June 17, 2005
America West Pilots Voice Concern Over Proposed Merger
Phoenix, AZ -- The leadership of the America West Airlines (NYSE: AWA) unit of the Air Line Pilots Association today expressed deep concern that AWA senior management continues to ignore reasonable requests to help the union protect its membership if the merger between America West and US Airways is approved.
In a meeting with senior AWA management, leaders
of the AWA pilots union raised a small number of concerns and issues related to
the proposed merger.
Specifically, the MEC identified a few hot-button issues they felt needed to be addressed. America West CEO Doug Parker had verbally assured the pilot union leadership that he wanted to protect his frontline employees, including the pilots, from potentially adverse career impacts from the merger.
The pilot leadership has made it clear to AWA management that there needs to be certain steps taken to ensure that a “fair and equitable” seniority integration takes place. It is unfortunate that the pilots are not getting a clear and consistent message from all levels of AWA management.
“Clearly past labor-management relationships in this industry have not worked,” said Captain JR Baker, Chairman of the AWA Master Executive Council. “We do not want to see the failed policies of past airline labor-management relations brought to our table.”
“We told Mr. Parker that we looked forward to forging a new relationship with management and we made it clear that we understood this was an uphill climb to make this deal work. Despite his assurances, in less than one week, we were back to the same mentality that legitimate labor concerns come a distant second in the priorities of some senior AWA managers.”
The Air Line Pilots Association is the bargaining agent for the more than 1,900 pilots at America West Airlines. Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilot union, representing 64,000 pilots at 41 airlines in the United States and Canada. Visit the ALPA website at www.alpa.org.
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ALPA Contact: John McIlvenna or Herb Holland at (602) 306-1208