United Pilots Demand: ‘Fix It Now!!!’

Since United Airlines exited bankruptcy in February 2006, its pilots have continued to live and work under the unprecedented sacrifices they made during the airline’s 38-month stay in economic purgatory. These are the very same pilots whowhile performing under substantive changes to their work life and contractworked tirelessly to provide the operational excellence, safety, and reliability that led the airline through its darkest financial days. United pilots, who have more than earned the airline’s respect and recognition for their contributions and sacrifices to United’s success, call on United’s management to begin working with ALPA to restore much that was lost through the significant cuts made to the pilots’ contract and work rules.

In that vein of deserved recognition, United pilots are demanding that management “Fix Our Contract Now!” At press time, the United pilots were planning to express their collective demands loud and clear during the United MEC’s “Fix It Now!” rally in Chicago on January 26. ALPA's president, Capt. John Prater, along with other key speakers, were expected to impress upon United pilots the need to reengage as members of ALPA as they emerge from the dark era of bankruptcy-induced contracts and into a period of sustained airline industry profitability.

“The ‘Fix It Now!’ rally is intended to provide our pilots a forum to demonstrate our resolve to have our contract repaired and to help bring dignity and respect back to our pilot group,” said the United MEC chairman, Capt. Mark Bathurst. “’Fix It Now!’ is not just a slogan or a hollow undertaking. It is a response to what our pilots have told us. The time is now to begin to restore substantive changes to our work life and contract. No one knows more than United pilots the issues that need to be addressed.”

The “Fix It Now!” campaign is the basis for the United MEC’s decision to activate its Strike Preparedness Committee (SPC)--beginning the work well before the amendable date of the current contract. The United MEC formed the SPC now to shape the structure and build the pilot volunteer corps deemed necessary to ensure that management understands United pilots’ collective resolve as they seek immediate improvements to their decimated contract.

The MEC also formed the SPC to reinvigorate the Family Awareness Committee, which is so important to any successful information effort, whether for negotiations or, in our current world, industry consolidation. No matter the challenge, the United pilots are using the tools and infrastructure that have served ALPA pilots well in years past.