March 30, 2005
Continental Pilots Approve New Contract Pending Vote by Other Unions
HOUSTON --- Continental pilots today approved a new 45-month contract designed to provide Continental Airlines with $213 million in cost cuts annually.
However, final acceptance of the new contract hinges on an affirmative vote by the other Continental employee groups voting on new contracts today--flight attendants, mechanics and dispatchers.
The pilots' contract contains a clause that allows the pilots to reject it if any other employee group fails to approve a similar concessionary contract.
Continental had earlier set today (March 30) as the deadline to achieve concessions from employees totaling $500 million a year or begin severe cutbacks in service to avoid bankruptcy.
With 92.81 percent of the 3,948 eligible pilots voting, the proposed new pilot contract was approved by a vote of 2,139 (58.38%) to 1,525 (41.62%).
The pilot leadership, the Continental Master Executive Council (CAL MEC), a unit of the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA) is currently in session and will withhold affirmation of the vote and acceptance of the contract until contract vote results are available from the other employee groups.
"This pilot group has a record of leadership at Continental and again has stepped up to help the company survive by accepting concessions of $213 million annually. However, any concessions from this pilot group have always been based on the condition that all employee groups share in the cost cuts," said Capt. Jay Panarello, chairman of the CAL MEC.
CAL MEC represents the 4,200 pilots of Continental Airlines. ALPA is the world's largest pilot union and represents 64,000 airline pilots at 41 airlines in the U.S. and Canada.
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Contact: Jim Moody, 281-987-3636