Release 07.AWA
August 15, 2007

Union Officers Elected at ALPA America West

PHOENIX – Leaders of the America West unit of the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA) recently elected Captain John McIlvenna to serve as chairman of the Master Executive Council (MEC), the union’s governing body. Additionally, First Officer Mitch Vasin was elected to serve as MEC vice chairman and Captain Peter Blandino was elected to serve as MEC secretary-treasurer. The officers—all of whom currently serve in their positions—were elected unanimously by the MEC to serve two-year terms in accordance with ALPA’s Constitution and By-Laws.

The following is a statement from Captain McIlvenna:

“I am honored to again be elected to lead the America West pilots as their MEC chairman. Since this merger was announced nearly two and a half years ago, we have overcome many challenges. But we still have several formidable tasks ahead, namely negotiating a contract that recognizes the contributions and sacrifices made by our pilots.

“We have been in negotiations—along with our pilot counterparts at the former US Airways—for 21 months with management for a fair, single contract. Such an agreement would enable management to realize the full benefits of the new US Airways for our investors and passengers. We intend to get our negotiations back on track, secure solid wage, benefit and work rule improvements, and get on with the business of building a better airline.”

The America West pilots joined with the US Airways pilots to negotiate a Transition Agreement that set out the process for an orderly negotiation of a single contract, but also preserved the rights of America West pilots to engage in stand-alone negotiations under the Railway Labor Act. The America West pilots’ agreement became amendable December 30, 2006.

Captain McIlvenna was first elected to the position of MEC chairman in December 2006 after serving as the union’s vice chairman. An Airbus A320/319 pilot, Captain McIlvenna previously served as a status representative on the MEC. Additionally, he has served on various pilot committees both at America West and at his former ALPA carrier, including chairman of the Merger Committee, chairman of the Negotiating Committee, and vice chairman of the Retirement and Insurance Committee.

First Officer Vasin, a Boeing 737 pilot, joined the MEC as its vice chairman in December 2006. Prior to being elected to this position, First Officer Vasin served as the chairman of the Grievance Committee, which enforces the pilots’ collective bargaining agreement. He also served as a status representative on the MEC and as the chairman of the Grievance Committee at his former ALPA carrier.

Captain Blandino has held the position of secretary treasurer of the MEC since March 2006. A Boeing 737 pilot, Captain Blandino has also served as a member of the MEC and chairman of the Communications, Grievance and Pilot-to-Pilot Committees.

The Air Line Pilots Association is the bargaining agent for the nearly 1,900 pilots at America West Airlines. Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilot union, representing more than 60,000 pilots at 41 airlines in the United States and Canada. Visit the ALPA website at

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ALPA Contact: Captain Tania Bziukiewicz, (602) 214-3490; (602) 306-1208
Lydia Jakub, (602) 794-2882; (480) 586-5873