ALPA's Communications Department provides information and support for news media inquiries. An ALPA communications representative can be reached in the Herndon, Va. office at (703) 481-4440.

News Release

Release #02.036
May 2, 2002 


ATA ALPA Pilots to Conduct Informational Picketing at Chicago’s Midway Airport

CHICAGO – The pilots of American Trans Air (ATA), represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA), will conduct informational picketing at Chicago’s Midway Airport on Friday, May 3, between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m., to show their increasing frustration with the slow pace of contract negotiations. The informational picketing will coincide with the two-year anniversary of the start of their contract negotiations, which began in May 2000.

"ATA pilots and flight engineers have exercised great patience over the last two years of negotiations, but it’s wearing thin," said ALPA spokesman Capt. Matt Ellis, an ATA Boeing 737-800 pilot. "The 98 percent approval rate in our recent strike authorization vote is strong evidence of that." The ATA cockpit crewmembers last month voted overwhelmingly to approve a strike, if necessary to achieve a fair agreement.

"In contrast to the airline industry as a whole, ATA is a well-positioned major airline, with new aircraft and new routes. Yet, our management insists on compensating its crewmembers at the absolute bottom of the industry," Ellis said. "We are not asking for outrageous sums, just a fair contract — negotiated in a reasonable amount of time — that is commensurate with ATA’s position in the industry."

Below are details of the informational picketing:

Where: Chicago Midway Airport: Outside in front of the ATA ticket counters.

When: Friday, May 3, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

Formed in 1931 and affiliated with the AFL-CIO, ALPA is the world’s oldest and largest pilots union, representing more than 62,000 pilots at 42 airlines in the United States and Canada. ALPA’s website is


ALPA Contacts: Chris Kern, (630) 697-1708

Matt Ellis, (310) 213-9324