May 2, 2005
Alaska Pilots Weigh in on Arbitration Award
SEATTLE (05/02/2005) -- The Alaska Airlines Master Executive Council (ALA MEC), represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int'l. (ALPA) has received their final arbitration award for their open contract.
The Alaska pilots have been in intense negotiations with Alaska Airlines management since the pilots were first asked for concessions in the last quarter of 2003. After a mutually agreed upon negotiations deadline of December 15, 2004, passed without a resolution, Alaska pilots and management began a binding arbitration process that resulted in the May 1 award.
"The Alaska pilots vehemently disagree with the draconian decision by the Arbitration Board respecting wages. The Alaska MEC and ALPA provided the Board with an expert industry analysis of Alaska Airline's situation, as well as the economic situation of similar carriers," said Capt. Mark Bryant, Alaska MEC Chairman. "Management has never been able to show a need for the pay and benefit reduction reflected by the Arbitration Board's decision."
The award by the Arbitration Board calls for reductions in pilot pay, benefits and work rules. The new Alaska pilots' contract goes into effect on May 1 and becomes amendable on May 1, 2007.
"This decision by the Arbitration Board to cut hourly pay - in some cases by a third - puts unnecessary hardship on the 1,500 Alaska Airlines pilots and their families, some of whom are discussing selling their homes in order to survive," said Capt. Bryant. "Our professional pilots will continue to provide the first-class service they have always provided. We will immediately begin laying the groundwork for returning to the bargaining table in two years to rebuild our position within the company."
The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) is the bargaining agent for the 1,500 pilots of Alaska Airlines. ALPA is the world's largest pilot union, representing 64,000 airline pilots at 41 airlines in the U.S. and Canada. Its website is www.alpa.org.
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ALPA contact: Gordon Shattles, 713-397-5689