June 11, 2008
For Immediate Release
Continental pilots demonstrate in Houston to show solidarity
Houston—The Continental pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l. (ALPA) demonstrated today at the Continental Airlines headquarters in Houston and at local Sam Houston Park to show their solidarity and tell management that “the loan is due.” Over five hundred Continental pilots participated in the event, as well as pilots from other ALPA carriers and independent pilot unions. At the rally, they were joined by their families, Continental employees from other unions and representatives from the National Air Traffic Controllers Association.
Capt. Jay Pierce, chairman of the Continental pilots union, stated “We gave up over $200M annually in concessions with our last contract. Our pilots, with their families, are here today at the rally to demonstrate our unity and solidarity as we seek to recapture the losses we’ve seen through years of stagnation and concessions. We are here to remind management that as they build their new business plan to meet these changing times, they must remember the sacrifices made by the pilots.”
The union has been in contract discussions since July 2007, but the process has centered largely on non-economic issues like leaves of absence and physical exams. Says Capt. Pierce, “We realize that the current conditions are not ideal for negotiating. However, in any negotiating cycle, there are ups and downs that must be dealt with. We will continue our plan of negotiating with Continental management on the non-economic portions of the contract before moving onto economic issues such as pay, retirement and benefits. This approach allows for progress to be made in negotiations while uncertainties remain with the industry, the economy and the high costs of fuel. As our management adjusts to the new environment and formulates its plan, we expect and demand to be included. Continental pilots have made sacrifices in their wages, their quality of life, their retirement security and as we’ve seen with recent capacity reductions, their job security. It may take longer to receive the gains we have earned through our sacrifices, but we will prevail.”
The last Continental pilots contract was signed April 1, 2005. It becomes amendable on December 31, 2008.
Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilot union, representing 5,000 Continental pilots and a total of 55,000 pilots at 40 airlines in the U.S. and Canada.
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