March 4, 2005
ALPA's Continental Pilot Leadership Sends New Contract to Pilots for Vote
HOUSTON - Pilot union leaders at Continental Airlines today unanimously agreed to approve and support a new labor agreement and send the agreement to the Continental pilot membership for a ratification vote.
The action was taken by the Continental pilots' nine-member Master Executive Council (MEC), the governing body of the Continental Airlines unit of the Air Line Pilots Association, Int'l (ALPA).
The tentative agreement was reached Feb. 28. Balloting of the Continental pilots to ratify the new comprehensive labor contract is expected to run Mar. 14-30. If ratified, the new contract will become effective April 1, 2005, and become amendable Dec. 31, 2008.
"This pilot group has been working under an old contract since Oct. 1, 2002," said Capt. Jay Panarello, chairman of the Continental MEC, the union's local governing body for Continental pilots.
"Like the contracts of many of our peers in the airline industry, this tentative agreement is concessionary to help preserve our company, but it is also a comprehensive contract that achieves the primary goals we set for negotiations - job protection, pension protection, participation by all stakeholders and a guaranteed share when the company again achieves profitability," he said.
The 45-month labor agreement, 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 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