Release #06.030
July 11, 2006

ALPA's Delta Connection ASA Pilots Overwhelmingly Authorize Strike

ATLANTA -- The Atlantic Southeast Airlines (ASA) pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA), announced yesterday that they have voted to authorize their elected union representatives to conduct a lawful withdrawal of services, at the appropriate time, if contract talks do not result in an agreement.

The 1,700-plus ASA pilots overwhelmingly supported the union’s strike authorization ballot, with more than 92 percent of the responding pilots voting in support of the measure.

“Our pilots have been in contract negotiations for nearly four years, despite the fact that our company continues to post profits and issues nothing but good news to the financial world,” said Capt. David Nieuwenhuis, chairman of the ASA pilots’ Master Executive Council (MEC). “That’s as long as the duration of some contracts!”

A pilot withdrawal of services would be subject to the (1) release of the two parties by the National Mediation Board (NMB) to engage in “self-help” following the conclusion of a 30-day cooling-off period as outlined in the federal Railway Labor Act, and (2) MEC debate and consideration of the totality of the circumstances.

The ASA pilots began collective bargaining with management in September 2002, when their most current agreement became amendable. Negotiations have been conducted with the assistance of the NMB since May 2004. However, in May 2006, the NMB recessed the talks, citing that the two parties were too far apart on their proposals for the open sections of the contract.

“Our proposals are more than reasonable, and we have been extremely flexible throughout this process,” Capt. Nieuwenhuis said. “ASA management has strung out these negotiations for far too long. It’s way past the time to have a deal. With this strike authorization vote, our pilots are sending a clear message that we’ve had it with this nonsense! When the appropriate time comes, we’re ready to take the next step.

“We’re hopeful the next step is a contract and not a shutdown,” Capt. Nieuwenhuis added.

Atlantic Southeast Airlines is a wholly-owned subsidiary of SkyWest, Inc., which is based in St. George, Utah, and operates as a Delta Connection carrier.

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilot union representing more than 62,000 cockpit crewmembers at 40 airlines in the U.S. and Canada. Visit the ALPA website at

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ALPA CONTACT: Capt. Rick Bernskoetter, (678) 640-4510
John Perkinson, (703) 481-4440 or