Release #10.CMT2
December 22, 2010

ALPA, CommutAir Ask Government to Mediate Contract Talks
Pilots have been Negotiating 20 Months for their First Union Contract

CLEVELAND – Acknowledging that they have reached a stalemate after nearly two years of negotiations, CommutAir and its pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), have jointly requested the assistance of a federal mediator to get contract talks back on track.

ALPA and CommutAir, based in North Olmsted, Ohio, filed a joint application on December 2 in Washington, D.C., with the National Mediation Board (NMB), which mediates disputes within the aviation and rail industries. The airline’s 135 pilots have been in direct negotiations with management for their first union contract since February 2009, but the parties are still far apart on economic issues, including rates of pay.

“Virtually every piece of our contract has been negotiated except those sections that deal with money,” said Capt. Jay Dougherty, chairman of ALPA’s CommutAir pilot group. “We hope the assistance of the NMB will allow us to reach a consensual agreement with management that moves us from our current position as some of the lowest-paid pilots in the industry, working without a contract, to an industry-standard contract that recognizes the contributions our pilots have made to CommutAir’s growth and profitability.”

Under the Railway Labor Act, the federal law that regulates airline and railroad employees, if the NMB 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.

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilots union, representing nearly 53,000 pilots at 38 airlines in the United States and Canada. Visit the ALPA website at


Rusty Ayers