February 1, 2007
US Airways, America West Pilots
Demand Fair, Single Contract
Pilots share passengers’ frustration with two separate operations
Tempe, Ariz.— Nearly two years after the new US Airways [NYSE: LCC] was created by the announced merger of America West Airlines and US Airways, the pilots of America West and US Airways have had enough of management’s lack of commitment to negotiating a fair, single contract and are demonstrating their frustration by picketing in front of their corporate headquarters.
There are still major gaps between the corporate promises made to employees and the reality of how management behaves at the negotiating table. US Airways is posting record quarterly and full-year profits, yet management is determined to force bankruptcy-era concessions onto the pilots. Such an agreement is not acceptable to either pilot group, both of which are represented by the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), International.
A single contract would be a significant step toward completing the America West-US Airways merger and combining the two airlines, making it easier for passengers traveling on US Airways. Management at US Airways instead chose to focus its energy on pursuing yet another merger (that has since been rescinded), causing the pilots to seriously question their ability to effectively run two operations, let alone three.
“There’s no doubt that the quality of operations has deteriorated due to management’s lack of focus in combining the two airlines,” said Captain John McIlvenna, chairman of the America West Master Executive Council. “The sacrifices of labor, specifically the pilots of America West and US Airways, have enabled the new airline to succeed and post a considerable profit for 2006. Management has rewarded themselves with raises, bonuses and stock options and pursued a billion-dollar deal at the expense of the company, its employees, and our passengers.”
"The US Airways and America West pilots have committed billions through massive concessions that were used to fund the recovery and renaissance of our airline. Yet, we continue to be paid wages that are at the bottom our industry while we participate in fruitless negotiations,” said Captain Jack Stephan, chairman of the US Airways Master Executive Council. "It is unfortunate that our passengers are also forced to deal with management's whitewashing of the promise of a single carrier, and must endure the travel frustrations created from operating two airlines under one banner."
Joint negotiations with US Airways management for a single, fair pilot contract have been ongoing for more than one year. Both pilot groups remain focused on the issue of achieving a fair single contract, one that is commensurate with US Airways’ position in the marketplace.
Founded in 1931, ALPA represents 60,000 pilots at 40 airlines in the U.S. and Canada. Visit the ALPA website at http://www.alpa.org.
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|America West contact: Tania
Air Line Pilots Assoc., Int’l.
America West Pilots Master Executive Council
(602) 214-3490; (602) 306-1208
|US Airways contact: Arnie Gentile
Air Line Pilots Assoc., Int’l.
US Airways Pilots Master Executive Council
(518) 424-8433; (412) 264-5600