Major Airline Pilot Groups Gather in Dallas
ALPA leaders pleased with Round 2 discussions

June 6, 2007 - ALPA leaders joined other pilot union officials from across North America this month for a 2-day meeting that focused on discussions of airline industry economics, contractual trends, and an analysis of current collective bargaining pressures.

“Our profession is dedicated to improving airline pilot pay and working conditions,” said ALPA’s president, Capt. John Prater. “We learned after 9/11 that a unified effort is our only option to reach that goal.”

The meeting—attended by elected leaders, negotiating committee chairs, and other key representatives of airline pilot unions from the United States and Canada—was the second of the twice-yearly meetings, which are hosted on a rotating basis by roundtable participants. ALPA proposed the effort and hosted the gathering in February in Washington, D.C.

In all, some 70 union officials representing pilots from 16 different airlines participated in the roundtable-style discussions. Roundtable participants emphasized that as management at various airlines awarded its own members bonuses, stock grants, and other forms of compensation during the past couple of years, pilots’ needs—both financial and quality-of-life—must be addressed as well.

The Allied Pilots Association (APA) and the Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association (SWAPA) co-hosted the Dallas meeting.

“Pilots have said it loud and clear—the time has arrived to restore the profession,” said the APA’s president, Capt. Ralph Hunter. “These meetings provide an invaluable opportunity to share information and plan strategy in bargaining for our fair share of the financial rewards generated by our industry’s return to profitability.”

“Despite the fact that we fly for many different carriers,” said SWAPA President Carl Kuwitzky, “it’s evident that we share many common concerns as we seek to protect and enhance our pilots’ career prospects.”

Additional news coverage:

USA Today: Pilots strategize to regain pay, benefits lost during downturn

Houston Chronicle: Leaders of Pilots' Unions Raise Rhetoric

Fort Worth Star-Telegram: Pilot unions view rest as a priority