February 4, 2005
ATA Pilots' Union Leadership Endorses Tentative Agreement on Emergency Relief; Forwards to Membership for Approval
CHICAGO -- The ATA Master Executive Council (MEC), a unit of the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), has approved a tentative agreement that could provide ATA with up to $12 million in cost savings over the next four months, including across-the-board wage reductions and reduction of retirement account contributions for flight deck crewmembers. The tentative agreement now goes to ATA's flight crew membership for approval.
The proposed Emergency Relief Letter of Agreement comes less than a month after ATA flight crewmembers overwhelmingly rejected an earlier relief package. However, "ATA is in a completely different situation than it was just a month ago," said Capt. Erik Engdahl, ATA MEC Chairman.
"While we have seen significant positive changes in the airline's management and operating plan in this short period, at the same time ATA's cash position continues to rapidly deteriorate," Engdahl said. "A majority of the local union leadership believes we now must step forward and help our company survive long enough so that ATA can begin to reap the benefits of its new codeshare agreement with Southwest Airlines."
Beginning February 8, the MEC will hold a series of seven roadshows at its crew bases in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Indianapolis and Chicago to explain the new agreement to the flight deck crewmembers. If approved by the membership, the temporary agreement would reduce flight crew pay by 20 percent, cut company contributions to a flight crew retirement plan by 50 percent, and make other work rule changes. The pay cuts and all other changes would be in effect for 120 days.
The ballot for membership ratification will open on February 4 and will close on February 14, 2005.
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