Highlights from ALPA’s 103rd Executive Board Meeting

September 9, 2008 - ALPA’s Executive Board convened Tuesday for its 103rd regular meeting to discuss the Association’s ongoing strategic planning efforts in preparation for the October Board of Directors meeting. Executive Board members also heard presentations concerning new ALPA initiatives and a report from the AFL-CIO about its grassroots political education campaign.

ALPA president, Capt. John Prater, opened the meeting with, among other things, an update on Atlas/Polar joint negotiations, calling for a solution based on pilot consensus. He also spoke about the landmark efforts of the Delta and Northwest pilots to agree to a contract prior to the conclusion of the merger and a seniority integration process. He stressed the importance of charting a course for the Union’s future to recouple members with ALPA.

“ALPA has the power, influence and resources to successfully meet the challenges of today and tomorrow. As always, thank you for your leadership and your unity when it counts. The support you provide to your Union by standing up and supporting the difficult decisions we make truly makes a difference. True union brothers and sisters go out and face the threats with solidarity. I know we can. I know we will,” Prater said.

Capt. Paul Rice, ALPA’s first vice-president, talked about the Union’s Collective Bargaining and Strategic Preparedness and Strike Committees, adding that the two groups are “bettering the lives of our union members.” He highlighted the importance of “making the tough choices.”

“In my almost six years as a national officer, there have been many opportunities to take the easy road. To do the political thing. To ignore the longer term consequences to our union. Whether with these national officers and this Executive Council or our previous national officers and Council, I’m proud to say the team has made the tough decisions,” Rice said.

Capt. Bill Couette, ALPA’s vice-president–administration/secretary, highlighted a new initiative, the Furloughed Pilots Support Program, and explained how it will benefit member groups.

“ALPA’s finances remain sound,” reported vice-president—finance/treasurer, Capt. Randy Helling, who added that some “hard decisions” were made to ensure the organization’s ongoing viability.

In a point of personal privilege, Midwest MEC chairman, Capt. Jay Schnedorf, addressed the Board and gave an impassioned pledge that Midwest pilots would persevere against his management’s anti-labor tactics.
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Former ALPA President Duane Woerth received a standing ovation, following the unveiling of his presidential portrait, which will hang in the Association’s Washington, D.C. office. “All of your work is important,” he stressed to the Executive Board members. “It all matters a lot.”

A handful of U.S. Airways pilots (AAA/AWA) were saluted by the Executive Board for their faithful efforts to maintain ALPA affiliation.

The Executive Board also heard a presentation from AFL-CIO Political Director Karen Ackerman, who briefed the ALPA Executive Board on the Federation’s rationale for endorsing Sen. Barack Obama.

“Communicating with voters about where the (presidential) candidates stand on the issues” is a top priority for the AFL-CIO, she said.

Stay tuned for more coverage.