January 20, 2005
Hawaiian Airline Pilots Oppose Bankruptcy Trustee's Manipulation of Bankruptcy Process
Attempt to misuse bankruptcy law abuses good faith negotiation for a mutually satisfactory labor contract
HONOLULU, HAWAII - In response to Thursday's 1113 motion filing by Hawaiian Airlines, the Hawaiian Airlines unit of the Air Line Pilots Association is speaking out against the Company's attempt to misuse bankruptcy to short-circuit the collective bargaining process. According to Captain Jim Giddings, the demands that Hawaiian Airlines is asking the bankruptcy court to unilaterally impose on the pilot group would result in many pilots facing significant cuts in retirement earnings and long-term disability protection.
"We're hopeful that the Bankruptcy Court will not allow Hawaiian's management to mistreat loyal employees in this manner," said Captain Jim Giddings, negotiating committee chairman of the Hawaiian Airlines unit of the Air Line Pilots Association. "The company has asked the Court to reject our contract in favor of unjustified demands from our management. In spite of this we are ready, willing and able to sit down and negotiate a fair contract that benefits both the pilots and the company."
The outcome of Hawaiian's motion could threaten long-standing bankruptcy law reforms put in place after airline deregulation. Under Section 1113, employers can seek to reject labor contracts as part of the bankruptcy process, but any proposal must be limited to necessary modifications and any request must treat all parties fairly and equitably.
Just before Hawaiian Airlines filed bankruptcy, the airline's management asked for and received millions of dollars in concessions. After months of record profits, the company is now asking for even more from the pilots in the form of steep concessions in disability and retirement.
"Hawaiian Airlines' financial condition continues to show tremendous strength based on the millions of dollars in concession the employees gave to make the company a success. The trustee and the new owners have used these gains to make every party in the bankruptcy whole - except the employees," added Giddings. "The pilots are now being told they must give up more and more. We have offered to meet their principal objectives. Now management needs to insure that this agreement is a win-win for both sides."
Headquartered in Honolulu, Hawaiian Airlines is the nation's 12th-largest carrier, with 135 daily flights flown by 300 pilots who operate a fleet of B-717 and B-767 aircraft.
Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world's oldest and largest pilots' union, representing 64,000 pilots at 43 airlines in the U.S. and Canada. Visit the ALPA Web site at http://www.alpa.org.
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ALPA CONTACT: Capt. Jim Giddings, (808) 836-2572
Tammy Sumida, Joan Bennet and Associates, Inc. (808) 228-2996