May 24, 2007
US Airways Pilots Bring
“Operation Rolling Thunder” to Phoenix
Pilots Outraged Over Concessionary Proposal
PHOENIX—US Airways [NYSE: LCC] and America West Airlines pilots will picket today at the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport as part of their new Operation Rolling Thunder campaign to bring their fight for a fair contract to the traveling public. The pilots, who are represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int'l (ALPA), are outraged by management’s bargaining tactics that seek to keep the pilots at substandard wages and benefits that were forced upon them following the 9/11 tragedy rather than recognize the sacrifices they made to ensure the viability of their airline.
US Airways’ senior management and early key investors have reaped huge rewards but at the expense of the airline’s employees and passengers. Management had an opportunity recently to make significant progress in this regard when they provided their first comprehensive economic proposal to the pilots, but management failed miserably when they presented a woefully inadequate proposal.
“It continues to amaze me that US Airways management expects their labor groups to pay for this merger,” said Captain John McIlvenna, America West MEC Chairman. “While senior management was quick to point out publicly that their proposal did contain a meager pay raise, they conveniently forgot to mention that this raise would be paid for by gutting key sections of our current contract. On top of that, their proposal contained major mistakes and incorporated job security and retirement sections that were insulting to our pilots.”
ALPA’s Operation Rolling Thunder kicked off earlier this week at the Los Angeles International Airport with more than 60 pilots demonstrating their frustrations. Pilots also handed out leaflets to the traveling public and a mobile billboard with the message, “US Airways Management’s Fairy Tales are Passengers’ Nightmares,” circled the airport. In addition to today’s picketing of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, the pilots will demonstrate at Las Vegas McCarran International Airport on May 26.
US Airways' financial success is undeniable. After the merger of America West and US Airways, the airline quickly became prosperous, posting an operating profit of $507 million in 2006. US Airways CEO Doug Parker received $14.4 million in compensation and benefits for 2006 and was also the highest- paid airline CEO in 2005.
The America West Airlines collective bargaining agreement was amendable December 31, 2006, and the US Airways pilot collective bargaining agreement is amendable December 2009. Both the America West and US Airways pilot groups have been engaged in negotiations for a fair, single contract for more than 18 months.
Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilots union, representing 60,000 pilots at 40 airlines in the U.S. and Canada. Visit the ALPA website at www.alpa.org.
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ALPA Contacts: John Spannagel: (602) 502-4424
Lydia Jakub: (480) 586-5873