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News ReleaseRelease #03.012
ALPA Defends US Airways Pilots’ Earned Pension Benefits in Court
ALEXANDRIA, VA --- The Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA) is proceeding with its legal objection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court today to prevent the unilateral distress termination of the US Airways pilots’ defined benefit pension plan.
ALPA is challenging US Airways’ assertion that it can first terminate the pilots’ contractual defined benefit plan without ALPA’s consent, and then impose a defined contribution plan into the pilots’ working agreement.
"US Airways pilots have already agreed to annual pay, work rule and retirement concessions totaling $646 million, enabling US Airways to proceed with a successful restructuring," said Captain Bill Pollock, US Airways Master Executive Council chairman. "By asking the Court to approve a distress termination without ALPA’s consent, and then impose an excessively inferior pension plan onto the pilot group, US Airways is attempting to force pilots to bear an unacceptable and unjust burden that permanently harms pilots’ retirement income."
In response to US Airways’ motion to seek a distress termination of the pilots’ defined benefit plan, ALPA filed an objection on February 14 maintaining that this dispute must be resolved through arbitration under the Railway Labor Act, which governs airline labor contracts, rather than through the Court. ALPA is asking the Court to deny US Airways’ request to impose the terms of the proposed pilot defined contribution plan and to deny the approval of the financial requirements for a distress termination. ALPA’s 40-page objection is available on the US Airways Pilots website at www.usairwayspilots.org.
ALPA, the world’s oldest and largest airline pilot union, represents 66,000 pilots at 42 carriers in Canada and the U.S.
ALPA CONTACT: Roy Freundlich, (610) 513-5390; (412) 264-5600