Release #10.008
March 11, 2010

ALPA to Congress: Protect U.S. Jobs in International Airline Alliances

WASHINGTON – Legislation introduced this week that directs the Department of Transportation to ensure that new revenue-sharing agreements between U.S. and foreign airlines are beneficial to U.S. airline workers as well as to their airlines is welcomed by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA). ALPA hails Rep. Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.), Rep. Mike Michaud (D-Maine), and Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-Mich.) for introducing the bill (H.R.4788).

“This legislation protects the U.S. workers whose dedication and professionalism have helped to build the airlines that participate in international alliances,” said Capt. John Prater, president of ALPA. “One-quarter of the jobs in the U.S. airline industry have disappeared, and international revenue-sharing agreements threaten to make a bad situation even worse for U.S. workers.”

One such agreement involves United Airlines, which has entered into a joint venture with Aer Lingus to fly a Washington-to-Madrid route starting on March 28, whereby United would provide marketing and a feed of passengers, and would equally split the costs of establishing and maintaining this new route, all without utilizing either United aircraft or United pilots.

“No issue undermines United’s pilots more than the threat of outsourcing,” said Capt. Wendy Morse, United Master Executive Council chairman. “We already have 1,437 of our pilots laid off by United. Too many airline managements are opting to toss aside experienced, well-trained airline pilots for the sake of economics. This is a recipe for disaster.

“United pilots have a safety record that is respected worldwide. Yet, we watch as management continues to outsource too many of these U.S. pilot jobs. I, too, applaud Reps. Bishop, Michaud, and McCotter for their foresight and efforts to protect the jobs of U.S. pilots and other workers.”

Millions of U.S. jobs have been offshored because of business practices that have shed good U.S. jobs for cheaper labor outside of the country. This legislation will establish basic requirements for U.S. airlines that enter into international revenue-sharing agreements to ensure that these airlines conduct an amount of the flying that is in proportion to the amount of revenue the airline receives. A U.S. airline will be able to share revenue with a foreign airline, but that revenue will be based on the amount of flying each airline performs.

“This legislation will help U.S. workers keep their jobs without affecting existing code-share agreements,” continued Prater. “This bill is a win for the American worker and for our economy. We urge Congress to swiftly pass it.”

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


Linda Shotwell, ALPA, 703/481-4440 or
Dave Kelly, United Master Executive Council, 847/292-1708 or