March 12, 2004
ALPA’s ASA Pilots to File for Mediation Following 18 Months of Negotiations
ATLANTA, GA – Atlantic Southeast Airlines pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA), will file for assistance from the National Mediation Board (NMB) following 18 months of contract negotiations with their management.
"Because of the recent pace of these negotiations and the problems we have confronted, we feel that a third party is necessary. We believe a mediator could help us reach an agreement in a reasonable period of time. We are beginning to discuss the more potentially-contentious sections of our contract and do not believe that we can make adequate progress without the services of the NMB to facilitate this process," said Capt. John Rice, chairman of the pilots’ negotiating committee.
Capt. Bob Arnold, chairman of the ASA Master Executive Council, added, "After a year and a half of contract negotiations, we feel that we should be closer to a negotiated settlement. ASA is a profitable and growing airline and we are ready to negotiate an agreement that reflects the value and contributions of our pilots, and get back to the business of running this airline. We encourage our management to take this same tack."
The ASA pilots and management entered into negotiations in September 2002, when the pilot labor agreement became amendable, and the two parties have made what the pilots would characterize as "slow progress" since that time. The two sides have been using interest-based bargaining to conduct these negotiations, but recently opted to transition to the more traditional position approach to address the economic and more potentially divisive sections of the contract. The process for these negotiations is spelled out in the Railway Labor Act.
ALPA represents 62,000 airline pilots at 42 airlines in the U.S. and Canada. Its website is www.alpa.org.
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ALPA CONTACT: John Perkinson (703) 481-4440