May 6, 2008
Without Pay or Benefits, Aloha Pilots Continue
Pilots haven’t received pay or health care coverage, yet continue to support Aloha’s cargo operations
HONOLULU—Enduring weeks without pay or healthcare coverage and with enormous hardship on their families, Aloha Airlines pilots continue to fly cargo to help their airline deliver on its commitment to its customers. Despite no objection from any party during a bankruptcy hearing last week, funds have not been released to pay pilots who have made tremendous sacrifices to keep the airline in operation.
The Aloha Airlines pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l, have not been paid the wages they have earned since mid- April, and they received notices of termination of medical coverage as of March 31 (view the recent newspaper ad).
“The Aloha pilots are dedicated employees who have always made the necessary sacrifices to keep Aloha in the air,” said Capt. John Riddel, Aloha Airlines Master Executive Council secretary-treasurer. “This time is no different. Our pilots are flying without pay, without any guarantee when and if they will receive compensation, and having received notices of termination of medical coverage. They are going above and beyond for a company that is no longer in Chapter 11 and for a new company that doesn’t want to hire them. And yet, they still continue to provide the service Hawaiians have come to trust.”
Saltchuk Resources, Inc., which has offered to buy the cargo division, has refused to agree to abide by the pilots’ contract, and only yesterday began meetings with the pilots union to try to negotiate a contract and deal with ALPA’s demand to keep the pilots flying for the airline. Aloha’s cargo division continues to operate, though Aloha is under Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation and awaiting court review of the proposed sale of the cargo division to Saltchuk.
Aloha filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy on March 20, 2008, and abruptly ceased its passenger service on March 31, after 61 years of service. On April 28, the cargo division was shut down, and the company and its lender, GMAC, supported conversion of the case to a liquidation under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code. Three days later, Saltchuk renewed its offer to buy the cargo assets, and the Chapter 7 trustee received authorization from the court to continue operation of the cargo division until the sale was finalized.
Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilots union and represents more than 56,000 pilots at 41 airlines in the U.S. and Canada. ALPA represents the more than 300 pilots who flew for Aloha Airlines.
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