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March 18, 2003
ALPA America West Pilots Vote Down Tentative Agreement
PHOENIX — Pilots of America West Airlines, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA), today declined to ratify the tentative contract agreement reached in December 2002. Of the 1,476 pilots eligible to vote, 97 percent participated with roughly 73 percent voting against the proposed three-year agreement.
"The America West pilots were faced with the difficult decision whether or not to accept a tentative agreement that truly did not meet their needs and the needs of their families," said Captain Peter Blandino, acting chairman of the America West ALPA unit. "The pilots have chosen not to accept a substandard agreement."
America West pilots and management began negotiating in February 2000 and the National Mediation Board (NMB) assigned a federal mediator to facilitate the talks in May 2001. The NMB suspended talks immediately following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The two sides resumed negotiating in March 2002 and ALPA and management reached the tentative agreement on Dec. 21, 2002.
"Under the Railway Labor Act, the NMB retains jurisdiction over our negotiations. That being the case, we will petition the Board to bring the parties back to the negotiating table as quickly as possible in order to work toward reaching an agreement acceptable to our pilots," Captain Blandino said.
Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world's oldest and largest pilot union, representing 66,000 members at 42 airlines in the U.S. and Canada. Visit the ALPA Website at http://www.alpa.org.
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ALPA CONTACT: Ron Lovas, (602) 306-4100