informational picketing:

Where: Chicago’s Midway Airport in front of the ATA ticket counter

When: Friday, February 15, 2002 between 4:30-7:00 p.m.

Saturday, February 16, 2002 between 7:00-11 a.m.

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s oldest and largest pilot union representing more than 64,000 crewmembers at 45 airlines in the U.S. and Canada. Visit the ALPA website at

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Captain Bill Williams (941) 823-9644