December 8, 2006
US Airways Coast-to-Coast Pilots Express Grave Concerns on Proposed Delta Merger
Charlotte, NC — Following a meeting with US Airways management on December 6, the leadership of the US Airways and America West pilot groups have expressed significant concerns about the proposed merger with Delta Air Lines. The leaders point out that, by failing to integrate two pilot groups under one contract, US Airways [NYSE:LCC] management has not yet properly merged US Airways and America West, demonstrating little chance of completing the merger of a third airline.
Equally important, the pilot groups, both of which are represented by the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), International, have determined that US Airways’ Delta proposal raises serious issues about the job protections contained in the US Airways and America West contracts, and are questioning the company’s ability to move forward with this transaction.
“Management cannot successfully merge without labor on board. We have made it clear that our pilots have zero interest in ratifying a contract that provides them with only minimal gains. US Airways, despite its statements to its investors and the financial community, has not completed the business of integrating US Airways and America West. This failure calls into question their ability to successfully merge three airlines, continue to serve their passengers, deliver dividends to their investors, and maintain a motivated employee base,” said Captain John McIlvenna, America West Master Executive Council (MEC) Chairman.
The US Airways and America West pilot groups are insisting that management must address their concerns before proceeding with their plans for any future merger.
“Although they have had ample time and opportunity, US Airways hasn’t yet merged US Airways and America West, and they have not integrated the pilot groups under one contract. I don’t expect that they will be capable of merging a third airline into the fold. ALPA has determined that job protections are available to the pilots in their contract language, and will continue to protect the interest of all ALPA pilots," said Captain Jack Stephan, US Airways MEC Chairman.
Joint negotiations with US Airways management for a single, fair contract have been ongoing for more than one year, and during this time, the pilots have received only concessionary proposals that resemble the bankruptcy-driven contracts made as pilot investments in the airline during the 9/11 era. Both pilot groups remain focused on the issue of achieving a fair single contract, one that is commensurate with US Airways’ position in the marketplace.
Founded in 1931, ALPA represents 60,000 pilots at 39 airlines in the U.S. and Canada. Visit the ALPA website at http://www.alpa.org.
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