May 3, 2010
Statement by Captain Wendy Morse, Chairman, United Master Executive Council, And Captain Jay Pierce, Chairman, Continental Master Executive Council, Air Line Pilots Association, International, Regarding Announced Merger Between United Airlines And Continental Airlines
“With the announcement today of an intended merger between United Airlines and Continental Airlines, it is important to remember that history has demonstrated that the integration of two airlines is always a difficult challenge. The support of the pilots is pivotal in determining whether a merger is successful or not, as will be the case with this merger of Continental and United. While there is potential for this transaction to create a truly great airline, there are also risks involved. The entity being created must be stronger and more viable than the independent entities that are being merged. The futures of our pilots must also be more secure going forward -- both in our careers and in retirement. We have sacrificed too much through years of concessions, furloughs, pension freezes and terminations to accept unwarranted risk, and any risk requires reward.
“We look for a commitment by the management of the new United Airlines to work with pilot leadership to minimize economic risk and maximize our career security by promptly and fairly negotiating a new, joint pilot contract. The announced merger is expected to create value for shareholders, executives and the traveling public. As critical stakeholders in the merged airline, the pilots of both United and Continental fully expect to share in that value, in both the short and long terms.
“We know that by working together we can build our combined operation into an entity that is respected worldwide for its technical expertise in safely transporting customers to their destinations. We are ready to cultivate a working relationship with a new management team and develop a rapport built on mutual respect and an understanding of our importance to the success of the airline. With that mutual respect and understanding comes an opportunity to produce an enterprise that will enjoy world class stature; and, at the same time promote and protect stable careers and rewarding futures for the pilots we represent.
“The pilots who fly for Continental and United are prepared to stand shoulder to shoulder to support the creation of a viable, profitable merged company. The importance of a fair and equitable seniority integration between the two pilot groups and a businesslike commitment to achieving commensurate value for pilots through the prompt negotiation, among other things, of a new joint collective bargaining agreement is recognized by all parties as central to a successful airline merger. We are also prepared to stand shoulder to shoulder in opposition of this transaction should these ideals and concepts not immediately be fostered by the new management team. Both the United and Continental pilot groups understand what can be achieved by working together; and, in concert with the new management team, under these conditions welcome the opportunities and expected rewards of building a winning combination.”
|Dave Kelly||Amy Flanagan|
|United MEC||Continental MEC|