CHICAGO - The pilots of American Trans Air (ATA), represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA), will conduct informational picketing at Chicago’s Midway Airport today, May 3, between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m., to show their increasing frustration with the slow pace of contract negotiations. The informational picketing will coincide with the two-year anniversary of the start of their contract negotiations, which began in May 2000.
“ATA pilots and flight engineers have exercised great patience over the last two years of negotiations, but it’s wearing thin,” said ALPA spokesman Capt. Matt Ellis, an ATA Boeing 737-800 pilot. “The 98 percent approval rate in our recent strike authorization vote is strong evidence of that.” The ATA cockpit crewmembers last month voted overwhelmingly to approve a strike, if necessary to achieve a fair agreement.
“In contrast to the airline industry as a whole, ATA is a well-positioned major airline, with new aircraft and new routes. Yet, our management insists on compensating its crewmembers at the absolute bottom of the industry,” Ellis said. “We are not asking for outrageous sums, just a fair contract—negotiated in a reasonable amount of time—that is commensurate with ATA’s position in the industry.”
Below are details of the informational picketing:
Where: Chicago Midway Airport: Outside in front of the ATA ticket counters.
When: Friday, May 3, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.