PHOENIX—The following statement was issued today by Captain Terry Stadler, chairman of the America West Airlines pilots’ Master Executive Council, part of the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA), regarding America West Airline’s (AWA) announcement of second quarter profits as well as a performance-based award program for AWA senior management:
“While we are encouraged by the favorable second quarter results that are reflective of the excellent efforts of AWA’s employees, this pilot group is outraged that AWA senior managers will apparently be the sole beneficiaries of the company’s recent profits. The company included a performance-based cash award program for senior management as part of the 10Q filing today. The plan is retroactive to January 1, 2003.
“Additionally, the timing of the announcement is a real slap in the face to the pilot group. The AWA pilots have gone almost three and a half years without a new contract and work for some of the lowest wages in the industry. Time and again, this group, as well as other employees, has given their all for the survival of this carrier, even in these extremely lean economic times,” said Stadler. “Our CEO has apparently learned nothing from the mistakes of his airline peers, like the former American Airlines CEO, who have also given themselves bonus plans, compelling the federal government to cap airline CEO compensation earlier this year.
“In light of these developments, we will petition the National Mediation Board (NMB) to reopen contract talks with the company. We hope that the NMB will bring us back to the bargaining table so that we can craft a contract that will enable our pilots to similarly share in the company’s accomplishments.”
The NMB suspended negotiations with the pilot group and management in March, after pilots overwhelmingly rejected a tentative agreement the two sides had reached in December 2002. Contract talks had begun in February 2000, and the NMB assigned a federal mediator to facilitate negotiations in May 2001. The NMB temporarily suspended talks after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s oldest and largest pilot union, representing 66,000 members at 42 airlines in the United States and Canada, including nearly 1,700 pilots at America West Airlines. Visit the ALPA website at http://www.alpa.org