Mesaba pilots feel vindicated

Mesaba Airline pilots, represented
by the Air Line Pilots Association, International, are gratified by the
bankruptcy court’s decision today denying Mesaba management’s 1113(c)
motion to reject their contract.Pilots say that during the 15 days of
lengthy testimony in this case, Mesaba failed to substantiate the need for
the drastic cuts it was seeking from employees.
  “I’m sure that every Mesaba pilot is breathing a sigh of relief over
today’s announcement,” said Captain Tom Wychor, chairman of the ALPA unit
at Mesaba. “All along ALPA has said that the company does not need such
drastic pay and benefit cuts, and today we have been vindicated. However,
the bankruptcy court’s decision does not address the root of the problem—
that our company is facing a serious crisis if it does not rebuild and plan
appropriately for the future.”
  Pilots have been looking for ways to give the company financial relief
since October 2005. To date, these discussions have not yielded any
tangible results, largely because management has been insistent on enormous
wage cuts and refused to consider other money-saving avenues proposed by
pilots.
  “The only way that this company, our airline, is going to survive and
prosper is through consensual agreement between management and its labor
groups. Pilots will not work for the kind of substandard wages management
was trying to impose,” said Wychor.
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