August 1, 2007
Delta Connection Pilots Employ Rolling Ads To Demand “Fair Contract Now”
ATLANTA, GA – Frustrated by five years of contract negotiations with their management, Delta Connection pilots with Atlantic Southeast Airlines (ASA) are taking their message to the streets—literally. Since Monday, mobile billboards have been circulating through the streets and airports of Atlanta and Salt Lake City displaying the message.
The Atlanta-based pilot group—represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, International—is fed up with its management’s exploitation of federal law to stall contract talks. Negotiations between the airline’s management and its pilots have been ongoing since September, 2002 with nearly 290 completed negotiating sessions. Approximately 12 issues remain to be resolved in the general areas of Compensation, Work Rules, Retirement and Insurance and Job Security.
Pilots at the Delta Connection carrier have been leaving the airline in droves seeking better employment elsewhere. Since the beginning of the year, more than 200 pilots have left the airline creating a pilot shortage which in turn causes delays and cancellation of flights inconveniencing Delta passengers.
“The pilot staffing issue has really been impacting the operation, especially during this busy summer travel season,” said Capt. David Nieuwenhuis, head of ALPA unit at ASA. “Pilots are leaving the airline because we have been stuck working under an obsolete contract negotiated in 1998 with sub par pay and work rules. And worse yet, nobody wants to come to work under these kind of conditions so the company can’t even hire new pilots to fill the empty cockpits,” he added.
Pilots believe that flight delays and cancellation, as well as the pilot staffing shortage can be mitigated by a quality contract.
“The only way we can retain and attract professional pilots is through a fair contract,” Nieuwenhuis said, “but for some reason management seems reluctant to come to an agreement.”
The two mobile ads will continue to maneuver around Salt Lake City and Atlanta for about the next week.
ASA is owned by SkyWest, Inc., whose corporate headquarters are just up the road in St. George, Utah.
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, including more than 1,700 pilots who fly for Delta Connection ASA Airlines. Visit the ALPA website at www.alpa.org.
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ALPA CONTACT: Capt. Rick Bernskoetter, (678) 640-4510
Anya Piazza, (703) 481-4440 or firstname.lastname@example.org