September 28, 2005
ATA Airlines Flight Crewmembers Approve $84 Million Concessions Package
CHICAGO --- ATA Airlines flight deck crewmembers, as represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA) have voted to accept a three-year, $84 million long-term concessions proposal. Eight-hundred and forty-five pilots and flight engineers were eligible to vote; of those voting, 59.22 percent voted in favor of the agreement.
Under the terms of the Long-Term Relief Agreement, crewmembers will see their pay remain at 18 percent below 2003 contract rates until the end of 2006, gradually rising to seven percent below 2003 rates by the end of 2008. This amounts to a 30 to 40 percent pay cut for flight crewmembers, in addition to cuts in health care benefits, retirement and work rules.
In exchange for their concessions, the flight crew group will receive stock options based on four percent of the underlying equity in the reorganized company once it emerges from bankruptcy. The agreement also includes a variable compensation plan, where hourly rates are increased on a percentage basis if ATA’s pre-tax profits exceed five percent.
“Now that the long-term concessionary TA has passed, it is incumbent on our management to make good on their promise to run ATA profitably and efficiently. Most importantly, management must mend its relationship with our group if this airline is to thrive over the long term,” said ATA Airlines Master Executive Council Chairman, Capt. Jim “JD” Anderson.
“We have sacrificed more than any other employee group, more than any manager, investor, or creditor, and as such have the most invested in ATA’s future success. Management is now charged with the responsibility of ensuring that our investment isn’t squandered.”
The agreement replaces portions of ALPA’s existing contract, which would have become amendable in 2006. It will become amendable on October 1, 2008, with contract negotiations beginning as early as September 30, 2007.
“This agreement represents a huge leap of faith on the part of our dedicated cockpit professionals,” Anderson said. “We put ATA on notice that cockpit crewmembers will vigorously enforce the terms of this new agreement and seek an aggressive return of our investments in 24 months. We will prepare for negotiations in the fall of 2007, and we are confident of a satisfactory outcome.”
Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s oldest and largest pilot union and represents 64,000 airline pilots at 41 airlines in the U.S. and Canada. Visit the ALPA website at www.alpa.org.
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ALPA CONTACT: Rusty Ayers, 773-284-4910; 847-323-9519 (cell)