Atlantic Southeast Pilots Protest Slow Pace of Bargaining

Capt. Mike Pearson (Atlantic Southeast), spokesperson for the pilot group, speaks with TV news reporters during informational picketing at Salt Lake City International Airport on April 11.

April 12, 2005 -- Atlantic Southeast pilots conducted informational picketing at Salt Lake City International Airport on April 11 to draw attention to the slow pace of their contract negotiations, which began two and a half years ago. 

Although negotiators for the pilot group and airline management have discussed much of what's in the contract, they have reached tentative agreement on only 10 of the existing 30 sections. "Atlantic Southeast management has used every opportunity to take advantage of the airline industry's tribulations to exploit our current work rules and benefits and to leverage its position at the negotiating table to drag out these talks with 'zero-net-gain' counteroffers," reported Atlantic Southeast MEC chairman, Capt. Bob Arnold, during previous picketing in Atlanta. "The only person on the management team who appears to have any authority to make decisions is the group's hired legal counsel from Ford and Harrison, a firm that openly touts its union-avoidance work for clients," he added. 

Local affiliates of the national television networks covered the Salt Lake City informational picketing, as did the Deseret News, one of the city's leading newspapers. 

The Atlantic Southeast pilots picketed in Salt Lake City because it is one of their airlines' two hubs and because pilots are stationed there. The pilots have been in mediation for nearly a year and recently moved negotiations from Atlanta, where ASA is based, to Savannah, Ga. The two negotiating teams are also scheduled in the near future to meet in Washington, D.C.

# # #