Air Line Pilots Association, International
Alaska Airlines Master Executive Council

2800 S. 192nd St. Suite 106 Seattle, WA 98188

Release #08.ALA2
July 10, 2008

ALPA files for Mediation on Behalf of Alaska Airlines Pilots
Alaska’s pilots have been in negotiations for a new contract for 17 months

SEATTLE—Alaska Airlines’ pilots, who are represented by the Air Line Pilots’ Association, Int'l, took the next step toward either a new contract or a showdown with management on Thursday when ALPA’s President Capt. John Prater filed for assistance from a federal mediator on the Alaska pilots’ behalf.

Alaska Airlines pilots have been in direct negotiations for a new contract since January 2007. Throughout that time, management has indicated to its pilots that they have no intention of reaching a contract that provides this pilot group with the pay, job security, retirement security and health benefits that its pilots have earned.

“More than three years ago, Alaska’s management requested, and an arbitrator imposed, pay cuts of up to 35 percent—wages comparable to airlines that had been in bankruptcy, even though Alaska Airlines never faced the threat of bankruptcy. In the two years that followed, our company made record profits, and our management failed to make any effort to include this pilot group in that success,” said Capt. Bill Shivers, chairman of ALPA’s Alaska Master Executive Council. “We hope management will now come to the conclusion that it’s time to reach a consensual agreement, and not put us in the position of needing to strike to obtain a contract.”

Under the Railway Labor Act, airlines’ labor contracts do not expire, they become amendable. Alaska pilots’ contract became amendable on May 1, 2007. If the National Mediation Board accepts the pilots’ request for mediation, talks will continue either until the pilots reach a contract, or until the NMB releases the pilots into a 30-day cooling off period, which could be followed by a pilot strike.

ALPA represents 55,000 pilots at 40 airlines in the U.S. and Canada, including the 1,500 pilots of Alaska Airlines. Visit the Alaska MEC Web site at

# # #

David Campbell or Jenn Farrell: 206-241-3138
After Hours: Jenn Farrell at 303-522-6399