February 8, 2007
ALPA Condemns Comair Bankruptcy Ruling
Pilots to appeal ruling that strips workers’ of legal right to strike
Washington, D.C. – The Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA) issued the following statement in response to a ruling by the bankruptcy court in the Southern District of New York that strips the rights of Comair pilots to conduct a lawful strike. In a separate ruling, the court opened the door for Comair and Delta (Other OTC: DALRQ) management to impose on Comair pilots new pay and work conditions that would make them among the lowest compensated airline pilots in the industry.
“We are outraged by this court ruling that bars the Comair pilots from striking. ALPA maintains that, under the Railway Labor Act, the Comair pilots have a legal right to exercise self-help, a right which this ruling tramples on. This decision endangers the rights of all pilots, indeed every worker across this nation.
“Comair pilots, and all 60,000 ALPA pilots, will obey the law and abide by the rules of this injunction. Our pilots will continue to perform their jobs with their usual dedication, skill, and professionalism. But make no mistake—ALPA will marshal all necessary resources to appeal, and overturn, this decision.
“This ruling is the latest evidence of just how deeply flawed the country’s bankruptcy system has become. It is shameful that airlines such as Delta can exploit the bankruptcy process to strip workers of their wages, working conditions, and dignity—not because they need to, but simply because they can.
“It is the height of hypocrisy that this ruling comes on the heels of Delta management statements heralding the company’s improved financial condition and asserting that it can be reorganized without outside assistance. This financial outlook stands in stark contrast to Delta management’s repeated claims that it requires drastic concessions from Comair pilots because the company is simply not profitable enough for Delta, a position that flies in the face of reports that Comair is projected to make a minimum of a $50 million profit in 2006.
“Throughout the negotiations, ALPA has maintained that Delta management has been pulling the strings for Comair and insisting that Comair pilots be relegated to pay rates and benefits that are at the bottom of the airline industry. ALPA has not, and will not, voluntarily agree to these types of compensation levels for Comair pilots. Comair pilots are skilled professionals—and they deserve reasonable compensation, not bargain basement wages.
“ALPA remains steadfast in its desire for a strong, viable Comair and is committed to defending the rights of all Comair pilots. Our members deserve a career at an airline that will respect their skills, experience, and professionalism, by paying a fair wage, rather than forcing them to work a second job or rely on government-assistance programs such as food stamps to support their families. For some individual Comair pilots, it may be reasonable to expect that they will resign to pursue a fair wage at another airline. As part of ALPA’s long-standing service to its members, the Association will continue to hold job fairs and work to attain preferential hiring agreements.
“With the economic improvements in the airline industry during the past six months, and an even more promising economic picture for the near future, every ALPA pilot will stand in unity with the pilots at Comair. Together, we will work to ensure that Delta management does not succeed in its attempt to strip workers’ rights and abuse the bankruptcy process to line management’s own pockets.”
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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ALPA CONTACT: Pete Janhunen, Linda Shotwell: (703) 481-4440