The Deal's Not Done
- ExpressJet pilots have made many sacrifices over the last decade to keep our company alive and moving forward, despite the mistreatment we often received in return.
- There’s no debating the desire of our pilot group to see this airline succeed; our jobs and our reputation matter to us, why don’t they seem to matter to management?
Here is a brief look at how ExpressJet pilots have stepped up to keep the company afloat over a decade of mismanagement:
In order to help the company avoid bankruptcy, all ExpressJet work groups agreed to concessions of approximately 6%. Pilots wouldn’t return to pre-concessionary pay rates for a decade; the lost pay and benefits were never recovered.
ExpressJet pilots signed an agreement to allow a waiver of their contractual scope language to facilitate the purchase of ExpressJet by SkyWest, Inc. SkyWest would, in turn, slowly dismantle ExpressJet over the next several years.
SkyWest, Inc. informed ExpressJet that ratified 70-seat pay rates and higher first-year pay rates were required to secure new flying opportunities. They also cried that the money for a full contract simply wasn’t available, despite SkyWest’s record profits at the time. ExpressJet pilots passed an extension to the concessionary Contract 2004 that included a $1.50 raise for most pilots on property. New flying opportunities never materialized. SkyWest, Inc. never delivered on the promised new flying.
The XJT and ASA MECs agreed to an integrated seniority list (ISL) without an accompanying joint collective bargaining agreement in order to keep all pilots employed and to support the United operation as ASA’s Delta flying was shut down. The ISL was required in order to secure a new, profitable capacity purchase agreement with United Airlines.
The XJT MEC agreed to further scope relief in order for the purchase by ManaAir LLC to take place. The purchase would not have occurred without this relief.
At the end of the year, ExpressJet pilots ratified Contract 2018 with a 90% yes vote. The contract, which the company forced negotiators to complete in a mere 45 days, contained a promise from the company in addendum “Letter 2” to return to negotiations to complete the rushed contract “shortly after” the purchase by ManaAir was complete. We’re still waiting…
The past sacrifices ExpressJet pilots have made have placed the company in the best ever position to succeed, yet we aren’t. There are few indications that the success other regionals have seen, especially those who are wholly-owned by their major partner, will ever materialize at ExpressJet. Our pilot force shrinks every day fueled by the high attrition of pilots, and management has made few moves to retain those pilots.
We are ready to continue talks on contract improvements that will make ExpressJet a great place to work again.