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photo slideshow of the picketing.

Nearly 400 Pilots, Flight Attendants Picket Dulles to Protest Outsourcing

March 29, 2010 - Nearly 400 United pilots, their ALPA brethren and United flight attendants converged on Washington Dulles International Airport on Sunday to conduct informational picketing to protest the continued outsourcing of pilot and other airline employee jobs.

ALPA pilots from Delta, Continental, Air Tran, Mesa, Colgan Air, Trans States and Aer Lingus, as well as some from American of the Allied Pilots Association, joined United pilots in an informational picket line that stretched nearly the entire length of the front of the Dulles terminal.

The picket coincided with the March 28 launch of the inaugural flight of the Washington, D.C.-to-Madrid that is part of the United/Aer Lingus joint venture. The joint venture allows United to collect revenue without using United pilots, United aircraft or United crews.

“It is simply unconscionable for United management, with 1,437 United pilots laid off, to enter into such a joint venture with a foreign carrier without ensuring that the Company’s pilots receive a fair share of the jobs,” said United MEC Chairman Captain Wendy Morse. “This practice of outsourcing experienced, well-trained pilots must stop.”

Captain Morse was joined on the informational picket line by Captain John Prater, president of ALPA International and Captain Evan Cullen, president of Irish ALPA, which represents Aer Lingus pilots.

“This joint venture impacts United pilots, but it really touches all pilots,” said Captain Prater. “We will not stand back and watch as airline managements opt to reach joint ventures that hand out flying to the lowest bidder. We’re taking our message to the streets and we’re taking our message to the halls of Congress to protect the jobs of ALPA pilots in the face of such joint venture schemes as United/Aer Lingus.”

The United MEC and ALPA will continue to fight the scourge of outsourcing at every opportunity.