Ad Also Calls for Action to Save Their Jobs
The Air Line Pilots Association International (ALPA), the union
that represents most of the nation's airline pilots, has placed a
full-page color advertisement to run in the Monday editions of USA
Today and Roll Call.
They did this to honor the military service of airline
pilots in the Iraq war, and call for government action to help
airlines survive the economic downturns exacerbated by the 9/11
terrorist attack and the effects of the war.
Called Up For "Iraqi Freedom"
advertisement notes that airline pilots at many carriers have been
called from reserve duty to serve as military pilots, while others
fly airliners that have been requisitioned by the government to
provide airlift under the Civil Reserve Air Fleet or fly contracted
cargo aircraft. Part of the text says that "(ALPA) salutes the
brave men and women who have exchanged their regular (airline)
duties to carry out the duty of protecting our nation. Our hearts
and prayers go out to these Americans in the earnest hope for their
quick and safe return."
What About After The War?
Going beyond the traditional well-wishing, though, the text then
asks "But when these pilots return, what can they count on?" and
points to a devastated airline industry. It concludes with a call
on the Congress and the Administration to act swiftly to "provide
relief from crushing taxes, shoulder the costs of security, bolster
available fuel resources through the Strategic Petroleum Reserve,
make available temporary pension funding relief for passenger
airlines, and extend the war-risk insurance program."
"It definitely is a two-part message," said Capt.
Duane Woerth, president of ALPA. "We wanted to recognize the valor
and sense of duty of those pilots who are heeding our nation's
call; but we also want them to have something to come back to,"
said Woerth, who was called up as a reserves pilot in the first
"By law, every reservist called to duty has to have a job
waiting for him or her at their workplace, but what good is that
guarantee if the employers they come back to are bankrupt or have
had to lay off half their workers?" he said.
"After my recent meetings with Congressional leaders, I think
that many of them understand now that the government cannot simply
sit back and let this vital part of our economic infrastructure
slide into catastrophe. Our hope is that this advertisement
demonstrates ALPA's commitment to work with all members of Congress
and the White House, and that it will move them to action," he
A copy of the advertisement can be seen at www.alpa.org starting on