Mesaba pilots are
infuriated by a Bankruptcy Court’s decision to strip them of their legal
right to strike if Mesaba management imposes terms of pay and working
conditions that they feel would put Mesaba below industry standards.The court’s
decision will be appealed by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l.
“The court’s decision today exposes just why the United States—the
home of democracy—is on the Human Rights watch list. In no country in
the developed world have basic workers’ freedoms been so completely
undermined,” said Captain Duane E. Woerth, ALPA’s president. “With its
decision, the Bankruptcy Court is trampling on the basic rights of workers
and the foundation upon which this nation was built. ALPA will spare no
effort or resource to reverse this decision and protect our pilots’
“We will not stand for this injustice,” Captain Tom Wychor, chairman of
the ALPA unit at Mesaba said. “Under the law, if your contract gets
rejected, you don’t have to perform under that contract. No bankruptcy
court has recognized any exception under the statutes until today.”
Mesaba pilots had planned to strike if management imposed its terms, in
an effort to compel management to negotiate a consensual agreement. “We
will follow the order by the court today, but we will aggressively appeal
the edict,” Wychor assured.
“Mesaba pilots will not be ‘shackled to their aircraft’ by this court
decision,” Wychor said. “Management cannot force people to work under
imposed terms. Our professionals will work elsewhere, and to that end we
have scheduled a job fair. The turnover rate at Mesaba is already a
liability to Mesaba’s future success—and if they choose to impose now,
it will be the airline’s undoing.”
The Air Line Pilots Association, along with Mesaba Labor Coalition
partners, the Association of Flight Attendants—CWA, and the Aircraft
Mechanics Fraternal Association, has implored Mesaba management to stay the
imposition of terms and come to consensus with its unions.
“Even in the face of this appalling verdict, we are ready and willing
to continue to negotiate with Mesaba management on a deal because that is
the only way this airline will survive,” said Wychor.