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December 16, 2003
US Airways Pilots Call for Removal of Siegel, Cohen
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The US Airways pilots’ Master Executive Council, a unit of the Air Line Pilots Association, International, representing over 5,000 pilots at US Airways, today called for removal of the airline’s top management -- in particular, CEO David Siegel and CFO Neal Cohen. This announcement comes in the wake of the recently released, disappointing third-quarter financial results for the airline.
"US Airways pilots have supported this management through two restructuring plans and our management still is unable to produce positive results. Pay, benefits, and work rules have been slashed and the pilots’ pension plan has been terminated. We’ve given billions of dollars’ worth of concessions, the largest concessionary package in the history of commercial aviation. In bankruptcy, these senior executives had every tool, every advantage they needed, to turn the airline around -- yet they’ve failed," said Captain Bill Pollock, chairman of the US Airways pilots’ Master Executive Council.
"We have seen absolutely no accountability from management for the tremendous investment we have already made, yet we keep hearing their tired refrain that they need labor costs like those at Southwest Airlines. The concession window is closed for this management team," Pollock added.
ALPA leaders noted that the senior managers’ calls for labor costs on a par with those at Southwest Airlines have, in fact, already been met. In the first half of 2003, US Airways applied 38 cents of every revenue dollar to pay for labor, whereas at Southwest this expenditure was 40 cents per dollar. The pilots’ share of those total labor costs amount to 13 cents at US Airways and 12 cents at Southwest. A 12-year captain at Southwest earns eight percent more per hour than a pilot in the same position at US Airways.
"US Airways’ labor costs already are at or below industry standards. The problem is not labor -- the problems are high operating costs and low revenues resulting from failed business strategies. We’ve emerged from fiscal bankruptcy; but we’re hamstrung by a management that remains bankrupt of vision, leadership, management skills, and ideas," Captain Pollock said.
"No one wants this airline to survive and prosper more than its employees. We are disappointed to have Siegel and Cohen breaching our agreements and dismissing our concerns about the deterioration of the product we offer our passengers. Considering their track record, we’ve lost confidence in their ability to make a plan -- any plan -- work," said Captain Pollock.
ALPA is the world’s oldest and largest union of professional airline pilots, founded in 1931. It represents 66,000 airline pilots at 42 carriers in the United States and Canada. Its Web site is www.alpa.org.
ALPA Contact: Captain Jack Stephan, (410) 268-3323 or (410) 703-9259