Release #08.CMR2
November 25, 2008

Comair Pilots Reelect Union Leader to Battle for Job Security

ERLANGER, KY. — Leaders of the Comair unit of the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), expressed their support for the current master executive council (MEC) by reelecting the chairman and vice chair for an additional two-year term. After a vote by the MEC, the pilot group’s governing body that represents more than 1,300 Comair pilots, Capt. Mark Cirksena was reelected chairman. First Officer Fred Herman was reelected vice chairman. First Officer David Sarker was elected secretary-treasurer.

The Comair MEC has been leading the fight to mitigate furloughs among its pilots. ALPA and the MEC officers presented Comair management with proposals that would reduce the number of pilots furloughed, but management flatly refused to consider them without significant and unacceptable concessions from the union.

Capt. Cirksena has flown as a Comair pilot for 23 years. A CR70 pilot, he has held numerous ALPA positions through the years, serving as Cincinnati picketing coordinator during the 2001 Comair strike. He also was vice chairman for the pilot group’s Strike Preparedness Committee during the 2006 Delta/Comair bankruptcy proceedings, as well as being a member of the national Strategic Preparedness and Strike Committee. Capt. Cirksena has served as the MEC chair since January 2008.

Fred Herman has been with Comair for five years as a CR70 first officer. He has served as the vice chair since March 2008. David Sarker is a five-year CL-65 first officer.

“I’m looking forward to continuing my union work of protecting the pilots of Comair,” said Capt. Cirksena. “We will not stand by and let this management violate our contract and force cuts and concessions without fully considering all the options available. We are going to fight for every job, for every pilot, and for every line of our contract.”

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilot union and represents 53,000 pilots at 37 airlines in the U.S. and Canada, including more than 1,300 pilots at Comair. Visit the ALPA website at

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Captain Mark Cirksena—(859) 409-2639
Jen Lofquist—(703) 481-4459