May 20, 2004
Aloha Airlines Pilots Rebuke Management’s Outsourcing of Jobs
Honolulu -- The pilots of Aloha Airlines, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA), today announced their filing of a legal challenge seeking reversal of management actions that violate job-protection terms of their contract.
The pilots contend that, by allocating flying under the Aloha code to former subsidiary Aloha Island Air, Aloha management breached contractual "scope" provisions that restrict the outsourcing of Aloha pilots’ jobs and require ALPA approval of new code-share agreements.
"The company evidently believes they found a way to do an end run around our scope clause. However, ALPA is confident that legal precedent will support the contention that management’s actions violate the protections contained in the collective bargaining agreement," said Capt. Conrad Waggener, chairman of the Aloha pilots’ unit of ALPA.
The Aloha pilots’ action does not seek a reversal of the sale of Island Air. Rather, it seeks either the restoration of Aloha flight assignments that otherwise would now be transferred to the Island Air operation or an agreement between management and ALPA on an alternative that would allow the arrangement with Island Air to continue as an exception to the contractual code-share restrictions.
The contract language in question was added to the Aloha pilots’ collective bargaining agreement as part of their concessionary negotiations related to Aloha’s application for an ATSB loan guarantee in February 2003. Management offered the job protections in return for the ten percent reduction in wages and benefits that the pilots and other Aloha Airlines employees delivered.
According to ALPA’s president, Capt. Duane Woerth, the issue strikes at the heart of airline pilots’ collective-bargaining interests. "Unlike workers in most other industries, airline pilots make an enormous sacrifice if they decide to leave an employer for which they’ve worked any significant period of time. The seniority system forces them to restart their careers with a new airline at the bottom of the pecking order. Consequently, pilots are more ‘wed’ to their employers than most other workers. This is why job protections -- securing the pilots’ right to perform the flying that generates revenue for their respective carriers -- are essential safeguards in airline pilots’ contracts," Woerth said.
"Given the importance of this issue to all airline pilots, and the intent of the Aloha pilots’ contractual scope language, ALPA finds Aloha management’s attempt to circumvent these job protections highly objectionable," Woerth added. "This association will give the Aloha pilots any and all support they need to rectify this matter."
Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s oldest and largest pilots union and represents 64,000 airline pilots at 42 airlines in the U.S. and Canada. Visit the ALPA website at www.alpa.org.
ALPA CONTACT: Capt. Steve Brenessel, 808-533-1434