May 1, 2008. Pinnacle Pilots Send Strong, Unified Message to Management
Nearly 150 Pinnacle pilots, joined by other ALPA pilots and others, marched in front of the corporate headquarters of Pinnacle management in Memphis, Tenn., protesting the glacial pace of their contract negotiations, now in their fourth year. Management continues to ignore the pilots’ contributions to the success of the airline.
The Pinnacle pilots’ contract became amendable May 1, 2005. They are the only Pinnacle employee group that has not had a raise in more than four years. Management is expanding the company (with its purchase of Colgan Air) without recognizing how the sacrifice and dedication of their pilots have assisted with Pinnacle’s bottom line. The airline continues to grow and sign new Air Services Agreements with other carriers, while leaving their pilots near the bottom in pay and work rules compared to other regional carriers.
Negotiating for a new contract began February 2005 and management made what was characterized as a “last and best offer” in December 2005, refusing to earnestly participate in negotiations since that time. Pilots and management remain far apart on key issues, such as retirement, job security, and compensation. Both sides entered mediated negotiations in late September 2006. Pinnacle employs 1,244 pilots.