Pinnacle Pilots: Taking It to the Streets
Nearly 200 pilots, flight attendants, and one giant rat shut down a major business route in front of the Pinnacle Airlines company headquarters in Memphis, Tenn., to demonstrate against management’s greed and unwillingness to negotiate a contract that recognizes the pilots’ contribution to Pinnacle’s continual profits.
Management’s unwillingness to negotiate a strong scope agreement and pay rates, along with work rules that respect a pilot’s time away from work, are major issues still on the table.
“I am tired of looking at captains who haven’t gotten a pay raise in two years,” said Captain Wake Gordon, Pinnacle MEC chairman. “And when our pilots spend time with their families on their days off, they want to be left alone and don’t want to be constantly called by scheduling.”
Representatives from more than a dozen airlines, including two non-ALPA carriers, were on hand for this historical event – Pinnacle’s first informational picketing event in Memphis. Speaking to the group through a bull-horn, ALPA’s president, Capt. Duane Woerth, stressed the importance of being a part of an international union, something that airline managements don’t understand. “It’s not something you hire – it’s something you are,” he told the pilots.
With a large inflatable rat provided by the Laborer’s Union looming over the demonstration site, representatives from ASTAR, Atlantic Southeast, Champion, Comair, Continental, ExpressJet, FedEx, Mesaba, Midwest Express, Northwest, Southwest, United, and UPS loudly agreed with the speakers that they had had enough: “Enough of management greed, enough of crew scheduling messing with their days off, and enough of management using the court system to get from pilots what management can’t get at the negotiating table.”