February 28, 2005
Continental Pilots, Management Reach Tentative Agreement
HOUSTON -Negotiators for the pilots of Continental Airlines, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int'l (ALPA), today reached a tentative agreement on a 45-month labor agreement with management that provides job protection, pension protection and upside protection while affording Continental the pilot cost savings the company sought to support its business plan.
The tentative agreement is subject to approval by the pilots' Master Executive Council (MEC), a unit of ALPA. If approved by the MEC, a ratification vote by the Continental pilot membership will take place during March.
"Company management set a goal of today to reach an agreement. This gave the pilots strong leverage to accomplish our goals," said Capt. Jay Panarello, chairman of the CAL MEC. "This union fought for our pilots from start to finish. We were willing to help our company, but only on terms acceptable to the pilots."
The new contract, if ratified, will save Continental more than $200 million per year, a major portion of the $500 million in cost cuts management says it needs from employees. In exchange for these concessions, the pilots gained enhanced pension and job security, stock options, and a variable compensation plan. The contract includes a guarantee that the pilots will share in the company's profits when Continental recovers from its current financial problems.
The Continental MEC is composed of nine elected local council representatives working on behalf of more than 4,000 Continental pilots. ALPA is the world's largest pilot union, representing 64,000 pilots at 43 airlines in the U.S. and Canada.
ALPA Contact: Jim Moody 281-987-3636