August 27, 2007
Delta Connection Pilots Launch Caravan in
Towns That Rely Heavily on Service
ASA Pilot Shortage Results from Frustration with Five-Year Contract Delay
ATLANTA, GA—Delta Connection Atlantic Southeast Airlines (ASA) pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), are taking their message to the public on August 28 and 29, by picketing in the small communities they serve. As the primary provider of commercial air transportation in these cities, the pilots think it’s only fair to tell the passengers that ASA is having a difficult time recruiting and retaining qualified pilots. The pilot shortage is due to low morale, fatiguing schedules, and low pay dating back to a contract signed in 1998.
The pilots will be caravanning from Washington, D.C.—the location of this week’s negotiating sessions—to Atlanta, with stops in Roanoke Va., Tri-Cities, Tenn., and Chattanooga, Tenn., to informational picket at each city’s airport. The pilots’ frustration is augmented by the gross amount of time that ASA has spent dragging out contract talks. A mere handful of issues remain in debate between management and the pilot group.
“Any well-run airline relies intrinsically on an experienced, satisfied pilot workforce. Five years is too long to wait for a new employment agreement,” said Dave Nieuwenhuis, chairman of the ALPA unit at ASA. “As pilots, we want to be able to focus solely on flying, and our passengers in these communities deserve that. ASA management needs to stop stalling and finalize a new contract so we can do just that.”
The following is the schedule for the ASA Pilots’ Informational Picketing Caravan:
Roanoke, Va. - Roanoke Regional Airport /Woodrum Field, 3:00 pm
Tri-Cities area, Tenn. – Tri-Cities Regional Airport, 8:30 am
Chattanooga, Tenn. - Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport, 3:00 pm
Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilot union, representing 60,000 pilots at 41 airlines in the United States and Canada. Visit the ALPA website at www.alpa.org.
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ALPA CONTACTS: Capt. Rick Bernskoetter, (678)
Anya Piazza, (703) 481-4457