September 15, 2006
Delta Connection ASA Pilots Acknowledge 4-Year Anniversary of Negotiations with Strike Center Opening
ATLANTA—The Atlantic Southeast Airlines (ASA) pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA), today announced the opening of a strike center at an undisclosed location in Atlanta. This opening coincides with the fourth anniversary of the commencement of ASA pilot contract negotiations.
“ASA management has destroyed pilot morale and good will by dragging negotiations through the mud for a fourth year,” stated Capt. David Nieuwenhuis, chairman of the ALPA ASA Master Executive Council (MEC). “Our airline and parent company, SkyWest, Inc., are prospering and making plans for the continued growth of the organization, while essentially ignoring their responsibility to negotiate with us.”
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 National Mediation Board (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.
Capt. Nieuwenhuis added, “Our pilots have expressed their frustration with their overwhelming authorization of a lawful withdrawal of services, at the appropriate time, if contract talks do not result in an agreement. By stalling like this, ASA management is on the verge of doing irreparable damage to its relationship with a vital component of its operation – its pilots,” he said.
A pilot withdrawal of services would be subject to (1) the release of the two parties by the 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.
In addition to opening the strike center, the ASA pilots are marking this four-year anniversary by conducting informational picketing at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport today.
Atlantic Southeast Airlines is based in Atlanta and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of SkyWest, Inc. (NASDAQ:SKYW), 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 61,000 cockpit crewmembers at 40 airlines in the U.S. and Canada. Visit the ALPA website at www.alpa.org.
# # #
ALPA CONTACT: Capt. Rick Bernskoetter, (678) 640-4510
John Perkinson, (703) 481-4440 or firstname.lastname@example.org