WASHINGTON, D.C.—Captain Duane Woerth, president of the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA) today issued the following statement regarding the National Mediation Board’s (NMB) determination that Mesa Airlines, Inc., Air Midwest, Inc. and CCAir, Inc. constitute a single transportation system:
“ALPA is extremely pleased that the NMB upheld the Association’s assertion that these Mesa Air Group, Inc. subsidiaries are in fact a single carrier for collective bargaining purposes. The NMB ruling validates what our pilots have long known - that labor relations for all Mesa Air Group carriers are controlled by Mesa Air Group President Jonathan Ornstein.
“The decision by the NMB puts Mr. Ornstein on notice that his corporate shell game of threatening to shift jobs and airplanes from one carrier to another in order to decimate wages and working conditions for all Mesa Air Group pilots and undermine the pilots’ rights to representation is being closely scrutinized. Ever since Mesa Air Group purchased CCAir in 1999, Ornstein’s strategy has been to divide and conquer, attempting to pit the pilots of CCAir and Mesa against each other within his corporate empire. He has systematically dismantled CCAir, stripping it to a core of only one airplane and two spares, simply to maintain a legal operating certificate.
“Under the threat of shutting down the company, CCAir management has placed unwarranted pressure on its pilots to replace their current contract with greatly concessionary working conditions in the absence of any demonstrated economic justification. Pilots should not have to choose between keeping their jobs, working under ridiculously poor conditions, or having their work transferred to an upstart non-union carrier - yet Ornstein has subjected the pilots of CCAir to exactly this fate in hopes of pressuring Mesa pilots to accept substandard provisions in their new contract.
“ALPA has pledged its full support to battle Jonathan Ornstein’s scorched earth management tactics so reminiscent of Frank Lorenzo. With the proposed start up of Freedom Air, a new non-union subsidiary of the Mesa Air Group, Jonathan Ornstein intends to transfer Mesa Airlines assets, jobs, and work opportunities to a non-union carrier to the detriment all Mesa Air Group employees, much in the way that Frank Lorenzo did under the umbrella of the Texas Air Corporation.”
ALPA is the world`s oldest and largest pilots union, representing 66,000 members at 43 airlines in the U.S. and Canada. Visit the ALPA Website at http://www.alpa.org.