April 26, 2007
Senators Kennedy and McCaskill Appeal to Trans States CEO
Healing Labor Wounds by Expressing Concerns with Abuse of Union Employees
St. Louis, Mo.—Sens. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) have sent a letter to Trans States Airlines CEO Hulas Kanodia expressing concern over the terminations and continued harassment of pilots who also volunteer to serve as union officials. The letter was sent on behalf of members of the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA) whom TSA management personnel have unjustly fired or disciplined.
“I would like to thank the senators for taking the time to support TSA pilots,” said Capt. John Prater, president of ALPA. “Now it is up to Mr. Kanodia to take the necessary steps to undo the damage done to pilots at his airline.”
The letter comes after a tumultuous 2 years during which TSA wrongfully terminated six pilots, including five union officials, from their positions. There have been three settlements and three arbitration awards that ordered the reinstatement of the wrongfully fired pilots. However, TSA has failed to reinstate two of the three pilots as ordered by the neutral arbitrators, and has failed to pay the back pay owed to them.
“The pilots who have stepped forward to serve in union positions and work for the betterment of their fellow employees deserve fair and equal treatment by TSA, and our labor laws require it,” the letter read. Kennedy chairs the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, and McCaskill is the junior senator from Missouri.
In the letter, the senators strongly urged TSA’s Kanodia to “quickly return
the fired employees to work, and make every effort to restore TSA’s relationship
with the union to one of cooperation and respect.”
ALPA and TSA have been in contract negotiations since February 2006 and have made little progress toward achieving a mutually agreeable contract.
Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilot union, representing 60,000 pilots at 40 airlines in the United States and Canada. Visit the ALPA website at www.alpa.org.
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ALPA CONTACTS: Pete Janhunen, Linda Shotwell, Molly Martin, 703-481-4440