December 11, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
US Airways Pilots Union Responds to Kirby Comments
PITTSBURGH—Captain Jack Stephan, chairman of the US Airways pilots union, a unit of the Air Line Pilots Association, Int'l (ALPA), released the following statement in response to remarks made last week by US Airways [LCC] Group President Scott Kirby.
"At a recent airline conference, US Airways President Scott Kirby told the audience that some investors are erroneously attributing US Airways' operational problems to escalating labor unrest.
"The fact is that investors completely understand the core issue: in a service industry, when employees are driven to frustration, it is manifested through a poor operation. Our current operation negatively impacts our passengers, the communities we serve, the employees, and ultimately, the investors. We believe the investment community sees through the transparent attempt of our management to cover up their deficiencies. US Airways management has succeeded only in alienating its pilots and other employees to such a degree that our operation does not enjoy the crucial support of the rank and file. Besides promoting two different pilot pay scales and contracts, management is now attempting to intimidate pilots who have legitimately used sick time.
"Management's actions are not only in direct violation of our contract, but the way they are pursuing disciplinary action against scores of our pilots is nothing short of flat-out intimidation and harassment. They are treating professional airline pilots like third-grade school children by demanding and then questioning the validity of sick notes, and issuing unwarranted discipline. This harassment and abuse could create an unsafe environment for our pilots, fellow crewmembers, and our passengers. Does the traveling public want this airline to be intimidating pilots into flying sick or fatigued?
"The pilots' mounting anxiety will be publicly demonstrated during our ‘Holiday Picketing Event’ at Reagan Washington National Airport on Thursday, December 20. The flying public, aviation regulatory agencies, and airline investors must know that US Airways pilots will not fly sick or fatigued."
Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilots union, representing 60,000 pilots at 42 airlines in the U.S. and Canada. Visit the ALPA website at www.alpa.org.
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Contact: Capt. Arnie Gentile
Air Line Pilots Assoc., Intl.
US Airways Pilots Master Executive Council
(518) 424-8433; (412) 264-5600