April 18, 2008
Aloha Pilots Seek Court Injunction
HONOLULU – The Aloha Airlines pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l, (ALPA), filed a complaint in U.S. Bankruptcy Court today seeking injunctive relief against the airline. ALPA asserts that Aloha Airlines management’s total disregard for pilots’ collective bargaining agreement during the past few weeks has triggered a “major dispute” under the Railway Labor Act, which governs airline contract negotiations. ALPA seeks an order from the Court to force Aloha Airlines to comply with its contract.
ALPA will continue efforts to resolve the major dispute with management, but if no agreement is reached by 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, April 26, 2008, ALPA and the Aloha pilots may, after following all of ALPA’s internal preliminary procedures, strike any or all of Aloha’s operations.
“ALPA is ready to take any steps necessary to ensure that our contract is upheld by this management,” said Capt. John Prater, president of ALPA. “The Aloha pilots have always displayed the highest sense of loyalty and support for this union, their fellow employees and their company. We can’t prevent Aloha Airlines from ceasing its passenger operations, but we can prevent this management from unlawfully rejecting the legally binding contract they negotiated with their pilots.”
ALPA alleges that the company, through its actions and expressed statements of its president and chief executive officer, continues to repudiate the pilots’ collective bargaining agreement by terminating pilots out of seniority order, failing to provide furlough pay and benefits, terminating the pilots’ health plan, recalling pilots out of seniority order, and failing to respect job security provisions that require a prospective purchaser to employ the current pilots in seniority order, among other things.
“Aloha has violated, and continues to violate, its obligations to make every reasonable effort to maintain the working conditions of the Aloha pilots pursuant to the contract,” said Capt. David Bird, chairman of the Aloha arm of ALPA. “We ask the court to recognize these violations and order the company to comply with the contract.”
Aloha Airlines filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on
March 20 and abruptly ceased its passenger service on March 31 after 61 years of
service. Aloha continues to operate its cargo service, which it is preparing to
Aloha filed first for bankruptcy in 2004, and pilots agreed to concessions in an effort to improve the airline’s financial position and attract new investors. The Aloha pilots agreed to a 20 percent pay cut, productivity enhancements, and a 2-year “freeze” on their pension plan, which has since been terminated. Aloha pilots gave more than $12 million worth of concessions to the airline to support its previous restructuring efforts to ensure stability and profitability.
Even after this recent bankruptcy filing, Aloha pilot leaders were willing to meet with management to explore every avenue necessary to assist the company in negotiating with prospective suitors. Management has continued to ignore every offer.
Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilot union, representing more than 56,000 pilots at 41 airlines in the U.S. and Canada.
ALPA Contacts: James Linsey, 917-373-0872; Kimberly Seitz, 703-609-1650