October 26, 2006
Pilots Insist That US Airways Management Delivers on Integration Promise to Employees and Shareholders
PHOENIX, AZ – The US Airways and America West units of the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l, today demanded that US Airways CEO and Chairman Doug Parker end his obstructive negotiating tactics in his attempt to sidestep the integration of the two airlines—a crucial step that he promised to his employees, shareholders and the investing community when the two airlines merged. The pilots’ message to Parker came as US Airways Group [NYSE: LCC] announced that it had posted a net operating profit of $101 million for third quarter 2006.
The joint negotiations between the pilot groups and US Airways management are approaching the one-year mark with little to show for the effort. Although Parker has said repeatedly that he intends to integrate the two pilot groups, this process can only be accomplished by negotiating a fair, single contract that recognizes the pilots' contributions to US Airways' continuing success. Instead, management has offered almost no progress at the negotiating table and is insisting on retaining many concessionary work rules that were negotiated during bankruptcy.
As both pilot groups continue to work under sub-standard contracts that contain little-to-no improvement in pay or benefits and unreasonable work rules, US Airways management continues to receive multi-million dollar bonuses and other lucrative benefits while arguing that labor should remain at rock-bottom rates.
“Today’s announcement clearly illustrates that we are demonstrating consistent operating profitability as a direct result of the hard work and dedication of front-line employees,” said Captain Kevin Kent, America West MEC Chairman. “Unfortunately, management continues to try and whittle away at many things in our current contract that took nearly four long years for the America West pilots to negotiate. While we are committed to negotiating a single, fair contract, management continues to pass sub-standard proposals across the table that are simply unacceptable to the pilot group."
"Contrary to what Doug Parker is saying to the investors, US Airways is not operating at anywhere near the fiscal efficiency he boasts can be achieved and it won't until management begins to produce proposals that recognize our multi-billion-dollar investment in our airline," said US Airways MEC Chairman Jack Stephan. "US Airways has shown a healthy profit for three consecutive quarters, but current negotiations still reflect a bankruptcy mentality. US Airways' financial gains are in danger of reversing if management does not begin to conduct meaningful negotiations. They wouldn’t be in this position today without us, and they won’t be able to fulfill all their promises without the pilots firmly on board. The sooner they realize that, the sooner this airline can really take off.”
On Thursday, November 16, the America West and US Airways pilots will be picketing and leafleting at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and Charlotte Douglas International Airport to show their displeasure at the progress of negotiations.
Before the merger was completed, both the America West and US Airways pilots negotiated and implemented a Transition Agreement that requires a single pilot contract to be ratified by both pilot groups before management can fully capitalize on the operational synergies it promised to its shareholders.
Founded in 1931, ALPA represents 61,000 pilots at 40 airlines in the U.S. and Canada. Visit the ALPA website at http://www.alpa.org.
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America West Contact: John McIlvenna, (602)
US Airways Contact: Arnie Gentile, (518) 424-8433; (412) 264-5600