US Airways pilot leaders, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA), are picketing at the Philadelphia International Airport to demonstrate their resolve in attaining a fair contractUS Airways pilots are trying to get recognition and reward for the $6.8 billion in concessions that they committed to US Airways to ensure the airline would become the successful company it is today.
“US Airways recently posted a second quarter 2006 profit of $305 million, and expects to be profitable for the rest of the year and into the future. This is a far cry from the dark days of our 2002 and 2004 bankruptcies, when the US Airways pilots saved the airline as it was teetering on the edge of liquidation. Our pay and benefits were slashed, our work rules were decimated, and our pensions were terminated,” said Captain Jack Stephan, US Airways Master Executive Council (MEC) Chairman.
“Now, after merging with America West Airlines, US Airways is profitable, but the US Airways pilots are still making bankruptcy-era wages. US Airways Chairman, President and CEO Doug Parker, however, just cashed in $9 million in stock, approximately 20 percent of his holdings—all while stating that he is seeking a cost-neutral pilot contract. We will not stand by as US Airways management lines their pockets with the profits we provided them. It is nothing less than bankruptcy profiteering,” said Captain Stephan.
Before the merger was completed, the US Airways and America West pilots agreed upon a Transition Agreement to provide a process for the US Airways and America West pilots to negotiate a single agreement with management. While US Airways and America West pilots have been negotiating this single contract with US Airways management for the past nine months, little progress has been made in economic and operational areas due to management’s insistence on a cost-neutral contract.
“When US Airways management asked the pilots to sacrifice our pay and work rules, and we agreed, we became the airline’s largest and most important investor. The US Airways pilots’ governing body, the MEC, will only approve an agreement to send to the pilot group that properly recognizes our contributions and our unprecedented investment in the airline. We continue to negotiate with management and await a proposal that meets our needs as investors,” said Captain Stephan.
Founded in 1931, ALPA represents 61,000 pilots at 40 airlines in the U.S. and Canada. ALPA represents approximately 2,490 active US Airways pilots. Visit the ALPA website at http://www.alpa.org and the US Airways pilots’ website at http://www.usairwayspilots.org .
US Airways has also been nominated this year for a
World Travel Award as North America’s Leading Airline.