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Release # 03.SYX
May 29, 2003
ALPA Grants Midwest Connect Pilots $2 Million to Fund Strike Preparation and Other Activities to Achieve a Fair Contract
WASHINGTON, D.C. --- The pilots of Midwest Connect carrier Skyway Airlines, who are represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, International, received $2 million from the union’s Major Contingency Fund (MCF) as their contract negotiations neared the two-year mark. The allocation provides the Skyway pilots with the needed resources to fully prepare themselves and their families for a strike in the event that a fair agreement cannot be reached at the bargaining table.
"While we are extremely gratified by ALPA’s financial support in our efforts to achieve a new agreement, our hope is that our remaining contract issues can be resolved at the negotiating table," said Captain Brian Belmonti, chairman of the Skyway pilots’ unit of ALPA.
"We certainly recognize our company’s current financial condition and are committed to working with management to do our part in ensuring Skyway’s future," Belmonti said. "However, Skyway pilots are among the lowest paid in the industry — in fact, many of our pilots earn less than $20,000 base pay per year. We need a contract that compensates us fairly for the demands and responsibility of our profession," Belmonti said.
Skyway pilots and management have been in negotiations for a new contract since June 2001. The pilot contract became amendable in January 2002. Talks have been conducted under the auspices of the National Mediation Board since August 2002.
Skyway Airlines is owned by Midwest Holdings and operates as a Midwest Connect carrier. Skyway’s 220 professional pilots fly a fleet of 328JET and Beech 1900D aircraft from Milwaukee to cities throughout the upper Midwest and to Toronto, Canada.
Founded in 1931, the Air Line Pilots Association, International, is the world’s oldest and largest pilots union, representing 66,000 pilots at 42 airline carriers in the United States and Canada. ALPA’s website is http://www.alpa.org.
ALPA CONTACT: Brian Belmonti, 414-481-1481 or 810-908-5462