May 18, 2006
Pilots Attend US Airways’ First Shareholders Meeting
Pilots Show Resolve for Contract that Recognizes Sacrifices Made to Ensure Successful New US Airways
US Airways held May 17 its first shareholders’ meeting of the newly merged company with an extra presence in the audience: more than 80 America West and US Airways pilots. Last week, US Airways announced first quarter earnings and profits with expectations to continue profitability, and the America West and US Airways pilots are demanding that management fully recognize the substantial sacrifices they have made to ensure the viability of the new airline.
The pilots entered into negotiations with management for a single collective bargaining agreement in November 2005. Such an agreement is a significant step toward enabling US Airways to achieve millions of dollars in synergies created by the merger of the two airlines. Negotiations are currently ongoing, and ALPA has informed management that the pilots will only ratify a single, forward-looking contract that ensures the pilots’ investment results in appropriate returns.
“US Airways and America West pilots played a major role in capturing profitability for our new airline,” says Captain Jack Stephan, US Airways MEC chairman. “Just as the US Airways shareholders and executives are reaping the rewards of the new US Airways, the pilots of this airline fully expect to receive commensurate returns. We participated in the worst of times, and we expect to equally participate in the best of times.”
“US Airways is leading the airline industry to bluer skies, and we take pride in the significant role that pilots and other front-line employees have played to enable our airline to successfully take advantage of a profitable marketplace. However, we will not subsidize this merger with a sub-standard agreement,” says Captain JR Baker, America West MEC chairman. “Just as US Airways has rewarded its executives with record bonuses and its stockholders with increased share prices, we too deserve recognition for the substantial contributions made by pilots east and west that provided management with the necessary tools to survive and prosper in a highly competitive environment with soaring fuel costs.”