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News Release

Release #02.025
April 5, 2002

ATA ALPA Pilots Overwhelmingly Approve Strike Authorization Vote

CHICAGO – Leaders of the union representing American Trans Air cockpit crewmembers today announced their membership’s overwhelming approval of engaging in a strike in the event that negotiations with management do not result in a contract. The tally of the union’s strike-authorization ballot revealed that 98 percent of the votes favored giving the union leaders the authority to call a strike if a fair contract cannot be reached at the bargaining table.

ATA’s 970 crewmembers, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, International, began negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement in May 2000. Negotiations are now being conducted under the auspices of the National Mediation Board, which 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 crewmembers would be able to strike at the end of the cooling-off period. The overwhelming response to the union’s request for a strike authorization shows the ATA crewmembers are unified in their resolve to obtain a fair contract and are prepared to take the necessary steps to achieve this goal.

The chairman of the ATA ALPA unit, Captain Kevin Friel, announced the results of the strike vote this afternoon at the union’s Chicago strike office, which is now fully operational. "The ATA crewmembers have spoken, and our message is clear ¾ 98 percent said we will strike to achieve our long overdue contract that recognizes our contributions to building ATA into a major airline," Friel said. "We are tremendously proud of the unity demonstrated by our crewmembers with this strike vote."

"However, we remain committed to our original goal since contract talks started almost two years ago: to negotiate a fair contract recognizing the financial and professional contributions our crewmembers have made to ATA," Friel said. "A strike is not our route of choice, but it may be the road our management forces us to take."

Amtran, Inc. (AMTR) is the holding company for ATA, which is the nation’s 10th largest airline, operating scheduled passenger service from hubs at Chicago’s Midway Airport and Indianapolis. ATA is the largest North American operator of commercial and military charters.

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s oldest and largest pilot union representing more than 62,000 cockpit crewmembers at 42 airlines in the U.S. and Canada. Visit the ALPA website at

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ALPA Contact: Captain Matt Ellis (310) 213-9324