A Show of Force at SkyWest, Inc.
Pilots from ASA, other groups, joined by Capt. Woerth in demonstration
October 13, 2006 -- More than 100 pilots, arranged in two marching orbits, demonstrated outside of SkyWest, Inc.'s headquarters in St. George, Utah, today. ALPA's president, Capt. Duane Woerth, along with pilots from 11 other pilot groups, were on hand to support their ASA comrades. Atlantic Southeast is a wholly owned subsidiary of SkyWest, Inc.
Covering the informational picket were reporters from local newspapers and television stations as well as from the state's largest newspapers, the Salt Lake Tribune and the Deseret News.
"This show of force sends a clear message to SkyWest, Inc.'s management," said Woerth. "ASA pilots want to negotiate a fair deal, and they have the full support of this union behind them."
The ASA pilots are frustrated with the amount of time it is taking to negotiate their next collective bargaining agreement. Although Atlantic Southeast was sold to SkyWest, Inc., by Delta Air Lines, Inc., in September 2005, there has been no significant change in Atlantic Southeast management's apparent lack of interest in concluding these talks.
Negotiations have dragged on for more than 4 years, and 11 sections of the labor contract still need to be completed, including compensation, retirement, insurance, scope, and instructor pilots.
Meanwhile, Atlantic Southeast and SkyWest continue to post quarterly profits, offer shareholder dividends, and tout their success in the airline industry. SkyWest senior management has tried to pressure the ASA labor groups in negotiations over the transfer of flying and equipment to SkyWest. ALPA has asked the National Mediation Board to offer arbitration to both parties.
ASA pilots began negotiations with management in September 2002, when their most current contract became amendable under the terms of the Railway Labor Act. Negotiations have been conducted with the help of the NMB since May 2004. However, citing the differences between the pilot and management proposals for the remaining sections of the contract, the NMB indefinitely recessed negotiations in May 2006.
This summer, the ASA MEC conducted a successful strike authorization ballot, met with other Delta codeshare partners to discuss negotiating strategies and the current concessionary pressures, and last month, opened a strike center in office space above the current MEC office.