January 28, 2005
Mesa Air Group's Success Built on Backs of Employees
Captain Andrew Hughes, chairman of the Mesa Air Group unit of the Air Line Pilots Association, International, made this statement today following the company being awarded Regional Airline of the Year by Air Transport World.
"The pilots of Mesa Air Group are proud of our airline's success, especially considering the turbulent airline industry we face today. However, it must not go unnoticed that our airline has grown on the backs of its employees.
"The unprecedented growth of our airline is due in large part to the flexibility afforded by our current collective bargaining agreement between the pilots and Mesa Air Group management, and yet management seems to have forgotten this agreement and that it is bound to adhere to the provisions outlined within.
"While management publicly recognizes the contributions its employees have made to our airline's growth, internally they continue to violate our contract and needlessly create pilot frustration and ill will. During the last two years, Mesa was able to achieve unprecedented growth because line pilots maintained their professionalism and continued to do their jobs even as management focused solely on expansion.
"When management finally found the time to listen to its pilots, it conditioned fixing contract violations on unacceptable pay rates for narrow body aircraft and an unfair two-year extension of the existing contract. Pilots would not agree to these one-sided terms.
"Management is at a crossroads. It can choose a path of honoring our contract and treating pilots with respect - a path that will help the airline thrive. Or, Mesa management can choose to continue down the path of threats and intimidation. This path is good for no one and makes it unlikely that Mesa will 'threepeat' as 'Regional Airline of the Year.'
"The choice should be an easy one. It's time for management's actions to match its words. The pilots of Mesa Air Group demand contract compliance now. Enough Is Enough!"
The Air Line Pilots Association is the bargaining agent for the nearly 1,700 pilots at Mesa Air Group, which includes Mesa, Air Midwest and Freedom Airlines. Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world's largest pilot union, representing approximately 64,000 pilots at 43 airlines in the United States and Canada. Visit the ALPA website at www.alpa.org.
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ALPA Contact: Lydia Jakub, (602) 306-1208