April 27, 2007
Hawaiian Airlines Pilot Union Questions Fairness of Executive Bonuses
HONOLULU—The Chairman of the Hawaiian Airlines unit of the Air Line Pilots Association is questioning Hawaiian’s intention to pay management bonuses while seeking concessions from pilots in exchange for modest pay increases to keep up with the cost of living.
“All employees—including pilots—have worked hard to make Hawaiian the successful airline that it is today. If all things were equal it would be a good thing for the company to thank and reward employees, including management. The problem is, all things aren’t equal,” said Captain Eric Sampson, chairman of ALPA’s Hawaiian Airlines Master Executive Council.
ALPA began negotiations with Hawaiian on a new collective bargaining agreement four weeks ago. The pilots’ contract becomes amendable June 30, 2007. As part of the negotiations, ALPA has requested a modest pay increase to keep up with inflation, and a return of some of the benefits HAL pilots sacrificed before the airline declared bankruptcy.
“Management’s response has been to demand headcount reductions to offset any future pay raises, but now we have learned they are seeking bonuses for their senior executives. It’s a disappointing way to start off negotiations, and our membership does not appreciate that kind of double standard,” Sampson said.
Sampson acknowledged that management played a role—along with pilots and other employees—in helping to rebuild the airline. But the bonuses send the wrong message, especially when executives at other airlines have also drawn criticism for paying themselves first while seeking concessions from other employees.
“We need to move forward together, not separately,” he said. “The best way to truly build a better, stronger Hawaiian Airlines is to treat all employees fairly and have everyone share in the rewards.”
Headquartered in Honolulu, Hawaiian Airlines is the nation’s 12th-largest carrier, with 135 daily flights flown by more than 300 pilots who operate a fleet of B-717 Inner Island and B-767 Transpacific aircraft.
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 CONTACT: Jim Giddings, 808-783-3162