March 27, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
US Airways, America West Pilots Picket to Protest Management's Negotiating Tactics, Operational Debacles
PITTSBURGH—As negotiations for a single pilot contract continue to drag on after a year and a half, the US Airways and America West pilots are demonstrating their frustration with US Airways management's behavior at the bargaining table and the airline's deteriorating operations by picketing today at the Pittsburgh International Airport.
The pilot groups, both of whom are represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int'l (ALPA), have been waiting for US Airways' [NYSE: LCC] management to put forward proposals that reflect US Airways' successful position in the industry, rather than insisting on cramming down bankruptcy-driven proposals that were put in place so that the company could survive after the post-9/11 industry downturn.
Instead, US Airways CEO Doug Parker is repeatedly stating to both pilots and the media that he will continue to "just say no" at the negotiating table, contending that the pilots are overreaching during talks, although management is using over-inflated dollar amounts to make these claims.
US Airways management is also unfairly demanding that the pilots shoulder the burden of the costs incurred by the US Airways and America West merger. Instead of US Airways assuming the costs of equalizing pre-merger pay and benefits, as management proposed in the failed take-over attempt of Delta Air Lines, they are trying to shift the associated merger costs to the pilots at the negotiating table, further exaggerating the differences at the table.
"Whether management is publicly whitewashing their operational issues or the ongoing pilot negotiations, the US Airways pilots will not stand idly by and let their investments go unrecognized," said Captain Jack Stephan, US Airways MEC Chairman. "We're not paying for management's continuing operational blunders, and we're not paying for the cost of integrating two airlines. That's their responsibility, and any attempts to pass those costs off onto the pilots, who gave up billions to save US Airways, will end in failure. Perhaps it's time for management to begin promoting a realistic business plan instead of expecting the pilots to subsidize their operations."
"It is time for our former America West management to step up and recognize the value of our contribution in making this merger work thus far," said Captain John McIlvenna, America West Chairman. "But our patience is running very thin. Our pilots will not stand for the continued attacks on their work rules and benefits, and they demand a contract that is fair and equitable and in line with our very profitable airline."
A single contract would be a significant step toward completing the US Airways-America West merger and combining the two airlines, making it easier for both US Airways to manage its operational problems and for the passengers traveling on US Airways.
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) 306-1208; (602) 214-3490
|US Airways contact: Arnie Gentile
Air Line Pilots Assoc., Int’l.
US Airways Pilots Master Executive Council
(518) 424-8433; (412) 264-5600