Release #06.AWA
December 8, 2006

Union Officers Elected at ALPA America West

PHOENIX – Leaders of the America West unit of the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA) recently elected Captain John McIlvenna to serve as chairman of the Master Executive Council (MEC), the union’s governing body. Additionally, First Officer Mitch Vasin was elected to serve as vice chairman of the MEC. With the pilots in contract negotiations and other activities as a result of the merger between America West and US Airways, Captain McIlvenna and First Officer Vasin were each elected after a unanimous vote of the MEC to lead the pilot group into the next phase of the process.

The following is a statement from Captain McIlvenna:

“I am honored to be given this opportunity to lead the America West pilots as their MEC chairman. Unfortunately, after more than a year of joint negotiations for a contract that recognizes the contributions of America West pilots, we have little to show for our efforts. No longer will we allow our labor to be treated like the cost of widgets on a spreadsheet. Only with labor on board can management achieve its goals of a bigger, better airline.

“Additionally, management has chosen to focus on growing the airline through another merger, rather than fulfilling the promises they made for the America West-US Airways merger—promises of a single airline that would benefit America West employees, passengers, and investors.”

In 2005, the America West pilots joined with the US Airways pilots to negotiate a Transition Agreement that set out the process for an orderly negotiation of a single contract, but also preserved the rights of America West pilots to engage in stand alone negotiations under the Railway Labor Act. Joint negotiations with US Airways management for a single, fair contract have been ongoing for more than one year. The America West Pilots Agreement becomes amendable December 30, 2006.

Captain McIlvenna most recently served as MEC vice chairman. An Airbus 320/319 pilot, Captain McIlvenna he previously served as a status representative on the MEC. Additionally, he has served on various pilot committees both at America West and at his former carrier, including chairman of the Merger Committee, chairman of the Negotiating Committee, and vice chairman of the Retirement and Insurance Committee.

First Officer Vasin joined America West in 2004 and is Boeing 737 pilot. Prior to this position, First Officer Vasin served as the chairman of the Grievance Committee, which enforces the pilots’ collective bargaining agreement. He also served as a status representative on the MEC and as chairman of the Grievance Committee at his former carrier.

The Air Line Pilots Association is the bargaining agent for the nearly 1,900 pilots at America West Airlines. Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilot union, representing 60,000 pilots at 39 airlines in the United States and Canada. Visit the ALPA website at

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ALPA Contact: Captain Tania Bziukiewicz, (602) 214-3490; (602) 306-1208